Question of the Week: Can Rock Keep You Young…

or age you in terms of being able to retain enthusiasm and write about it?

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17 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Can Rock Keep You Young…

  1. Hello guys/ gals, first post here.

    Rock ‘n roll music has done wonders to keep me feeling young. Reviewing, collecting, and discussing music gives me a break from career, family, and economic-related stress. I know that some people say reviewing music jades them, but I’ve written hundreds of reviews, done countless features over the last six or seven years, and never grow bored with it. Most of the time, when other people in a board meeting are daydreaming about a trip to the beach, or hitting the bar after work, my mind wanders to some exciting new disc I’ve been spinning or a piece of vinyl that I’m planning on acquiring. It’s good bleeding work!

    Mark

  2. depends on what one’s definition of “young” is
    but one need only to watch the martin scorsese directed rolling stones concert film, “shine a light” to see why although keith richards LOOKS like the oldest creature alive, he seems to feel young and act young and be so vital.

    so yeah, rock can keep you young

    on the other hand, i “write” about rock music every day – except i’m blasting from the past and about the past, so every day, i feel 30 years younger than i am….then i talk with people who are, say 20-30 years younger than me and i realize: I AM OLD.

  3. Short answer: as Lester Bangs famously said, you shouldn’t hang on to your adolescence as if it was a state of grace, but on the other hand you should give your self the latitude to go nuts from time to time.

  4. And now a desperate cry for help.

    I’m trying to remember the name of a writer who reviewed albums — briefly — for Rolling Stone in the late 60s/early 70s. His (or maybe hers — if memory serves, he/she used initials instead of a first name) gimmick was that instead of reviewing an album per se, he/she’d write a sort of quirky short story about it. I vividly recall a very funny one about the first CSN album, and a rather moving one about a Dylan record.

    Readers opinions were mixed, as I recall; one commenter in the letters section referred to the stuff as “jejune bullshit,” a phrase that has stayed with me.

    Is this ringing a bell for anybody? Neither a Google search or a trip through the RS archives has turned up anything….

  5. J R Young also wrote a similar ‘review’ of Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush”. I believe it’s in the same issue reporting on Jimi Hendrix’ death.

  6. A little JR Young info,
    from “The Rolling Stone Record Review” published August 1971 (by way of my junkroom):

    ‘The problem of communicating one’s thoughts about an album by writing a story rather than directly dealing with basslines, influences , production flaws and the like, is nearly insurmountable. Perhaps the only reviewer to come to terms with this exacting form has been J R Young, a mild-mannered young man who lives on a lush 15 acre farm in a tiny town in Oregon……Don’t let his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oregon or his two years’ teaching experience at State University of New York fool you-the man’s a good writer.’

    This is an introduction to a chapter entitled “The Review as Fiction” which consists of half a dozen reviews by Young – ‘Live Dead’ (“his most famous work”), two Ten Years After albums, a BB King disc, and “perhaps his masterpieces” ‘Deja Vu’ (“almost found itself on the big screen”) and ‘Woodstock’.
    Missing is his Neil Young piece (still my favorite and really bizarre) and , evidently , the Dylan one mentioned by Steve Simels.

    The strangest thing re-reading these (they really are unique and funny) is that they were published in Rolling Stone

  7. At 55 I can tell you that rock & roll is most certainly the reason I am even on this website. Most people I know only listen to music when it’s’ being played within the context of a TV program. And I detest the “Big Chill” mentality that most people my age subscribe to – nothing good past 1968. Most of those people turned to “young country” when hip-hop and a more juvenile music became commonplace Well, good rock & roll is out there, but you have to actively search it out nowadays, so if you’re lazy, well, I guess there’s always Toby Keith or Bob Seger.

    I listen to Vampire Weekend and The Black Lips as much as The Move or Little Richard. I mean, look at Dylan & Neil Young. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.

  8. You’re welcome.
    To respond to the original question, as a small-time musician now past fifty, I have to say that i feel young and vital during a gig, and old and decrepit the following day.

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