We’re Taking Over

My friend Andy Peed posted a link on his facebook page that I have visited and replayed dozens of times. It is a youtube containing the section of the 2012 Kennedy Center Awards show that honored Led Zeppelin with the performance of “Stairway to Heaven.” The song is awesome, of course, but the way it was staged by multiple contemporary musicians was very inspiring to me.

As I watched it over and over, it was the shots of the audience that grabbed me. Some history is probably relevant here…

In my teens and early 20s, Led Zeppelin was the devil’s music. The adults in my life didn’t understand it, and seemed uninterested in trying to understand it, labeling it as decadent, just noise, etc. The relationship between the generations in those days was not, at least from my point of view, of one generation trying to shepherd the next into adult positions of responsibility, but of rejection of the entire counter-culture and the young people themselves that attempted to embrace it. I remember not liking this attitude very much, but making my peace with it because there seemed to be little I could do about it.

Enter the shots of the audience during the “Stairway” performance. We’ve grown up! My generation was in the audience nodding their heads and smiling ear-to-ear throughout the lovely music. We’ve taken over!

I have to admit I neither understand nor listen to much of the popular music of today. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an entire Brittany Spears song, for example. During a trip to Los Angeles last year with my Mom, we took a tour ride through Beverly Hills, and saw a car pull into a driveway. The driver said it was probably Sheryl Crow, and was disappointed when she wouldn’t get out of her car until we moved on. “Who is Sheryl Crow,” I wondered? I still neither know nor care.

The difference, I think, is that I don’t seen any of this new music evil. New avenues in music are being explored by the new generation, and I think it is great. Go for it, and while you’re at it, offend some people! Bend the limits, because that is what good art should do.

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