Sunday, September 12, 2010

The sounds of silence

Sometimes, despite my laser-like ability to zero in on what is cool in 2010, my geezerhood breaks through. Not in pausing to rub my aches and pains, not in scampering (as best I can) away from a mirror, wondering who the hell had let that old guy into my house, but in suddenly feeling an overpowering need to listen once again to Simon and Garfunkel.

So I'd stand in front of my stereo, an album in each hand. One would be "Bridge over Troubled Water." I'd gaze at it in awe. Their last album, and their best. But wait! What could be better than "Sounds of Silence?" "Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk with you again." Dither, dither. Of course, I'll end up playing them both.

My generation, like every generation, was musically fickle to the point of sticking their heads into the sand. Nothing but the new was cool - the Beatles, the Stones. The "old" stuff like Buddy Holly. And, of course, in the mid- to late 1960s, Simon and Garfunkel.

As always seems to happen, a generation that adored Sinatra gave way to a generation that ignored him. Some of the coolest jazz seemed to disappear. And the best songs of our century - the efforts of the Great American Songbook (Porter, Berlin, etc.) - simply were not heard.

Of course, the same fate awaited the pop and rock of the 1960s. New fads came and went. Hip Hop seemed to have little to do with the past - and it didn't. But somehow, when Simon and Garfunkel staged a reunion concert at Central Park in the 90s, the park was filled. The older guys, anyway, hadn't forgotten.

But in 2010, says the old guy in the mirror, the end is in sight. As Simon and Garfunkel sang in the 60s, "Time hurries on. And the leave that are green turn to brown." The old guy and me unite in lamenting these songs turning into the sounds of silence.

1 comment:

  1. "Sounds of Silence" just came up on my Pandora station. I don't think your have to worry about this music ever truly going silent. :)