Tag Archive: beatles

Where Were You?

We have very few moments in our life that everyone remembers. Sure Mom and Dad remember your birth, friends remember their favorite concert, and too many people remember the time you rear ended the mail truck, and had to pay to fix his rickety little vehicle. But what about memories shared across a state? Across a nation? What do we have that everyone in our country will remember in the future?

I had a professor that first inspired this; He told me about where he was when he first saw the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan show. He told me how he sat down in front of his television set as a kid, and watched as he knew history was being made. He was right too, they won 7 Grammys, put out dozens of albums, and are still one of the most easily recognized artists 50 years later.

He told us about how everyone in his generation knew exactly where they were and what was going on when they saw The Beatles, whether they were rushing home from work, sitting in a friend’s dorm room, or waiting to make a major life decision. It was a defining moment that everyone in our country shared and brought them together.

He then told us the same thing about when the Apollo 11 landed on the moon. No matter where they were or what they were doing, everyone dropped what they were doing to see what was the most amazing technological leap of its time. As Neil Armstrong set his first steps on the moon, it was no doubt that history was made once again. Unity and an unadulterated since of patriotism filled all of them as they knew that our free country had beaten the Russians, and finally made it across space to our moon.

It saddens me to say that we have only one of these moments, maybe two now. We don’t have any great moment to bring us together and unify us under happy times. We only have the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks.

I remember being a Junior in High School walking into my chorus class as I saw the first tower fall. I just stood there staring dumbfounded as I tried to comprehend what was going on. I think I went through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression all at the same time. It just seemed like a hoax, and I wanted to know why someone would play this mean of a joke on me.

I worked with a girl that was visiting New York that day. She told me about the sheer panic as she tried to find a way home, taking a train two days after she was supposed to fly home. It hit us all hard, didn’t it?

The 9/11 attacks were our “Where Were You?” moment. It brought us together as we knew that life wouldn’t be the same. Life never was the same either, even though we all tried to return to our normal lives. History was made, and there was no going back.

This was however, still a moment that brought us together. We felt stronger, felt more alive, felt more cohesive with our fellow countrymen than we ever have before. We watched as our heroes risked everything to save so many people from the wreckage. We smiled at our Policemen and Firemen, knowing that they would do the same for us if a tragedy struck our city. It was a bonding experience that we all walked away from better than on 9/10.

I still hope, though. I hope we get to have a more innocent “Where were you” moment one like The Beatles or the Moon Landing. One of these days I hope we get to feel that sense of Patriotism without such sorrow. But, for today, at least we get a certain level of closure to know that Osama Bin Laden is dead.

God Bless America.


throwback time!

So has anyone noticed the old throwback drinks in their supermarkets? How about the old jerseys in the NFL right now, have you seen those? Well then step into my bubble bath time machine, and  jump on this bandwagon to check out the music from a distant era.

Now step out from my lavender scented tub, dry off and look around. Its not the courtyard in front of your old college, full of stoners with Led Zepplin shirts, we are in the 70s!

Now I never understood why this music from the 60s and 70 was still so big. I mean how many people do you see walking around listening to Elvis or Buddy Holly? Do you see people dressed like these guys walking around the street (if you live in Vegas, then you don’t count)? Then why are there still so many people walking around listening to Bob Dylan and wearing Greatful Dead shirts? So many people write these stereotypes as hippies or stoners, but I have found that there is really so much substance to this music, and in a lot of ways, it parallels us today.

Lets start with the social aspect of this era; music had long been segregated just as much as the black people themselves were. My History of the Recording Industry Professor one told me that by the 1950s, the only real difference between Country music and R&B was the color of the artist’s skin. It was a separation of music that was as obvious as the separate bathrooms. Black artists like Chuck Berry were only able to succeed in white communities because there were no pictures of Berry on the album covers, and because they thought he sounded “white enough”.

But then, by the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the music was growing together too. People started ignoring racial or social boundaries, taking conventional rock and roll with old R&B, and started experimenting with their own style. It began to grow together as a melting pot for the first time in our country’s history. This same professor told me that if old blues artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Robert Johnson could have sued guitarists like Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page, they probably would have won! So this music formed the way that we hear music today.

On a political side, there was a highly contreversial war going on in Vietnam. Now Im not trying to make any parallels with Iraq or Afghanistan here, other than just trying to show some of their basic similarities. This war had been going on for years, and thousands upon thousands were dying each year, pushing many peaceful people to their limits. What made it worst was the fact that there was still a draft, so many of the soldiers were forced into serving this country despite his family or career.

This war greatly influenced people to write and sing too. Many of the lyrics were well thought out, so as to help make their argument more understandable to its listeners. It seems that  when our country has its biggest fires, it draws more passion and strength from its people,  which in great part created this genre. This war brought out sentiments so strong that anti war artists were actually getting play on pop radio too. I mean think about it; do you think that you can see Ke$ha singing “Blowing in the Wind”? Or watching Christina Aguilera sing “White Rabbit”?  Me neither, but good luck getting that awful image out of your head.

So if you take anything from this entry, just give this music a chance. Sure, there were some crazy drugs taking place, and it definitely had its part in shaping the music too, but what you are also hearing is History.