Much of the music I enjoyed in the late 1960s early 1970s is featured here (Cream, Donovan, Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Animals, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Velvet Underground, Nico, Lou Reed, David Bowie, United States of America, Fairport Convention, Frank Zappa & the Mothers, Phoebe Snow*).
The very restricted character of my pop music tastes is revealed by my lack of experience of almost all popular music since then. In fact I have listened to little new contemporary music since 1975 – or more accurately I have heard it and then moved away from it or turned it off. My tastes became set in the earlier period and didn’t budge – partly because, after 1975, I mainly listened to classical music.
I suppose this is generally true – people develop tastes for a particular period and largely stick to that. Then they complain about the contemporary music of the next generation and praise the older music.
While I have not progressed forward it is easy for me to go backwards to the classic earlier music of the 1950s. As a result of this book I did a terribly bourgeois thing and bought a couple of Frank Sinatra performances recorded in the mid-1950s and now on CD – ‘In the Wee Small Hours’ (a pensive conceptual effort that followed the collapse of Sinatra’s marriage with Ava Gardner) and the gauchely-labelled but superb ‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’. Ah wonderful music – my brain might be turning to soup but these classic performances are sensationally easy listening as I continue the not-so-long march toward boot hill. Let's hear it for nostalgia!
*Dimery’s contributors forgot the extraordinarily talented (and still performing) guitarist Stanley Jordan!