Nostalgia (näˈstaljə,nəˈstaljə) n: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
I love music from the mid-50s to the mid-60s.
Doo wop, early rock & roll, that kinda stuff. I just feel so much frickin energy in it! It’s a time machine! And being the way I am with cars… it’s impossible for me to ever separate the two. Music & car-culture go hand-in-hand throughout every decade for me. So when I hear the music of the early 60s, I hear it coming from the cars of that era… with tinny/twangy radios… echoing through open country fields. Drive-ins & diners. People pulling into small-town concert venues… where this new ‘rock & roll’ would just blow the lid of the place. I love all of it! It takes me back to a time that I never lived. Puts my feet there. And it feeds my soul honestly!
So my girl recently sent me this new Top-20 song that’s apparently got an old vintage melody…
She told me I HAD to listen to it (Stephen Sanchez is the artist). So I did. And I loved it! I got juiced up that this guy nailed it like that. But despite being dead-on sound-wise, there was just something missing. Was it authenticity? Timelessness? It’s just that… through no fault of the songwriter… it just can never truly be the same for me.
Because it didn’t actually come from back then.
And it got me thinking – the ERA of the music when those songs were written… is just as essential to me as the music itself. It’s… MORE than music!
Whoa. So that got me questioning…
Whether the music I love is actually as good as I always insist that it is. Or if it just gets boosted-up in my mind because of nostalgia. In other words, if Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came out today… would I be all over it? If Def Leppard dropped the 1987 Hysteria album right now… would I even care? It’s almost a scary thought. Is everything I’m so passionate about & built my identity around… just the product of historical happenstance? And maybe I’ve given it all too much credit in letting it shape me?
As I listened to that new, old song & all these thoughts were swirling in my head…
I happened to also be driving my Porsche 944 with random lights on the dash & wipers that periodically decide to wipe for no reason. And it got me thinking… “Shit are sports cars of the 80s-through-90s REALLY as great as I preach them to be? Or am I just putting them on a pedestal & filling in the blanks with my own little fantasy movie script?” Am I letting nostalgia cloud reality?
But in the end, I think that’s actually the magic of nostalgia, right? It’s powerful! So I’m sticking with the notion that nostalgia is our own little individual versions of reality. And yeah – it might be embellished at times. The best parts might shine through a little brighter. But imagine the emptiness without it? Nostalgia is the result of mixing passions with past experiences. So nah, I won’t apologize for that, or tone it down.
Why would I try & dilute it? The fact that a thousand little things came together in perfect timing & sequence, perhaps over the course of decades… just to shape me & mold me throughout stages of my life?! That’s awesome! And dammit man, I’m gonna soak that up! So what shaped you?
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