Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I was born in 1968 making someone born in 1972 a mere child. This of distance has somewhat diminished since I've accrued decades. As a kid one year apart makes a huge difference. My brother was born in 1967 which is altogether a cucumber year as opposed to a tomato year like 1968. These distinctions are crucial until all of a sudden they aren' anymore.
    Being born in the late sixties gives one, if they manage to survive, an early to mid seventies childhood. One understands iconographic images like blunt tipped stars trailing rainbows, pinball machine graphics and bubble windows on chevy vans. One is torn between disco and rock until one isn't. One is iron-oned, bell bottomed, bowl cutted. One has a 1980s adolescence. The eighties took me from twelve years of age to twenty two so any subsequent eighties revival made me cry foul for it's revisionism. This also made me wince at the nostalgia for the mid seventies that also came about. I still wince seeing certain trends return from the grave at revolving door speed.
    I too am guilty. I adored the 'sixties'. I idealized LSD research and crash pads, underground commix and sitars. I also read up enough about it all to be cynical, knowing Death Of Hippie preceded The Summer Of Love, Altamont followed Woodstock and Speed Kills. I also knew that the patchouli and dreadlocked didgeridoo hippies of the 1980s were way off base and nothing I could relate to. As I aged I gravitated towards the early seventies for my music. As I grew my hair and experimented with my mind, man, my friends were getting into punk rock. I'd tag along and also loved that scene to a point. As an amateur rock historian it was my duty to find the roots of things and dug those early raucous sounds that of course i missed out as a five year old. My personal aesthetic was long haired t-shirt patched and ripped jeans suede or corduroy jacket and a bit of a sneer to my smile. I'm not  hippie and I don't love you was my line, though I may have passed pretty well.
     In the eighties I was up on what my very up friends were digging. I was sick of U2 by grade eight, way before you got sick of them. The local scene was revealed by the end of high school and with it forms of music I recognized as part surf and part garage and part just plain weirdo. It was a revelation of course. My eighties were Bauhaus not Joy Division, Smiths or The Cure. They just made more sense to me. They fit in better with Jon and Vangelis.
    Right now when I'm browsing books I can spot a 1972 poetry chapbook from  four feet away. I now the typefaces and the design. I collect them if they don't suck.
    I have friends that were born in the seventies, eighties, nineties. They are all just as mature as me. They teach me about all the art and culture I've missed out on while I was on my own path. Music from the twenties. Painting from the fifties. Time behaves funny as one ages. It wiggles and changes places. It isn't a steady stream, it's a many armed river and it flows backwards and stays still.
    I stopped wearing baseball hats when I was ten.