By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, how I hate acknowledging this, but I must do so.
I am becoming my father.
A Facebook acquaintance of mine noted overnight that he is “getting old,” based on his supposed ignorance of the new artists being honored at this past weekend’s Grammy Awards. Hey, I feel his pain.
Indeed, I am beginning to feel more like my late Dad all the time, as I, too, know next to nothing about the music that is filling young people’s ears these days.
OK, I know who Beyonce is. Same for Taylor Swift. I know the name Billie Eilish. Beyond that, well … I’m lost.
Dad was the same way when my sisters and I began listening to our version of popular music back in the old days. He couldn’t understand our fascination with The Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Stones, the Dave Clark Five, the Temptations, the Four Tops … and on and on. I cannot leave Elvis out. Dad was a Big Band kinda guy. He loved Bennie Goodman, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rich.
Those acts of my youth I just mentioned? Their music is still relevant even today. It’s because the 1960s was a very special era in so many ways. The music holds up and I venture to guess that many of today’s artists look back at the contributions of those old fogies with some semblance of awe. If they don’t, well, shame on ’em.
I’ll share this one tiny example of what I mean. My son and I attended a Paul McCartney concert in 2019; we were among 50,000 or so fans packed into Globe Life Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The opening number? “A Hard Day’s Night,” recorded by The Beatles in 1964. I could see boys and girls all around me singing right along with Sir Paul; they knew the words to a song that was penned perhaps before their parents were born!
Dad departed this good Earth in 1980. I cannot even imagine how he would react to this 21st-century version of popular music. I know, though, that as much as I have tried to become my own man as I have entered my eighth decade of life, some things do remind me that at least one level, I am just like dear ol’ Dad.