Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Golden Oldies

The other day I was talking to some friends about the "oldies" stations our parents made us listen to when we were kids. Back then I bitched and moaned about most of it, and wondered which of the bands that I liked at the time would survive as passable "oldies" the way the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, etc, had. (I settled on U2). The reason this was on my mind was that, for some reason, I recently realized that in the 80s, the oldies were songs from the 60s and 70s. I did some quick math and realized that, yep, plenty of the music I like now could be considered oldies by my own standards.

My kids like a lot of music that is "old," from the Beatles to Michael Jackson to even 311 (Music came out in 1993). As an adult I can appreciate that good, well-written music stands the test of time, and that most of the pop stuff is a product of a particular era and is best left there, or enjoyed by someone feeling nostalgic. My kids have only heard the old stuff that has endured, so they haven't had to suffer through Young MC the way I had to suffer through Jan & Dean (or the way my grandkids will someday suffer through any of today's auto-tuned pop hits). And they are young enough that they don't know to call the music "old" and then mock me for my lame attempts to dance along with it. They still think I'm cool.

Or, they did. We were out of town on April 1, but I was able to read on Twitter and Facebook about all the April Fool's Day jokes that were being played around town. One person mentioned that 98.9 FM was calling itself 98.9X and playing a bunch of random music from 15-25 years ago. "Music for Generation X." I laughed and thought about how much I would probably enjoy that, then forgot about it.until about a week later, when I was flipping through the channels on my radio and discovered that this little gem is real! I happily set the dial and let my mind drift back to a time when grunge and hair metal competed for airtime and the Cherry siblings (Neneh and Eagle-Eye) were enjoying their respective one-hits.

Then it happened. One day I was jamming my way through the Fresh Prince's Parent's Just Don't Understand when Connor called out from the back seat. "Mom, can you change this to something else?"

Oh. My. God.

That's when it hit me- this is MY oldies station! I am old! My kids think I'm old! This music sucks! Seriously- even though I had recently done the math that told me these facts, it somehow did not click until there was an ACTUAL OLDIES STATION on the radio. One that did not play CCR, but instead played NKOTB. One that my children can't stand.

I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry at this realization, but I did know to embrace the power that my age brought me. So I told the kids to suck it, because I'm driving and this is what I want to listen to. See Mom? I did pay attention to you when I was a kid.


Kerry said...

awesome. I set my dial accordingly this week and have been jamming on the way to work. Grace said "why don't they play any GOOD songs on this station?"

Sassy Molassy said...

It seems to me that they just play all the crappy pop music I hated when it was popular. It's like FM 100 in a time machine, and I never liked that station either!

warren said...

Satchel told me that my music was too loud--they may be oldies, but definitely NOT moldies.

Memphisotan said...

I'm even worse: I listen to the actual Oldies station. Which is, I guess, the equivalent of our parents putting the AM dial on a Big Band station.