A very good friend of mine wrote to me yesterday, inquiring if I had heard about the new DEVO album. Though this wasn't really news to me, I read the rest of his letter to me with great interest, since he was connecting with me on a level that made complete sense: pop culture. More to the point, he was examining popular music, and the way he and I had experienced it. Not just the Spudboys from Akron, but the brothers Van Halen from Pasadena and anybody else who made it to our turntable or cassette deck back in the day. It was a lovely trip down memory lane, as well as a pretty insightful piece of rock criticism.
It made me think about the times we live in now, compared to our days of yore. That was back in the days when there really were number one albums and TV shows. There were things that everyone saw or heard, or at least they were supposed to. Getting your picture on the cover of Rolling Stone would still qualify you as "cool to the masses." But now it's getting harder and harder to define who those masses are.
I wouldn't have picked The Who to represent My Generation, but I have to admit that it is now people like me who get to pick the halftime show at the Super Bowl. People like me created cable TV and then another box that would watch all that stuff you didn't have time for while you slept. Record collections that used to fill crates and cause you to buy your brother an extra six pack for hefting them into your new apartment can now be stored on a digital thingie smaller than the Walkman that used to play those cool ninety minute mix tapes you made.
That was the olden days. That was way back when I could discern one Corey from the next. Now it's even easier. One is alive. And so are we, bless us all, and we brace for the next big wave of nostalgia. Surfs up!