Nostalgia Is Just Like It Used To Be
Updated: Jul 26, 2018
Grumpy old men are fond of clichés. We feel comfortable around them and justify our conversational use thereof by saying, 'It's only a cliché because it's true.' Which is in itself a cliché and therefore a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And so we move in ever decreasing circles, trotting out time-honoured old chestnuts like how vinyl sounded 'warmer' and home taping really is killing music; how young 'uns these days don't know how good they've got it ('I say house but it were just a hole in the ground covered with a tarpaulin…') and bemoaning the loss of the words 'gay' and 'x-factor'; how summers aren't as warm as they used to be and that Wagon Wheels are definitely getting smaller….
As we get older, the opportunities to step outside the norm, to raise the proverbial middle digit to society, to express our individuality, become less and less. The potatoes of practicality grow where once the rhubarb of rebellion held sway. The people-carrier, the long-handled shears, that little token for the supermarket trolley you have on your keyring….
All is not lost, however, the answer can be found in music.
In the realms of Classic Rock time stands still. You are a perpetual teenager with the considerable benefit of retrofitted hindsight. All of the rebellion, the anger, the 'up yours' attitude is here; you can feel edgy and different without having to dress like a homeless alcoholic with a BDSM fetish; you can indulge in the wild antics of others without having to pull sick day every Monday morning; you're probably older than your own parents were when you were a teenager and yet, you're thumbing your nose at the 'grown-ups'.
Nostalgia is a very powerful and evocative thing. I personally love it. Sure, I've got a wife, family, job (definitely not a career though, let's not go nuts…) but the second Led Zeppelin IV, Appetite for Destruction, Master of Puppets, Stagestruck, Rocks or Paranoid go on, I'm straight back there man, I'm living it all over again. I'm as much in awe today as I was at the very first listen. One big difference now though- these days, I plug my 1959 Gibson Les Paul Re-issue (a wedding present) into my Fender Stage 160, Boss GT-7 and wail away to my heart's content. I'm sixteen, but with a killer sound system, iconic axe, pretty good chops and, more importantly, I can turn it up as loud as I bloody well like.
As long as the wife and kids are out of course….