Monday, May 02, 2016

Who Would Have Believed It?

As I mentioned in May's first of the month video post yesterday, I will be "celebrating" or perhaps remembering my high school graduation later this month. It has been 50 years. Half a century!

Where has the time gone?

More to the point, for this post anyway, is the way things are happening today that we would have never thought possible in 1966. There are the obvious things.. the incredibly powerful computer I call my iPhone that I don't have to remember Fortran to get to work. The many technological advancements that have impacted our lives. There is no Soviet Union anymore. We have had our first African-American president and may have our first woman president.

But what is striking me most today is that on Wednesday of this week I am going to a concert up in the Twin Cities. My first concert was 50 years ago this summer. In these intervening years I have been to almost 100 other professional concerts of many different performers from Herb Alpert to Rosanne Cash; the Tremeloes (who?) and Lionel Hampton to Janis Joplin and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Just going to the concert is not the BIG thought about Wednesday. It is that the concert is Sir Paul McCartney.

Yes, him. The former Beatle. This summer will be 50 years (notice all the synchronicity!) since the last paid Beatles concert in San Francisco. (They did that rooftop thing in 1969, but that doesn't count.)

So, if you had told me, that dorky, high school senior in 1966 that 50 years later he would be going to a concert in Minneapolis with Paul McCartney, I wouldn't have believed you. I would have laughed and done some quick arithmetic  and said, that such an event in 2016 would be as likely as say the top acts of 1916 - Enrico Caruso or Al Jolson - being a headline concert in 1966. Go ahead. Laugh with that teenage me. Even Sinatra would have been seen as old- and he was more contemporary in 1966 than early McCartney is today!

But the music world has changed in these 50 years. Old people like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards; Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney are still out on the road drawing crowds of all ages.

"Rock music" is no longer just for kids. It has become a staple of American (and world) popular music. Music has also splintered into many types and styles, some of which some of us just don't get. But then we aren't supposed to get it anymore than we our parents "got" the Beatles and Stones.

It is a music world that would have seemed insane. No adult would ever like the Beatles. (Like "silly wabbit- Trix are for kids! Remember that?) How could adults "dig" the Stones?

Until we became adults and took the Beatles and Stones along with us. Not just on the Boomer-oriented classic rock stations but into the mainstream and in school classes. My daughter did a history project on the music of the Beatles, one of her favorite groups. This music is more than just another bit of nostalgia, although admittedly there is some of that. But McCartney is still making music. He is still one of the great talents of the music world- or any genre.

Crazy? Yep, it would have seemed that way in May 1966.

I'm glad it isn't so crazy in 2016.

P.S. I just went to a web site that posts set lists for McCartney's concerts, as well as videos of the performances. Now I am really psyched! More to come later this week.

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