Words & Music: Rock ‘n Roll
What was the soundtrack of your coming of age?
For my husband and I, it was rock ‘n roll, a genre that was reportedly named by a radio DJ in Cleveland, a city in the Midwest, near our roots states of Indiana and Michigan. It was music one could dance to… to begin the rituals of mating if a gal could get a guy to dance! One could swivel and/or sway to the music, express oneself blatantly, uniquely, or remain within the norms of current steps and fads.
Remember the Twist, the Watsui, the Skuttlebutt? (wink-wink) What was your favorite? What did you invent? Did you watch Dick Clark and American Bandstand? Did you long to be on the show? Did you agree with their ‘rate a record’ scor?
Whatever it was, I craved it! I hurriedly walked home from school each day to be able to watch the show. I seldom had homework – nor did I have chores. It was the day of the stay-at-home Mom who greeted you with a hug and a peck on the cheek – and allowed you to watch ‘that show’ no matter how much your younger siblings would pout. Ah, those were the days!
Rock ‘n roll was primal music. It was all about the beat. Drums and guitars and amps. Male singers – harmonious or not – but loud. Two guys was cool, though one singer could be great. Especially with perfectly coiffed hair and macho strut.
Then along came the Beatles. The group changed rock ‘n roll forever and I was a FAN! I even invited Paul McCartney to my prom! My parents never knew that I snuck out of the house to drive to Indy to see the Beatles in concert – with my coke-bottled glasses friend, Ellen Chesak. You can not snitch on me now – nor can my tattle-tale sister – because my parents are gone.
Yes, the Beatles changed rock music… Music became something to listen to instead merely to dance to. The words mattered – and how! Groovy, catchy, lovely, inventive – igniting many hours of attempting to figure out what John meant. And, omg, if Paul was dead or not. Gasp.
I’m older, a Boomer through-and-through, and I reflect often. Don’t you? Words & music… Words are primary now, as I listen to songs of my youth. The beat remains primal, but I cherish the words’ meanings, inferences, and intentions more.
Is it because I became an author? Or, did this Peter Pan Boomer grow up?
HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2019!