The radio station I normally listen to, WMMO, is a classic rock station. I really find it humorous that I can hear Blondie and then, a few songs later, I can hear Bon Jovi or Poison. Each of those bands experienced their prime in the 1980’s, however, back then I would never hear them on the same station. They sprang from at least two different genres. An argument can even be made that they are representatives of three different classes of popular music.
Blondie, most definitely, came from the genre of New Wave and that’s the music I mostly explored in the 80’s.
When Led Zeppelin’s beloved but, clearly alcoholic, drummer, John Bonham (aka Bonzo) died in 1980, the band decided that Zeppelin would fly no more. I felt untethered to Rock and Roll.
Many of us die hard Zeppelin freaks felt disdain for the up and coming big hair or glam rock bands such as Bon Jovi, Ratt, Poison, Motley Crue, White Snake, Scorpions or White Lion. There was no way in hell any of them could match the magic of Led Zeppelin, who represented the gold standard of 1970’s rock music.
I swung in an entirely different direction: punk and, it’s watered down more melodic version, new wave. Interestingly, the tremendously successful-and wealthy-band, U2, was born of a kind of New Wave/Punk union.
My transition made sense. I’d begun college and my life was moving forward. I wasn’t about to be stuck listening to the same old albums (CD’s we’re about to be main music consumption medium). With my friend, Pat, I was introduced to Blondie, The Ramones, A Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran, Human League, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Dead Kennedys. The Pet Shop Boys, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Devo and the B-52’s, to name a only a few.
U2’s music evolved into a more, updated version of 70’s rock. Bands like The Talking Heads, Dire Straits, A Big Country, The Fixx and R.E.M, did much the same.
In the 1980’s, at least in Tampa Bay, these bands were not heard on the same stations. Now, everybody is Classic Rock. I kind of like it, my feelings on the big hair bands have even mellowed and I can hear music recorded by White Snake in the 80’s that I never heard until the early 2000’s.
This is so interesting to me and reminds me that I’ve always had this back burner desire to write a history of popular music from the the 1950’s until today. Yeah, it would be huge and include R & B, Soul, the Blues, Psychedelia, Rap, Grunge and more, It would probably have to be multiple volumes and I would need helpers. Man, it would be a blast.
It’s weird and great that Classic Rock is this stew of many ingredients. I wish someone would design a station (yes, I still believe in broadcasting) that just plays Good Popular Music, from all genres and eras. That would be awesome. I find myself listening to Orlando station WMMO a lot. Currently the station is running a contest in which listeners can win a, “$1,000 stimulus check.” The DJ announces and, even spells, a single word that listeners text to the station over a 15 minute time span. I believe that this happens three times a day: 8 am, noon and 5 pm.
I need money so, I’ve been trying to win some cashola. I’ve tried at 8 am and 5 pm for several days. No luck. I hope this means The Universe is saving a Powerball jackpot winning spot for me. Lol.