I sometimes get referred to performance pieces on YouTube by musician friends. It’s not unusual for one clip to lead to another (and so on….). And so it was with a clip from the Amnesty International Festival in 1986 – Miles’ Davis Band featuring Carlos Santana and Robben Ford, performing Miles’ “Burn”.
It’s a rollicking, infectious groove-fest representing one of the things Miles was famous for; mixing sounds and sensibilities from different eras into a fresh new sound. As I’m watching and listening to the piece, I glance down at the comments section and notice:
“WHY COULDNT I BE YOUNG IN THE 80’S T^T IM STUCK IN THIS GENERATION WITH JUSTIN BIEBER””
Well, you could have knocked me over with a spoon! Here’s a kid (obviously) who not only likes what he’s watching, but is making an obvious unflattering comparison to some of the modern musical fare. It made me laugh and I wanted to just pat the kid on the back.
Every generation has its own tastes, trends and “inside” clubiness. That’s part of what growing up is about; separating yourself from the older folks. But often, that comes with an imperious rejection of anything associated with the older crowd. As we age, we usually “come around” to appreciate some (or a lot) of it, but it takes a while.
I grew up in the 60’s, with all the “stuff” that entails. But one thing that stood out for me (now, perhaps more than then) was how diverse music became in a popular sense for a while. Maybe it was advent of album-oriented FM radio; maybe it was mostly the drugs. But we certainly got exposed to a wider spectrum of music than Top-40 radio formats would allow.
Maybe that’s what this kid is longing for. Better still, maybe we’re heading for another period of real diversity in popular music.