At one of the seven local Starbucks I frequent there is consistently a group of motley type misfit young hipster musician kids hanging out. Why they hang out in this particular Starbucks is beyond me -it’s in a giant Target-Ross-Petsmart infested strip mall.
But hang out they do nonetheless. I am fascinated by the fact that pop culture has converged into such a mash up of styles and fashion -there appears to be nothing new -just a mix of things that are old. Some of these kids go for the late seventies straight up punk look. Or the early eighties Cure Goth look. Stuff that was even way before my teenage angst had yet to flower. What tickles me is they strut around like they are on to something new. Whatever… more power to ‘em.
Since much of the identity is still wrapped up in music, I find it fascinating that if I were to walk up to this crowd and say, “Hey guys, ya’ll ever heard of an old rock band that formed and broke up before any of you were even born called Led Zeppelin?”. They’d look at me like I was from freakin mars. And I am quite sure I would get the same response if I asked the same of Hendrix, Floyd, and Black Sabbath. Probably the same with the punk scene e.g. Sex Pistols, Clash and Ramones.
But what really intrigues me is the idea of asking the same question of a band or an artist that were selling just as many records as their contemporaries in their heyday but for whatever reason, the zeitgeist has completely left them behind.
“The Sweet” is one of those bands.
“Hey guys, you all dig Zep, Stones, and Hendrix right? Well of course you must also dig ‘The Sweet”?”
Guaranteed blank freakin stares from every single one of them.
“But guys, they sold millions of records-sold out arenas-multiple hits?”
“C’mon! Ya know, the Ballroom Blitz?!”
“You mean like…from the ‘old film’ Wayne’s World?” I would probably get out of one of ‘em.
Yeah… like Wayne’s World…
Here is a pretty decent 20 minute documentary of a band that saw its day. Great songs (although a good portion were written by the writing team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, they did in fact write many of their memorable hits), great vocals, great harmonies, pretty decent musicianship, but a pretty cheesy and unnecessary emphasis on the whole ‘glam’ thing as far as I’m concerned. This unfortunately endeared them to too many ten year olds which probably had an effect on any long term credibility and longevity.
I know one of the kids in this crowd has an iphone –perhaps I should just walk up and say, “Who has an iphone?” dial up this vid and say “There’s much you don’t know…”
Nah. Shine it. Let ‘em think they know it all.