A few days ago I saw an episode of The Cosby Show where Stevie Wonderâ€™s limo hits Deniseâ€™s car. Clair declared that her kids would never forget meeting him for the rest of their lives. It occurred to me that, while that was true, they might have to explain who Wonder was in about 10 years.
Itâ€™s a generational thing. My parents loved Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, and Jimmy Dean, probably to upset their parents who were into Les Brown and His Band Renown, Dean Martin and the Andrews Sisters. Therefore I had to love Three Dog Night, The Beach Boys, and then Aerosmith, Led Zepplin, Genesis, and Pink Floyd just to spite them. Not to be outdone the next generation went berserk for Donna Sâ€™s, and KC and The Sunshine Bandâ€™s disco gang because they knew my generation hated it, and their kids are now appalling their parents by being in love with rap and hip hop.
I still have to tell people that Richard Harris did not steal "MacArthur Park" from Donna Disco Queen. About 10 years ago I remember explaining to a kid that Paul McCartney was more famous as a Beatle than as member of Wings, and had to explain that Paul didnâ€™t rip off â€śLive and Let Dieâ€ť from Axl Rose, and he wouldnâ€™t believe me till I showed him a video tape of the movie.
Itâ€™s not fair that I should know what a â€ś33 1/3â€ť is, or be embarrassed for knowing all the words to the Mamas and the Papas â€śCalifornia Dreaminâ€™,â€ť or have Pink Floydâ€™s Dark Side of the Moon memorized. You know youâ€™re musically obsolete when you find yourself singing along with The Moody Blue's â€śNights in White Satinâ€ť playing on the overhead speakers at the grocery store.