July 2, 2020 in Dag

When giants strode the world stage

Last week, I wrote a post combining two of my great loves – music and being grumpy. At the end, I promised that I would try to be less grumpy this week.

Well, guess what. I’m breaking my promise. If anything, I think I’m going to be even more grumpy this week (hooray!). But I am going to continue on the same theme, about how I’m finding it hard to be excited by new music.

I’ve been thinking a bit about it in the time between posts (let’s face it, we’ve all got too much time to think about stuff at the moment). In particular, I’ve been thinking about the difference between pop stars when I was younger and pop stars now.

When I think about how I saw pop stars when I was young, they seemed to me like giants, striding huge on the world stage. Even the very names seemed somehow awe inspiring. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who. And even here in the little world of Australia, there was something kind of special in our big names, like Cold Chisel.

These were big personalities – larger than life. They were big stars making big music, performing big and spectacular concerts, and leading big and glamorous lifestyles. To a young, impressionable person, especially a quiet sort of person growing up in the sleepy suburbs, there was something magic about it.

These days, the music ‘business’ seems very different. Pop stars don’t emerge in the same way. Seems like anyone, sitting at home in their bedroom, can record a track, upload it to YouTube or SoundCloud, and suddenly take off. Your average pop star seems exactly that – average. Not big and magical like the pop stars of old.

I’m sure a lot of it is me. A lot of it is just the change in perspective from being young and impressionable to old and grumpy. I’m sure the young people today find these new pop stars to be just as magical.

And in some ways, this ‘democratisation’ of pop stardom could be seen as a good thing. It opens the possibilities to far more people. And who am I to talk, given that a similar thing is happening in the writing world, and I’m sitting in my bedroom writing stories and putting them out into the world without a publisher.

Still, it would be nice to capture that sense of magic. And I suppose that’s what I do when I listen to that old music. It takes me back to when I heard it for the first time, and I felt that the world was big.

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