Enduring Rock

Posted October 22nd, 2008 by Mike Cherim

The past 100 years have brought about enormous change. Not the shallow electoral kind of change. I’m referring to much more potent changes, like those in communications, medicine, aerospace, manufacturing, and transportation. And more. A lot has changed in that time. And with all that change has come a not always flattering public opinion about it. Take Rock ‘n’ Roll, for instance, my parents didn’t go for it, they pretty much hated it. Not me, though.

My parents were “adults” a little before Rock’s pre-detonation in the ’50s. Not so much adult by age, but by way of their lives — working as adults. I was born in the early ’60s so I sort of missed that part. I heard ’60s Rock, no doubt, but it didn’t register. My powerful teenage Rock memories were born in the late ’70s and early ’80s as I became a man. A helluva good time, let me tell you. This was before AIDS so sex flowed like water, many people weren’t at war with Columbia, and a drunk kid might be told to drive home carefully by the cop who pulled him over (can’t say it was all smart). One big party might be the era’s best summation.

During those wicked times I didn’t dislike ’50s Rock — it was okay — but I loved ’60s Rock reaching back to it, we all did, as well as rock from the ’70s and ’80s. And then the ’90s. In fact, I still like new Rock coming out. I like my kids’ music. That in itself breaks the mold in my history of parent-child relationships. But the really freaky part, the part that leads me to believe that Rock ‘n’ Roll is truly timeless, is that my kids and lots of kids nowadays seem to love my Rock as much as I did. Isn’t that unnatural? They’re supposed to hate my music and I’m supposed to hate theirs. I thought that was just how it went. And I suspect that is how it went, until Rock changed things and became, well, like a rock.

My son’s teenage memories are going to carry some of the same tunes mine had. I think that’s amazing. I turned him on to some of it: Tom Petty, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Cars, Aerosmith, Van Halen, and so many more. He, in turn, has shared a few good ones with me. During my time, anyway, it seems that Rock ‘n’ Rock has persisted unlike any other musical genre. It’s even on the radio, mixed in with the newer music. All this stability nestled in this time of great change. Now I ask, how cool is that? Isn’t Rock ‘n’ Roll amazing? An incredible inter-generational connection. The expression “like a rock” used to rely to its geological roots for meaning. Perhaps now it can be shortened to “like Rock” and carry an equal meaning.

9 Responses to: “Enduring Rock”

  1. tzMart responds:
    Posted: October 22nd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I think when I started working with the big-box giant retailer, AC/DC was never seen on the CD rack shelves, or in the cassette tape section for that matter ;)
    This week Walmart did a huge promotion of the latest AC/DC CD release. I doubt they even had to edit any lyrics, this band being from the era when it wasn’t necessary to see how many vulgar words you could or couldn’t slip by the censors to make it look like you are playing music adults would want to listen to.
    Rock on Angus!
    I even saw AC/DC back in the day the last tour that Bon Scott did with them, evidently he didn’t have the temperament to go the long haul. R.I.P.

  2. Karl responds:
    Posted: October 23rd, 2008 at 7:34 am

    This is exactly the relationship I have with my step-son. He “endured” my music on car journeys when young but most recently his friends have a rock band and he took up the electric guitar as a result. It’s testament to the timelessness of rock music that a bunch of 15 / 16 year-olds (at the time) are motivated by bands before their time - Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns ‘n’ Roses etc. Two of the three posters on his wall are of Slash.

    We buy our own music and share, but for the big bands we take turns - last month I bought Death Magnetic and yesterday he got the new AC/DC album - not had a chance to listen to it yet though. It’s cool to be connected with your kid(s) like that :)

  3. Stomme poes responds:
    Posted: October 26th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Not like rock is the only enduring music– at least over here in northern Europe, there seems to have been a resurgence of folk– starting I think with the metal heads getting into folk-metal, and for many people that just flows right into folk itself. Which can sometimes lead to blues or American country, which can lead right back into rock.

    Lawlz, I’m listening to a Steppenwolf record on the record player right now… funny. And they were before my time : )

  4. David Zemens - 1955 Design responds:
    Posted: October 27th, 2008 at 6:03 am

    You take me back to some great times, Mike. In fact, most of late 1974 and early 1975 is a blur to me, but I know it was a great time while it was happening. :-)

    Just last week someone was playing a Uriah Heep song at a party I was at…now that was a flashback!

  5. Ann Arbor Web Designer responds:
    Posted: November 8th, 2008 at 6:59 am

    May The Rock endure even longer!

  6. jon truelove responds:
    Posted: January 22nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    The reason why rock will endure for you is because you like rock. It will endure for everyone who likes it. Also, a lot of people like jazz, too. It too will endure.

    I like rock. My three year old likes Styx and Nick Lowe and Wilco and lots of other things I play him.

    Perhaps your parents didn’t like rock because it was new. As a parent, isn’t there something “new” that kids are into that gets under your skin? The kid who comes down to dinner in a daze because he’s been playing “Call of Duty” online (you know, with his mic). My friend has a kid like this and I think it’s a parental issue and a too-much-of-anything issue. I’m rambling.

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