I’m a pop child, you know? Born in ’56 in the United States in a lower middle-class household and living mostly in suburbs, I grew up as television and radio matured. When Mom cleaned house, she turned on her records and sang with them. Throughout the years, I heard her with Patsy Cline, Pat Boone, Johnny Cash and Johnny Rivers, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Chubby Checkers, Louis Armstrong, Tammy Lynette, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Steisand, the Ink Spots and Four Platters, to list the ones that jump casually to mind.
Then there was big sis. Two years older than moi, she started listening to the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, Simon and Garfunkel, and Grand Funk Railroad. Boys, interested in this attractive young woman and usually a year or two older than her, brought more music in, like the Spencer Davis Group, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and David Bowie.
The radio was always on in the car, and I received small transistor radios from Japan as birthday gifts. AM radio gave me some bubble gum pop like the Osmonds, the Archies, and the Jackson Five, along with Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Don McLean, Steppenwolf, and the Temptations. We had the Bee Gees, the Rolling Stones, and The Who. Television brought along Ricky Nelson, the Monkees, and all manner of performers via variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Hullabaloo and American Bandstand. Movies got into it. Friends introduced me to Sly and the Family Stone and Three Dog Night.
I explored on my own as I aged, discovering Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Cream, ZZ Top, Mountain, Captain Beefheart, the Moody Blues, early Electric Light Orchestra before they became ELO. More performers came onto the scene, like Elton John.
That’s just a little taste. Music was everywhere then, as it is now, always on, part of the foreground and the background, part of the scene, a topic of conversation. All of this is just on the pop and rock side. Beyond it there was country and western, soul, rhythms and blues, and the blues, and all the offshoots and variations. Beyond the United States were vast seas of music to be found in other countries and continents. Concerts gave us destination. Dancing gave us dates.
Music enriched existence. Oddly, all this came from a 1977 Paul Simon song, “Slip Slidin’ Away”. Time has fled through the year. Whether it’s because the days are less structured or because the usual placeholders of American culture have been disrupted, it seems like time has accelerated. Here it is, already more than halfway through the tenth month of the year. Just two more months and ten days to 2020 remains before we’re kissing it’s ass good-bye and saying hello to 2021.
Yet, we have an open-ended agenda at this point. COVID-19 has disrupted normalcy. The U.S. elections are due. We’re into the thirty-first named storm of the ‘hurricane season’. Climatologists are predicting wilder, more violent, and less predictable weather. With all that’s happening, water and food security for many of the world’s creatures are being jeopardized.
So, you might see why I’m thinking of “Slip Slidin’ Away” might have slipped into my thinking. Opportunities, time, and hope seem to be slip slidin’ away. Some might claim that sanity and peace are, too.
Certainly, it feels to me, probably because where I am in life, the days seem like they’re slip slidin’ away.
Here’s the song. Yeah, it’s a repeat. Used it back in August, 2018. Wear a mask please. And as they once said to the point it became nauseating, have a nice day.