Updated: Aug 28, 2018
I recently saw a lovely video taken at a senior care facility in which musicians played songs for the residents from “their day and time.” Melodious, rhythmic waltzes and the occasional polka were mixed with hymns and a touch of Hank, Sr. And for some unknown reason, the scary-but-funny thought occurred to me that at some point, we Bloomin’ Boomers may be the ones in a care facility, with OUR generation’s music being played in the background. Let that rattle around your brain for a moment. I can see it now: The Beatles’ “Hippy, Hippy Shake” might quite possibly result in a necessary body part replacement — and the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” will take on a whole new meaning. We Boomers do love our music and will take it with us to our graves.
It’s undeniably inarguable that Baby Boomers had the best music, period. It survived the scratchy sound of the 33 LPs (which, now new and improved, are making a huge comeback), the aggravating “click” of the 8-tracks which usually switched tracks in all the wrong places, the cassettes that needed to be flipped over at all the wrong times — and still, we had timeless music that’s survived long enough for our kids and grandkids to enjoy as much today as we did back then.
In the course of writing Raising A Hand, I had the opportunity to interview several artists from our heyday. Some were done via phone interview (Gary Puckett), others (Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner) were done through email responses to the questions I offered. What I found is “once a musician, always a musician.” None of them had completely walked away from the songs they carry in their hearts.
Kevin Black is one of those “lifers” who will wield a guitar and a song until he’s one of “us Boomers” who’ll be listening to Pink Floyd while occupying a space at the game table of the nearest senior citizen’s center (although it’ll be awhile…). Kevin, brother to the legendary Clint Black, is not only a musician and co-creator (along with photographer Dave Clements) of the idea behind Raising A Hand, he is also an established photographer who has expanded his creativity to include music photography and reviews— a common interest both he and Dave share.
(Photo right, courtesy DWC Photography)
Most recently, Kevin reviewed the Stars Align Tour concert at Smart Financial Center in Sugarland, Texas for Houston Music Review . The show featured Jeff Beck (below), Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers and Heart’s Ann Wilson (below).
(Photos of Beck, Wilson and Rodgers courtesy of Kevin Black Photography)
Regardless of the outcome of any “reunion” tour, rest assured it’s always worth staying up past ten and the cost of the ticket in order to assuage your curiosity. A stroll down memory lane is never a bad thing; even if, at some point, that stroll may require orthopedic shoes and a walker.
Kevin has graciously agreed to be my guest blogger for this post. Below, he gives his insight on the concert, music and life.
By the way, if you get to a point where you’re incapacitated (hopefully NEVER) and find yourself in an elderly care facility where I may be residing by then, stop in and say hello. I’ll be easy to find. Just follow the sound of AC/DC’s “Walk This Way.” I’ll be the one sitting next to Keith Richards, dressed in hot pink, eating a taco while reading Catharina Ingelma-Sundberg’s “The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules” (taking meticulous how-to notes “for a friend”).
Keep smiling. Enjoy life.
And “for those about to rock, I salute you!”
Bloomin’ Boomers welcomes guest blogger Kevin Black. Kevin, as a singer/songwriter, knows the music scene "up close and personal." It's been a major part of his life for nearly four decades. With two brothers (Brian, and country music's Clint Black) and two sons (Coleton and Marshall) also in the business, Kevin has seen all kinds of music trends come and go through the years. He has a passion for concert photography and has an uncanny knack for spotting a perfect metaphor for life's journey..
It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over
Do you remember your first rock concert? If it was in the late sixties, and perhaps all of the seventies, maybe not. Oh, you can boast about the light show; you can regurgitate the rumor that the lead singer bit off the head of a bat — At my first concert, I personally saw a woman set her own hair on fire multiple times because, well, I assume she thought it looked “far out!” And if you weren’t directly “partaking of the wildwood weed,” chances are, there was enough second-hand smoke to dim your lighthouse.
Sex, drugs and rock & roll seemed to be the going rate for the hippy rock culture.
Concerts have always been a key marketing tool for selling records. Hear a song on the radio, the DJ announces the band that cut that record is coming to your town and peace in your life will be non-existent until you have a ticket on the front row. Soon after, things that use to be important — like school, maybe your job — became secondary to securing a copy of the album.
A turntable/record player became vital to your needs. Mom and dad could never understand the need to fill your mind, much less their living room, with those disturbing sounds from your new Allman Brothers Band, Eagles or Billy Joel record, so you had to obtain your own device, to be placed in your own personal space — your bedroom! It wouldn’t be long before records took precedent in the battle for space and within a year you had your own COLLECTION!
My personal collection consisted of many genres. Growing up listening to mom and dad’s music, it would be no surprise to find Merle Haggard, George Jones, Buck Owens on the turntable at any given moment. As years passed and media formats changed, vinyl slowly made its way to the attic, garage sale, Goodwill or found its way into a friend’s collection.
These days, most Boomer-rocker ticket holders sit calmly, tapping their toes and clapping their hands when attending a concert, as opposed to getting on their feet to offer the standing ovation they once gave from the moment the lights went down until they were ushered out. I’ve noticed that the majority of concert-goers don’t sport the same fashion they did back in the day. Hairdos that you left you wondering if there was something living in there and bell-bottom jeans that were too tight to pocket a driver’s license are now a thing of the past. The language, which originated with “Hey, Bob” transitioned to “Hey, Man,” morphed into “Hey, Dude” and then eventually circled back to its original, “Hey, Bob.”
Music, much like life, has its own cycle, as do hairstyles, clothing and urban language. At some point, everything old can become "new" again.
I recently had the opportunity to write a review for the Stars Align Tour concert. The show featured Jeff Beck, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers and Heart’s Ann Wilson. I wasn’t sure what I’d find. Would I come away terribly disappointed? Or “feelin’ groovy,” knowing that three of our favorite “oldies” performers have “still got it”?
Paul Rodgers then:
Paul Rodgers now:
To check out the verdict, click the Houston Music Review link below: (SPOILER ALERT: Once a rocker at heart, always a rocker…)
Music and media format are not immune to this type of "life-cycle;" just like humans shouldn't be. After decades of life and the inevitable changes it brings, people have a tendency to slow down, chill and, unfortunately, live life as if the train is pulling into the station for the last time before it goes to the train car bone yard!
But there is another option: Be a positive part of that cycle I mention above. Reinvent yourself. Find that spark that ignites your desire to see the world or country or the state or the town or the neighborhood from a different angle. Dust off the dancing shoes, fix up that old car that’s been on blocks in the yard. Take a drive somewhere just to have a look around at the changes. Return to the living. First place you need to start is in your heart.
Just take them old records off the shelf and get back in the groove. Life ain’t over till it’s over!
I hope to see ya down the road!
To view more of Kevin's photos from the Stars Align Tour, click here: http://houstonmusicreview.com/wordpress/2018/07/31/stars-align-tour-jeff-beckpaul-rodgersann-wilson-smart-finanacial-center-sugarland-tx-photos/.
We’d love to hear from you! Scroll to the bottom of the page to leave us a note in the comment section about your concert memories, favorite songs, etc.
New Baby Boomer Generation Titles for Sixties Songs ~ Anonymous**
“Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ a Flash”
“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker”
“I Get by With a Little Help from Depends”
The Bee Gees
“How Can You Mend a Broken Hip”
“The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face”
“I Can’t See Clearly Now”
“Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver”
“Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom”
“I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts”
“You Make Me Feel Like Napping”
“Papa’s Got A Kidney Stone"
“I am Woman; Hear Me Snore”
“It’s My Procedure and I’ll Cry if I Want To”
“On the Commode Again”
** While I'd love to claim them, these titles are not my own creation. I’ve taken much care in trying to locate the name of the author and none could be found, despite my best efforts.
Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager (1974)
It’s Been Said ...
I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes. Jimi Hendrix
I’d rather be a musician than a rock star. George Harrison
Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny. Frank Zappa
To get your playing more forceful, hit the drums harder. Keith Moon, The Who