Saturday, October 2, 2010

Living on the Cusp


I was born at the end of the baby boom. I’ve always lived between cultural extremes. I’ve always considered all age groups my peers. I had issues with authority when I was young because I couldn’t quite give them the respect they felt they deserved.

On the other hand, now older people seem quite happy to have a close relationship with someone younger. I guess by a certain age you’re just old and it doesn’t matter by what degree.

I am on the cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius. That was cool when I was younger because it was the Age of Aquarius. I am technically Capricorn. My birthday is January 18. Now, of course, that’s all silly.

When Punk Rock hit St. Louis in the 70s it only irritated my older friends. It was the next Disco; a cultural phenomenon that would eventually die.

I loved it. It was a revolution to me. KSHE ruled the airwaves with Journey, Rush, Styx and Foreigner. This bloated corporate machine had to be brought down.

Youngsters were just as closed minded. Even saying the word art was pretentious and there were great new art bands coming out; Elvis, The Talking Heads, Devo, The Dead Kennedys and The Pretenders just to name a few.

A couple of years ago when I turned 50 my son asked, “How does it feel to be halfway through your life?” What an optimist.

Valerie and I went to a reception for our friend Jon Cournoyer last night. He had several well crafted pieces in a collection he called Not Coming Home. Every work was heavy on nostalgia.

It occurred to me that all my older artist friends are spending a lot of energy looking back. I think people tend to focus on the larger part of their lives. Younger people have more time in front of them. They tend to experiment more. They’re inventing themselves. We older farts are looking back trying to figure out if it meant anything. Some of us find meaning and some of us sink into despair.

My friend Wren was there. He thought about it and realized his band Liquid Gold was playing old country music that was all about nostalgia.

When I said we tend to look toward the larger part of our lives Valerie asked, “What about us in the middle?” Good point.

I’ve had the luxury and luck never to be stuck in any particular time, life style, or mind set.

I think my art is looking both ways at the moment. This could be the most productive time in my life. I’d better get off my ass!

This was the piece Jon used to promote his show.

5 comments:

Tony Patti said...

What good is it to produce something if you don't share it with others? Put some music up here for us to listen to!

Dorothy said...

Yes, please do get moving on the music!

Dominic said...

This piece is spot-on. Here in your "writing phase" you have produced much good work. We have the music we've done oh so long ago that was revered by some and dissed by others. The punks hated the "corporate rock" that was disillusioning many- though many of us that loved rock pre '75 saw its demise as well. "Art" was as dirty a word then as "Progressive" is today.

When The Beatles are as vital to todays youth as they were to us it just proves what integrity it really had. Integrity is timeless and nostalgia is just a vehicle for integral art/music to move through the lives of generations.

and i second/third what Tony and Dede say... "C'mon c'mon- let's get arty-farty!"

Anonymous said...

There is nothing new without retrospection.
jon

Anonymous said...

I love all of the art bands you mentioned. Having said that, it's weird thinking of the Dead Kennedies, the punkiest of all punk, as an art band. I still love them though, of course I love real punk in general.
Dylan