It’s a picturesque Spring day; the sun slips behind cotton clouds and the sky is alive with rich blues and birdsong. It’s a patchwork of vibrant colours, and as I stare out the window like some patient widow, rock band Thunder’s cover of ‘Gimme Shelter’ (originally by the Rolling Stones) pumps through my headphones, chugging away like a steam locomotive. My bones come alive, rattling and rolling in time to its boundless rhythm. Soon I’m stomping the ground like Roger Taylor and screeching along in full force.
And that’s when I asked myself the question: What exactly have we lost in music today? Yes, yes, I know how I sound. I have a taste for the 70s and 80s – classic rock as a whole, really – and yes, I admit modern stuff is rather lost on me. There are a few bands I listen to hear and there (The Killers, The Vaccines, etc.) – the charts aren’t entirely forsaken in my eyes. But, generally, I am that child with the outdated band shirts and long hair.
Here’s the thing. I go to BOP at the SU every now and then (That’s any millennial-organized club night at the Student Union for the great unwashed). I’ve been to nightclubs, I keep in touch with what’s trendy purely through my flatmates and pre-drinks. But somehow, it just never fills me with that feeling ‘Gimme Shelter’ does. Or ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’. ‘Immigrant Song’ or ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’. Take your pick. With ‘Shelter’, though, that apcalyptic, hard-rock heavy sound which creeps like a predator toward you; that’s what I love. Tapping the floor like a terrified introvert at the family reunion. It’s the feeling music gave you back then; the chugging riffs, thunderous drumbeats and passages of anti-biblical debauchery.
It’s that which I’m talking about. And you know what, if you get that same feeling from whatever’s in the charts right now, then good for you. No, really. I’m envious; I wish I could get that feeling from [see outdated ‘modern’ artist here], it would make socialising a hell of a lot easier for one. But I can’t. It’s just not in me. I was born in the body of a youth, but with the mind of a 40 year-old. I feel alive from ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, not Ariana Grande. I guess it’s just how I’m built.
But then, tastes were, as expected, different back then. Music is a transient thing. The Beatles, Status Quo, Queen, Tom Petty, Def Leppard, Guns ‘N Roses, Oasis, the path of sonic salvation twists and turns like the passing wind. The crowds were wilder for more guitar, more drum solos, more riffs back then. The kind you needed to own on cassette, vinyl and CD.
But obviously, there’s nothing with liking indie. Or pop. Hip hop, or soul. Rap, or country. Music tastes are your own, personal things, and they’re all valid. Interestingly, we guard them closer to our chests than secrets at times. We don’t want to be judged for what we take pleasure in, and if we open up about bands we like, we can’t stop. Like a teapot from which there is no end. Endlessly pouring artist after artist after album release date after artist. We need our friends to like them. And when they inevitably don’t, we sink back into the shadows. I’d loathe tearing up someone’s music taste – particularly for the sake of some needless online article. It’d be an attack on our very passions.
I just don’t understand modern music, I suppose. But I know the feeling it must give people. Because I get the same thing from what was. To me, classic rock will run through my veins like groundwater. Big hair, spandex tights and crunchy riffs will be my anthems, wherever I go. Maybe, who knows, some day in the future my love for what’s new will be rekindled again. Perhaps one day we’ll shift back round to what I love. But whatever you love, is what you love. Don’t let anybody tell you different. Not even men.
Maybe I’ll see you down hmv, head stuck in the rock section somewhere. ‘Till next time.