Back in the 70s and 80s, I was one of those people that Jeff Foxworthy jokes about--"We may be starvin' but we got tunes!" I may have driven a crappy car and only had a buck or two in my pocket, but I always had a great stereo setup and a stack of LPs (and later, CDs) this high. I read Rolling Stone and Stereo Review and hung around record stores the way kids now hang around malls.
But by the mid-90s, I had just sort of stopped. The music...well, it pretty much sucked if you ask me. There were still some folks that I plunked down the dinero for, but they got to be few and far between. I wasn't the only one in my circle of friends who took the stereo apart and stored it away in a closet for a while.
However, the rise of digital music that is legally available via the Internet has gotten me interested again, if not at the former level. With tiny little MP3 players that really will fit in a pocket, you can have music anywhere you want (and, seeing some of the fools out running and riding bicycles with the ubiquitous white ear buds in, a lot of places you shouldn't). No, it doesn't sound as good to me as it did in the days of vinyl, but the portability, the fact that there are still a few interesting artists out there, and that old stuff is now becoming more available as distribution costs plunge has gotten me involved again.
Some folks, however, seem to think that this is a bad thing.
>John Mellencamp, known for such '80s hits as "Jack and Diane" and "Hurts So Good," last week said the Web is the most dangerous creation since the atomic bomb. Stevie Nicks, the Fleetwood Mac songstress, concluded in an interview this week that the "Internet has destroyed rock."
(Nah, couldn't have had anything to do with most of your later work being self-indulgent twaddle.)
Thankfully, Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records, has come out of retirement to see if it's possible to get things moving forward again. Man, I hope he can do it.