Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What we don't realise about the older generation!!

I present a rather off-the-wall (not that the blogs on this site would in anyway indicate to you that I might do such a thing!) adult-orientated rock show on our local community radio station.

'OK' you say. 'Big Deal'.

Well my listener seems to like it! In fact he loves it.

Seriously though. While we on the station joke and laugh about the strange requests (for music - please behave!) I receive for music, I suddenly realised the other week that the strange request from a listener for 'Paranoid' for his 72nd Birthday wasn't, in fact, really all that strange.

When Black Sabbath, with the wonderful still-alive Ozzy first released 'Paranoid' in 1970, my sprightly 72 year-old listener would have been an even more sprightly 29 years of age. There is no reason why, 43 years later, if he was a fan of the band back in 1970, that he shouldn't be a fan now! After all, someone who supported a particular football team in the 1970's is more than likely still a supporter of that same team today.

So, the fact that a man in his 70's request an iconic heavy-metal song (OK, so it took the great Tony Iommi [guitar AND flute on the actual album] three minutes to write it on the back of a fag packet!) has no need to be dismissed on the grounds of ageism.

It was his era!

Something we tend to forget. But then those who listen to the current version of the BBC Light Programme - BBC Radio Two to you and mne - will often hear songs that, 30 to 40 years ago, when they were originally released, even Radio 1 never used to play!

And look at Radio One nowadays.

Full of presenters who all seem to have a speech impediment, playing back to back songs either by angry young men screaming unintelligent lyrics into the microphone accompanied by something passing for music that in reality is probably cats being welded together, or divas screaming though their noses, singing exactly the same as each other and sounding like they are on the toilet attempting to rid themselves of constipation while they prattle on about their partner having died in a train crash!

In truth, I remember buying my own very first album. It was in 1972, in the middle of nowhere in  County Donegal, Ireland, at the tender age of 16. Amongst all the country singers and diddly-idle traditional Irish folk music by strange looking people in hand-knitted Aran sweaters and unkempt beards (ladies included), looking out at me from the calendar stand that was doubling as a record rack, was 'Exile on Main Street', the double album by the Rolling Stones. It was brand-new and sealed, and if I remember, an absolute steal, because the shop owner had ordered it in error and was selling it at cost price. This was understandable, as it wasn't a very tourist-orientated town, and I couldn't imagine the average Donegal farmer or bog-cutter settling down with his pint of Guinness, whiskey chaser, lump of soda bread and 'Exile on Main Street'.

No, my dad was of the same opinion about the Rolling Stones as I am about all the screaming, cloned pop divas, rappers and the disposable and talentless misfits that emanate from all those television talent shows. Here and hair today, tattooed and gone tomorrow. Eight years into their career and my Dad said that the Rolling Stones wouldn't last. Fifty years later, Zimmer frames and blood pressure pills sees them still on the road today. That is some legacy! Not even some orchestras can boast over 50% of the original line-up still playing today - but there's Sir Mick, Keith (should be a Sir as well really), Charlie (he's 73 and should be a Lord) and the original other Mick from the 60's, plus Ron Wood, still strutting their pensioned yet energetic stuff on stage!

I can't necessarily see No Direction, Little Fix, or any of these rappers with their ludicrous names and even more ludicrous dress sense lasting beyond the end of the decade.

And having made such an impact on me, I can't even name the winner of last year's BBC "The Voice", although I do know their "eagerly awaited" album sold just a couple of hundred copies in its first week and peaked at something like 174 in the album charts.

It seems they such an impact nationally that people couldn't even be bothered to illegally download it.

Meanwhile, 'Exile on Main Street', when re-released in 2011 to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, zoomed to Number 1!