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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Parents Know Best

Most of us don't want to admit when our parents are right. We put up a huge fight and talk back in an attempt to prove a point and then it blows up in our faces. However, our parents are usually right even if we don't want to admit it. There is one topic, though, which we cannot argue with them about – music.

Don't get me wrong, the music of the past few decades is decent, but the music our parents grew up with and loved was infinitely better than the choices we have now. As college-aged students, it's always fun to put aside our iPods with our Top 40 hits and turn on the voices of the past.

Growing up listening to music with our parents mostly consisted of listening to their choices in music. In all honesty, many parents probably wouldn't want to rock out to Lady Gaga or Ke$ha, and that is probably for the best.

The '60s, the decade many parents of college-aged students grew up in, marked the era of explosively popular music, and worldly music idols like The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

Listening to the music our parents grew up with is the consistent memory and tradition we have tied to our parents – the family emblem to pass down to the next generation. It instills a comforting feeling, and the memories it brings and emotions it hits transcend the generations, inspiring memorable feelings in our parents and within us.

I recently went to see Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles, and was impressed to see many young children and teens present to watch the remnants of Beatle-mania unfold live. Not that I'm old enough to recount memories from growing up in that decade, but the fact that their legendary music lives on is heart-warming, and that kids are still interested in the music I have grown to love.

The music of that era is so much more than just songs, love ballads, and heartthrobs with bowl haircuts attracting star-struck teens. It spurred a revolution, and so many people were involved in the conversation about music.

The music of that era now acts as a historian. The music of that era serves as a social commentary about events including the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the daily life occurrences of people growing up decades ago – essentially a narrative depicted through music.

Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix are pioneers of their musical craft and we wouldn't have the music of today without these innovative musicians. Currently, we do have great guitar players to listen to – Jack White, Dave Grohl, and John Frusciante – but it's hard to compare to the distinctive riffs and passionate melodies Hendrix twanged on his Fender Stratocaster.

When I attend holiday dinners with my parents and their friends, the topic of music is frequented, and I eagerly take part in the conversation, adding my own opinion. This usually garners stares of disbelief from across the table, and the questions ensue.

"Don't you have your own music to listen to? Why are you taking ours?"

The answer is: the kids of this generation love to listen to the origins of rock ‘n' roll. We wish we were around to listen to it when these performers played their music live, and we want to take part in the memories our parents experienced – thousands of screaming fans crying and wishing to touch John Lennon's hand and getting a glimpse of Paul McCartney's characteristic left-handed bass playing.

However, the simple detail of our young age has hampered us from fulfilling that desire, and we have to settle with listening to the music via recordings. Many of us try to be authentic as possible and use our record players to salvage antiquity when grooving to our jams.

For us, we realize current popular songs come and go as part of one-hit wonder hysteria, but the legacy of The Beatles and The Beach Boys has already proven to outlast five decades and many generations, and will not stop anytime soon.

Whenever you feel like not listening to your parents, you probably have good reason to rebel and fight back. But, when it comes to their childhood music, they have us beat.

Email: vilona.trachtenberg@ubspectrum.com


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