I'm not exactly a big fan of that old Greg Kihn chestnut "The Breakup Song." I remember hearing the song as a twelve-year-old. As Greg howled, "They don't write 'em like that anymore," didn't know who "they" were or what "that" actually was. I kind of equated the quote to the archetypal grandfather, waxing nostalgic about Glenn Miller or Buddy Rich.
I think I have since become that grandpa. I don't long for the Big Band days, or the stale bongwater dronings of Sabbath. Hell, I don't even long for Black Flag. I think I've just come to terms with the fact that I am on the reversed side of the generation gap. Remember those esoteric Gap commercials? Where that scrubby slacker-type goes through the car wash with his windows rolled down? They lost me there.
About 9 years ago, I went on a date with a college girl. During the course of the evening, the conversation shifted to music. I can't remember what prompted me to mention the GoGos, but her response was, "Who are the GoGo's?" I didn't really feel the need to fill her in.
Essentially, rock is supposed to be about perpetual adolesence. The problem is that perpetuity goes against the 'generational continuum.' It's not that it's too loud, therefore I am too old. The bottom line is that it is next to impossible for me to be entertained by somebody 10 to 20 years my junior. I don't particularly care to hear about the pain John Mayer feels. Those Chemical Romance characters? Please. No young whipper-snapper is going to teach me about rock. The problem is that "they ain't been there."
I highly doubt there's too many 38 year olds anxiously waiting for Blink-182 or to reunite, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels pretty goddamned out of place at a Dashboard Confessional show. Granted, on occasion a group like Jet might spark the interest of my peers, but then again, why not just listen to the Stooges? .
I don't want to be relegated to the state fair circuit, where I can see Styx, or be a fixture at the beer tent during a Blondie reunion. If I do go to a show these days, I'd rather not be the only one there old enough to shave.
As far as the music goes, they indeed do not write 'em like that anymore.