Skip to main content

Beacon Senior News

Hold on to music from our past: There's nothing else like it

Jun 02, 2020 10:46AM ● By Melanie Wiseman

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow...Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”

These words from Fleetwood Mac's 1977 hit resonate with us Boomers as we look back and reminisce on the music that defined our generation.

Though several decades have passed, many of us haven’t strayed far from the music of our youth. For us, music was—and likely still is—much more than just entertainment. It was something to rally around.

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow...Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”

Artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who and Led Zeppelin are largely credited with shaping our corhort, whose formative years included the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr., the war in Vietnam, and free speech and equal rights movements.

“These groups provided the soundtrack of a time in our lives which were full of memories and experiencing new things,” said Eric Maatta, 66.

The rise of hip hop in the ’70s was the dividing line between the music we grew up with and music today. Glenn and Linda Larson, both 66, say there's something about musicianship and the quality of music that sets these generations apart.

“I don't think—I know musicians were much better back in the day,” said Glenn.

Linda added that the level of vocal talent and instrument ability from such artists greatly surpasses that of most musicians today.

“I’m not saying there aren’t some talented musicians today—just not nearly as many as in the ’60s and ’70s,” she said.

“The simple songs, quality melodies and outstanding musicianship of the ’60s and ’70s are unsurpassed,” Maatta echoed.

But just as hearing tracks with electric guitars was new and different for our parents, it's still hard for older listeners to relate to younger musicians’ messages.

Yet many musicians from our day still have cross-generational appeal. In all likelihood, seeing a 17-year-old buying an Aerosmith album isn’t that unusual. But you’re less likely to see the reverse when it comes to Boomers seeking out music from more recent artists.

“The digital age has made playing music almost a lost art," added Glenn.

He's got a point; although, theoretically, the internet and social media should make it easier for Boomers to discover new music. But in a download age promoting one-hit wonders, it's difficult to connect with artists who have collections worth listening to.

The availability of live performances on YouTube and Facebook also takes away some of the mystique from the concert experience, which is another defining aspect of the Boomer generation.