I'm headed to the Billy Joel concert at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia tonight, so how could I not be nostalgic? I remember The Stranger and 52nd Street album covers stacked by our home record player growing up. I can still picture my friends and family dancing around to "You May Be Right" on the dance floor at my bat mitzvah, recall playing "Allentown" endlessly in seventh grade, and hearing "We Didn't Start The Fire" come on the radio in my college dorm. Those really were the times to remember. (Loved "This Is The Time" - his Billboard hit in 1987.)
Fast forward to the train ride in today, where a mom with toddler and infant in tow aptly handled a monstrous yet modern double stroller and quickly set her three-year-old up with headphones, an iPad and pacifier. I wondered what music he was listening to. Oh, wait, he was watching a show on the iPad :-(
Last week, i'd asked my suddenly old (17!) son if he'd ever heard of Billy Joel. No. That made me feel sad, and old. Leaving the train today, I had to ask this mom, who must have been in her late twenties. "Have you ever heard of Billy Joel?" I asked her hopefully. She said "yes." I felt relieved. At least i'm not that old.
As Billy Joel says, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from.” This probably holds true for any generation we are from, too. I'm sure i'll be in good company tonight with other GenXers and plenty of Baby Boomers. Not sure any Millennials will be mixed in.
What about you? Which musicians mark memories across your decades?