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40 Is The New 60? Growing Up Boomer-style



Dear Boomer,

Do you feel the years creeping up? Are you looking back more than ahead?

If your parents are still alive, give them a call. Ask them what it was like closing in on 60.

They won’t say much. That’s how it works with the Silent Generation. But that doesn’t mean you’re alone.

Apparently closing in on forty has the same whining benefits we’ve got heading for sixty.

Over on Mike Spohr made a list of 40 Signs You’re Almost 40.

Ready to school the youngsters, the kids born your junior year in college?

The first entry on the 40 List is music, as in you know you’re getting older when the songs you worshipped in high school play on classic rock stations. All that means is it was good enough to stand the test of time. That’s a good thing.

Baby boomers face the same dilemma. Twice. You have to be a musicologist to tell the difference between oldies, classic rock, and everything that fell between the cracks.

Boomer rock, The Beatles, Stones, Who, Pink Floyd played on and on until new bands morphed into Big Hair shows. To confuse it further Disco gave the BeeGees another life and made Rod Stewart wear spandex and sing “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” as if Rod needed to ask.

If you do ask, just find a six foot blonde beauty. They love their Rod the Mod.

With the bass beat of disco crushing Quaalude dazed dancers from Studio 54 to Deb’s Club, something had to change. Hair bands pushing out cookie cutter albums from formulaic studios set the scene for a new era.

And here came Punk Rock. Does anyone complain about Punk on the classic rock dial? Does Punk play on any stations? Maybe a Punk Hour once a week on public access? Since no one’s complaining it’s hard to tell.

At least forty year olds celebrate that Grunge and Alternative Rock made the cut. That the lead figure, Kurt Cobain, died at the Rock God age of twenty seven helps. If Nirvana holds the top spot, they have a booster to the legend. Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters cement Nirvana into the rock pantheon.

If you don’t keep up with such things, Mr. Grohl stepped out from behind his drum kit to form a new band when Nirvana broke up. Think Paul McCartney and Wings after The Beatles.

Boomers have seen this before with Ringo Starr albums. When The Eagles took a break for a few decades, drummer Don Henley put out some great music. Neither is in the Grohl orbit. Neither is former Genesis progressive rock drummer Phil Collins. Wonderful singers, funny characters, good time keepers, yet something was missing.

The Grohl difference is his guitar. He fronts Foo Fighters like a Boomer rock god, not a misfit looking for something to pound on. Nirvana might play on Classic Rock stations but Foo Fighters break new ground.

You know they’re current when twenty-somethings get FF tattoos and learn guitar to play Foo. Right, Travis?

If you wonder how good Dave Grohl really is, check this out. Then tune up for the Almost Famous Tiny Dancer.

Are you home?



About David Gillaspie
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