the end of pop

Are we living through the end of the era of pop? The death of the generation that invented the teenager and the heat and music and colour that went with it? Bowie is dead, most of the Beatles are gone, The Stones, The Who, Floyd et al are a shambling arthritic beasts, propped up by the machinery built around them to milk them for all they are worth.

Men that could never afford to buy a Les Paul in their youth, have driven the instrument that once was the very image of youthful rebellion to prices that mean it is only really affordable to cosmetic dentists, sales directors and oil executives. Men who ultimately hang them on walls and never let them reach their full potential as an instrument of change. Perhaps that role is now covered by the laptop.

If you were 35 in 1968, what was the music from your childhood? Could you name the top 40 artists from 1968? I would say that you would know who you were listening to at 15 and who you are listening to now, well then, in 1968. I am 35 years old, 50 years later, I can remember who I was listening to at 15 and I know who (mostly) is in the top 40 now. I could not name who, the me from 1968 would have been listening to when they were 15. Are the 15 year olds of today, going to feel the same about Bowie and The Beatles?

I am endlessly shocked when I go and listen to records like Pablo Honey, Common People, Modern Life is Rubbish and realise that they are 25ish years old. Go back 25 years from then and you get 1970, end of The Beatles, last shows of Led Zep etc. Go back 25 years from then and you get 1945, monochrome post war rationed coldness. I feel the distance between the here and now and Blur seems much closer than the distance between Blur and Led Zeppelin, not to mention the distance between Led Zep and the end of WW2.

Or perhaps I am just getting old.


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