America, and the Continuing Days of Dead Music.
By R.J. Godlewski
© October 24, 2011, All Rights Reserved.
America has gone through some very tough times in her history but, fortunately, she has always had some very proud music to see her citizens through these turbulent periods. During World War II, for instance, there was the Big Band era of Glenn Miller and company. Who, after all, could not be inspired by a chorus of In the Mood? Later, as the red-hot Korean war morphed into the decidedly frigid Cold War, we had Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Bill Haley rock us through the rocky times.
The 1960s were a strange period, ending with the strangest forms of music ever created by mortal man and, yet, without a doubt, even those musicians who lambasted America and her fighting men remained courteous enough to uplift their neighbors with decent music and resounding beats. During the last period of economic calamity, the 1970s, we had Brownsville Station, the J. Geils Band, and KISS smokin’ up the stage live for our benefit. Times were indeed horrible, but we carried on through because the music was just too damn good not to care.
Today, unfortunately, America has lost its appreciation for what music can do. No longer, for example, is talent required to enter the field. When, during the 1970s, Detroit’s own petite firebrand, Suzi Quatro, failed to gain the recognition of her countrymen, it had little to do with lacking blazing talent. Even in her third decade of music – she began at the tender age of eight playing bongos in her dad’s jazz band – Ms. Quatro proved that she was much more than simply ‘The Wild One’; she was also the real thing.
Unfortunately, comparing the bass and piano playing five-foot-nothing Quatro with today’s five-foot-one Lady Gaga is an embarrassment – for Suzi Quatro. She who inspired Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde benefitted little from the modern technology and marketing that fabricated the likes of Lady Gaga or her idol, Madonna. In fact, despite playing for the troops in Vietnam at the age of eighteen with her sisters in the band Suzi and the Pleasure Seekers, Ms. Quatro was a bona fide star long before her native America caught on following her guest appearances on Happy Days as “Leather Tuscadero.” Ron Howard may have faked playing the guitar, but Suzi wasn’t acting in the least. In fact, she politely turned down the offer of starring in her own spin off of the series.
Acts today just cannot compare with what ended in the 1980s. During an era when the B-52s could invoke some quintessential American ingenuity – namely, friends creating a hit band after singing together drunk in a bar – music in the 1990s began to evolve through electronic wizardry and guerrilla marketing. Today, one cannot even listen to John Fogerty’s classic Centerfield, a tribute to that other great American invention, baseball, without being sickened with ostentatious advertisements of the ghastly Lady Gaga. (image: Drumbum)
America, once again, has found herself in deep trouble – deeper than the national debt our despicable politicians have piled upon us. Our twin wars of Afghanistan and Iraq are dwindling down, but the eternal struggle against Islamic jihad may only be heating up. Communist China, Putinist Russia, and Wahhabist Saudi Arabia remain diabolical threats to our freedom and our security. Our culture of life has long since descended into a culture of death. That’s bad enough for our future, but now we do not even have decent music to save our sanity. Yes, bring back that Old Time Rock and Roll. Please!
R.J. Godlewski (GOD LESS KEY) is an independent counterterrorism consultant, the director of the private International Nuclear Emergency Response Team [INERT], and the author of several novels, commentaries, and professional articles. His most recent article is “Latte Intelligence: The Divorce of Shock Creativity and Special Information Operations,” which appears in the current issue of American Intelligence Journal He is also the author and architect of the Internet-based Independent Counterterrorist training program. He is currently a graduate student at American Military University and has earned his B.A. in Intelligence Studies from AMU with a concentration in Terrorism Studies, a minor degree in Area Studies – Middle East and also holds an undergraduate certificate in Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He is a veteran of both the United States Navy and Navy Reserve. He can be reached at rjgodlewski(at)rjgodlewski.com.
(See other articles by R.J. Godlewski at Right Truth here.)