Age, Maturity and Rock-n-Roll

Marty Qatani

   It was in high school that my musical tastes started to develop but my exposure was pretty much limited to the mainstream of the day... Jethro Tull, Elton John, Cat Stevens, Led Zeppelin, pretty much 1970's "Classic Rock". Starting Community College would change all that.

   Community college was the beginning of my rock and roll maturity. It was an explosive time for music as well. In the fall of 1978, a friend of mine and I become co-music directors at our community college radio station. His tastes in music ran much deeper than mine, and he wasn't shy about sharing his knowledge as well as his disdain for what I considered to be good music, (Foreigner, Styx, Kansas, ect). This was the "start" of the Punk Rock scene in the U.S., and my friend dove in head first, and dragged me, reluctantly along.

  Stuck in my commercial radio supplied "standard" rock mindset, I found groups like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones, hard to digest. Their music seemed too simplistic, and lacking "skill". I was a music snob, but with sub standard taste, but that slowly began to change. It was through my friend, that I was also exposed to acts like Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe. The seeds for being open to new and unheard of music had been planted. As I discovered artists new to me, both current at the time, and older that I had really paid any attention to, I began to take deep dives.

   Throughout the following years, I'd embrace so many different music genres from so many different sources, I honestly can't count them all. My kids have introduced me to a slew of great artists, such as The Gaslight Anthem (still hard for me to accept that they are considered Punk, but.... ), Nathaniel Rateliff, and Alabama Shakes. I don't even listen to the radio anymore... it has nothing to offer me. I've also taken a deep dive into my parent's generation of musical favorites. I love Sammy Davis Jr., Ramsey Lewis, and Herb Albert. I love listening to some chill old school jazz every once in awhile, with John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, or Wes Montgomery.  I've even committed the Rock and Roll sin of not hating Rap. It's not my type of music, but I have to acknowledge that it speaks to a significant segment of the world's population, and isn't that what Rock n Roll is supposed to do ? 

The internet has been an amazing source for discovering new music, hello Spotify, and Facebook groups, like the highly recommended Rock and Blues Muse Group  a great source for any blues rock fan.

   So in ending, I guess my point is, as I've gotten older, I've tried to open my mind more instead of settling into a closed mindset, and I'm glad I did... I can't believe all the good music that is out there, that would have flown under my radar if I wasn't willing to give new things a shot, being willing to explore, being willing to listen to what other people listen to and then decide for myself.  

   Let me know if you do the same... how many different types of music do you listen to ? How do you think you could turn me on to that I may not be aware of ? Hit me up with some of your musical favorites, and I'll return the favor.

   Till then, keep on groovin' to good music people. There's so much of it out there.

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