‘Oldies’ aren’t THAT old

I have discovered a terrifying phenomenon in music that has nothing to do with Justin Bieber. Huey Lewis is getting airtime. On the OLDIES station.

The first time I heard it, it may have made me sad. The next time I heard it, it may have made me mad, but I’ve heard “Power of Love” three times now, and I have yet to be glad.

By my definition, the term “oldies” should only apply to songs that were recorded long, long ago, by old people who had never dreamed a song could be “downloaded” to a “playlist.” The artists from MY g-g-g-generation are far too young for that.

Take Van Halen, for instance. They just wrapped up a $93 million tour featuring Eddie’s hard rock ‘n’ roll and David’s rock-hard abs. Hardly “oldies,” these guys just recorded their first album… 32 years ago. But that was with David Lee Roth. Sammy’s Van Halen is only — oh — I guess that was 25 years ago. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure Sammy is older than my mom.

OK, bad example. How about Duran Duran? I vividly remember watching them sing “A View To A Kill” on MTV during a sleepover. Sure, that might have been a couple 007s ago, before I had kids … and a husband … and a driver’s license. Sigh. But “Bon. Simon le Bon.” seems like yesterday.

Hmm, let’s look at U2. The Irish Beatles have 15 Grammys from this decade, selling out stadiums around the world last year. (I still maintain Bono secretly invited me back to his room for a nightcap after the Chicago show, even if his security guard did not believe me.) Granted, Bono had to postpone the 2010 tour for back surgery, but that doesn’t make him old. This is a still-relevant band from my youth, which, going by the release of their first major album, was — ouch. Thirty years ago.

So when did this happen? When did my music get as old as my parents’ music? How is it possible that my mixed-tape-making days were over well before this year’s class of iPod-wielding high school seniors was born, especially when I am just a blossoming (material) girl myself?

Maybe time has (Superbowl) shuffled away more quickly than I’d realized. Maybe I should have clued in when I had to explain to my kids that Slash is a real person, not just a character on “Guitar Hero.” But clearly, the Boss was right. The glory days have certainly passed by in the blink of this young girl’s eye.

There is a lesson to be learned here for anyone under the age of 20: Enjoy this time. Enjoy the relationship you have with Billboard’s Hot 100 now, because in 20 years Billboard will have moved on and Gaga will be rah-rah-ing from her rocker — as will you.

And you, too, will find yourself wondering how everyone around you got so old while you have stayed exactly the same.


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