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The Friday Morning Listen: Kiss – Alive!

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I saw a tweet yesterday in which the author wondered if he was too old to enjoy Pantera any longer. Hmmm…lemme think about that. Do people outgrow music? Surely. I mean, it's never happened to me, but I suppose it could.

This is an interesting question because it points to another related phenomenon, which is the person who stopped paying attention to new music right after they graduated from college (Non-college grads shouldn't feel slighted. Just pick a year in your early 20's). I was reminded of this a few days ago when I saw an article about these two woman who were going to see the hair metal group Ratt.

They had packed themselves into inappropriately tight clothing to go to a meet & greet with singer Stephen Pearcy (who didn't show up). Being attached to the music of your youth doesn't seem like such a bad thing to me. The clothing? Yeesh. Look in the mirror.

Now back to this outgrowing of music issue. I can see where it happens. You love some record to death in your formative years. You get older and realize that maybe the stuff isn't so hot. For my ears, this has only applied to individual tunes. Even then, the offending song is almost always some lightweight, one hit wonder kind of thing. If I think about what resides in my ancient box of singles, I'm pretty sure there a disc in there by Donny & Marie Osmond. "Paper Roses," maybe? Hey c'mon, I was nine years old!

And maybe a dividing line needs to be drawn. There's a pretty big difference between music that we listened to as little kids vs. the high school and college years. Good, that exempts me from further discussion of the Osmonds. I will also leave the Starland Vocal Band out of it too, as space will not permit…uh…


So what about music that was loved and well-worn during the late teens and early twenties? I'll admit that I don't listen to as much classic rock as I used to, but that has more to do with the sheer volume of music I expose myself to on a regular basis. Honestly though, I don't feel like I'm too old for any of it. Sure, some of it is downright goofy, but so what?

Yeah, yeah, "Cold Gin" might be yet another example of the big, stupid rock song, but I still like it — partly for the cool, chunky rhythm guitar and partly because it makes me remember when I didn't have so many worries. There has been plenty of writing done about the negative effects associated with the phenomenon of adults forgetting how to play. Apparently, my ear parts are doing their best to work against this.

I was helping a friend move several years ago and, during he truck unload, I came across a box that was labeled "Pants That Are Too Small For My Fat Ass." Now that is a concept I can relate to. CD's I've 'outgrown'? I can't think of any. How about you?

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About Mark Saleski

  • Great stuff as always Mark. I hope I never outgrow Alice Cooper, Uriah Heep, and Black Oak Arkansas, and I doubt I ever will.

    Now those pants on the other hand…


  • The Eagles. I don’t know that outgrew is the right word. Its more like I became over saturated. I used to love them in high school, but somewhere in college I realized I had heard “Take it Easy” one too many times and I haven’t been able to stand the band since.

  • yeah, there are a few things that i don’t go back to that often for that very reason. heck, even when i pull out Led Zep IV, i tend to skip over Stairway.

  • Paul Roy

    Not sure if I’d ever want to listen to the Bay City Rollers again, but, damn, that one S A T U R D A Y NIGHT! 8-track was awesome at the time.

  • It happens to me, but I don’t know that I use the word “outgrow.” That word seems demeaning, doesn’t it? Like those that choose to listen to the music are childish for doing so. I look at it more that I “move past” stuff, never to return. There’s just a point after which I’m simply DONE. It’s seems like I look back months, years later and realize, “Wow, I forgot about ____ . . . and I don’t think I ever want to hear that again.” Done. I find tons of other things to replace it, some of which could probably be considered “embarrassing” to some people.

    I find it incredibly sad that people just abandon music after college, like music is something only kids “play” with and adults don’t do that. Music’s really the only artform I ever hear anyone say they “outgrew.” You never hear anyone say “I outgrew sculpture.” Hell, adults get into comic books now, but music is still seen as childish.

  • gees paul, i forgot about the Bay City Rollers. that’s got to go in the bucket with the Starland Vocal Band.

    yeah tom, the ‘stopped listening after college’ thing is definitely a cultural thing. i’ve read similar discussions about audio equipment. right around the time i picked up my speakers in fact. funny how somebody won’t spend 3 grand on speakers but 40k isn’t too much for that beemer.

  • I understand the concept somewhat. It’s in those adolescent years most of us begin that real search for identity. Some of us muddle through and don’t do anything particularly extreme while others died their hair atrocious colors, put holes in our body that weren’t there when we were born in questionable places, etc. In some of these extreme examples, I’ve seen people move from those identities to where they are now. I won’t make the value judgment of grown, progressed, or what have you but I can see for some people how they no longer have any contact with that former version of themselves. I get it.

    I think most of the rest of us have some measure of that, just maybe less extreme. There are some things I hear now from earlier times in my life and cringe. There are some that make me smile in different ways than the first time I heard them. There are parts of my past I love to revisit and some I’d just as soon forget. Music is part of that for me. Additionally, tastes expand, shift, contract, and morph and there are only so many listening hours in a day.

    Interesting column, Saleski.

  • JC Mosquito

    Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople, Free, Grand Funk, MC5, Stooges, Dolls, Steppenwolf all made my longevity list – but some maybe shouldn’t have. The problem is on any given day, even that changes. I think you separate your objective point of view with your subjective at some point – helps you self edit your taste. But it all sneaks in when you’re too young to know better.

    And it sneaks out periodically. My own penchant over the last few years for big horn sections was a mystery (I don’t play horns of any sort), until I realized it’s likely based on my father’s record collection from when I was a kid, soaking up The Ray Anthony Show on the ol’ stereo as a five year old.

  • I remember getting Brotzmann’s Machine Gun for my 5th birthday. I still listen to it today!!!

  • zingzing

    what kind of sick fuck would give “machine gun” to a 5 year old?

    i bought village people’s “fox on the box” when i was 5… haven’t heard it since. but, thanks to the old internet, i’m “about 2 minutes” from hearing it again.

  • I think I got my Trout Mask Replica record that day, too!

  • Good article. I should come here more often. I don’t know that an article I thought was about KISS would appeal to me. But I though zing said,

    what kind of sick fuck would give [a] “machine gun” to a 5 year old?

    Hey, if you name your next article that, I just might pop in to see what all the fuss is about.

    …to go to a meet & greet with singer Stephen Pearcy (who didn’t show up)…

    What is with that? I was a bartender at a resort where the poor sad fans (all my age) in the Davy Jones fan club sat crying at my bar for hours clenching their glossy Davy photos, because he never showed!

    Anyway, I can sympathize with that over-saturation thing. I still like the Monkees and the Jackson 5 though. Hey, who am I kidding, come to think of it, I am not too old for the theme song for H.R. Puff N Stuff. So, what do I know?

  • zingzing

    just so everybody knows, the village people’s fox on the box sucks. god, is it awful. and you know i like disco.

    seriously, pico, who gives machine gun (and trout mask) to a 5 year old? they didn’t think you could seriously understand those… still, it’s a good idea. my kid is gonna be listening to some fucked up shit. just to see what it does to some poor kid’s taste in music.

  • cindy, you should know that this particular feature is directly related to the album in the title only about a half of the time.

    pico, Brotzmann AND Beefheart? c’mon, yer pullin’ our leg.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I firmly believe that it is all about over saturation & desensitizing than actually “growing out” of certain music. Honestly, what song or album that was worthy of so many spins back in the day could hold up to 20-30 years of that kind of attention?

    Unfortunately,it can never be like the first time you heard it,but, if you move on in your musical journey then when you come back to those CDs, it can almost be the same magical experience when you find that old groove.

    Recently, for me, it was U.T.F.O.- S/T(1985). Maybe two of the tracks were liked because I was young but the rest was so refreshing because nobody does that style anymore.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Another thought…

    I’ve actually gone back to albums I didn’t really care for and found some new(to me) tracks that I ended up liking. Huh, time is funny thing.

  • I love it when that happens. It is one of the reasons I have a hard time getting rid of albums. Sometimes looking through my collection I’ll see something that I don’t like, have never like, and that hasn’t been listened to in years and years. A part of me thinks I should give it to someone but the rest of me thinks, but maybe I’ll like it someday.

  • JC Mosquito

    A local teenager I know was regularly exposed to all sorts of odd music when he was a kid. One day, when he was about 8 or 9, while The Shaggs were playing on the stereo, he said, “The odd thing, is that if you listen to this enough, it makes perfect sense.”