Monday, December 10, 2007

Where is the Big People Music???

This week my son celebrated his 15th birthday and already I am counting down the days until he moves out, finds a place of his own and all attempts to live a batchelor life will resort to boil-in-the-bag dinners, an assortment of chicken (girls) wandering semi-klad around his designer abode and a one-way hot-line back to Mum and Dad wondering when the next allowance is arriving. I'd even contemplate being one of the first black non sports star's to help their offspring with the deposit on a mortgage, it has got that bad. In the three days since he has turned into little big man, I have decided to go back to old-skool and place a pad-lock onto my wardrobe (I've decided not to place one on the TV or the fridge, for fear of turning into Fred Flinstone) and have applied for planning permission to build another bathroom in the house, such is his desire to gel and mouse his hair, aftershave for this pencil line moustache that you need binoculars to see and enough body deodarant to make up for the years when he "couldn't be bovvered".

This led me to thinking, of how parenting has dramatically changed over the years. How the gap between parents and children have diminished to such a level that at times I find myself wondering if I missed out on something on the way to parenthood. For example: back in the day, pre Brixton and Tottenham riots, when us black boys were trying to floss with a curly perm that would make Kevin Keegan, say, "damm" whilst trying to recite the words to Rapper's Delight, there was music for the parents and music for the children. Your Mum didn't listen to your music and heaven forbid if you so much as touched the cover to a Jim Reeves classic or Dennis Brown. There was a clear unspoken disctinction, where today that has all merged into one big pot, with no one at the helm. When us 40 something's were younger, if your parents told, not asked, but told, (you were never asked anything - not even asked what you wanted for your birthday - you were given a toy or a game) nowadays they sell Christmas wish list's in Woolworths and WH Smith's. Could you imagine in the 70's producing a wish-list for you Dad or Mum to review ? Most people's Father's would have used it as a betting slip if not to clean their teeth and the one's that showed an interest would have been glad to sit you down for two hours and explain the amount of rent that is overdue, the cost of your last trainers which you ruined while pretending to be Clyde Best and so on and so on ....

I have had friends, again not mentioning any names, who lived at Number 27, when he was 14 got a public beat down from his Pops, all because he borrowed a Gregory Issacs 12" and it got scratched. These were the days before child hotline and the beating only ended when the parent became tired or your Auntie came to resuce you. I have yet to find a youtube video clip of a 1975 - 1979 public beat down at school, on the bus on when carrying shopping bags back from the market on a Saturday. If any readers out there own a beta-max version of a beating then please send in to the office of tspoonfr and we'll do all we can to track the person via friends reunited and facebook.

For those of us the other side of 40 but not not too close to 50 where we have to start think about bus pass or getting dentures, who can still shake a leg or two, we want our own music where we do not have to keep up to date with any moves, but can just do the side to side shuffle, like our Gran's used to do. Bring that beat back! Although I am not one for the nightclubs unless I am thinking of buying one, I still love my music, but find I am caught between listening to Ms Dynamite and Joss Stone or Jadakiss and Keisha Cole. All fine musicians but none of them exclusive to our age group. Back in the day, the thought of borrowing your parents' Pat Boone or Sam Cooke album and taking to school, would have ostracised you quicker than a muslim in a Hamburger bar. So can we please have music exclusive to us. Music that our children will take one listen too and grimace like when they have to eat broccoli. Instead of musicians supplying suitable material for us, what we are likley to get is a remix rendition of sugar bum bum mixed with garage and a touch of house. I no longer wish to 'throw your arms in the air and wave them like you just don't care' or holla when the DJ says 'Everybody in the house say yeah....'. No, those days for me are over. I want to sit back relax with a big 'Bob' and enjoy MY music - that no one under 25 like's to listen to.

We were spoilt for choice back in the 70's and early 80's with names such as Luther, Womack & Womack, Frankie Beverley & Maze, EWF, Loose Ends and Anita Baker, it's as though we have dried up all the great bands and musicians and now we produce talentless people like.... Chris Brown, Mario and T.I. I am asking and demanding an immediate return to 'Big people Music' without the remixing. Even my five year old was asking if there was a new Alica Keys album she could download. Feisty.


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