I’m not afraid to admit that my last couple of music purchases on iTunes took me a back a few years. I dipped deep into the mental historical archives and picked up songs by ‘80s rockers, .38 Special and Loverboy. And I’m pretty sure I’m going to follow up those buys with tunes by Survivor and Genesis.
I know, it’s a fairly eclectic mix of musical tastes, but then again, I’ve always enjoyed variety. What I can’t seem to shake these days is the strong desire to listen to the music of my youth.
Part of is an urge to acquire digital copies of all the music that I previously owned on vinyl. I know they make digital record recorders these days, but I haven’t gotten around to buying one yet and my vinyl collection remains safely tucked away in the garage. I suppose I’m also subliminally interested in pumping up my shares of Apple stock, so I keep buying these musical gems one at a time for now. Although I did recently score a copy of Phil Collins, “No Jacket Required,” at Dimple Records in Folsom and that made my week.
I’m also thoroughly enjoying traveling back in time and playing these songs for my sons now. They truly like some of the songs. For example, 9-year-old James was walking around the house the other night crowing .38 Special’s “Rockin’ Into the Night.” Talk about making a Dad proud.
But other tunes of yesteryear draw the boys’ disdain. I thought 11-year-old Jared might like Survivor’s “The Search Is Over” since he plays piano, but he told me the song was “pretty cheesy, Dad.” And in reality, the song is cheesy, but it reminds me of a junior high school crush and I find that pretty amusing these days. And so does my wife.
Of course, there is another reason why I’ve been on this musical odyssey down memory lane, and it’s a perfectly natural one — I’m getting older. I enjoy and listen to modern music, but for reasons known to all of us who are in the same boat, we thoroughly enjoy the music of our youth. It takes us back to a time and place when we romanticized about the world. If you’re lucky, you still have romantic experiences when you’re older (note I’m not talking about Viagra commercials), but you likely don’t often find yourself romanticizing about the world anymore.
I remember as a kid evenings with my parents and sister playing music of my parents’ youth. Like my sons today, my sister and I enjoyed some of our folks’ music, and some of it was beyond our tastes. But I also remember thinking that, as I grew older, I was going to stay hip, stay current with pop culture and keep rocking with modern tunes. I was committed to remaining in the present.
Then life became busier, music changed, with rock-and-roll seeming to disappear and I found myself drifting back in time. And one of the great parts about getting older is you understand when it happens that it’s perfectly natural to reflect. It’s natural to reminisce and recall the good times.
So I’m going to keep on purchasing my zany mix of “Francisco rock” favorite ‘70s and ‘80s rock songs, as a friend affectionately calls my favorite tunes from back then. You can proudly hear them blaring from our ’67 Camaro (a coincidence?) when the family cruises down the road. We might be a little guilty of living in the past at moments, but we’re having a good time. And we’re still rockin’ into the night.
Dan Francisco is an El Dorado Hills-based public relations consultant to the high-tech industry.