Monday, June 03, 2013

Ginning up the nostalgia with supermarket muzak

Hearing the Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy" in the supermarket recently I was reminded of seeing the band (with my friend Frank) at the former Long Beach-based club Bogart's before that song hit it big (about 20 years ago). Then I thought of the age of the track and grasped that in relative temporal terms hearing it now is the equivalent of hearing Loggins and Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance" (a hit about 40 years ago) while strolling through the aisles back during the time when "Hey Jealousy" was in rotation.

A 25-year-old walking through same supermarket with me yesterday undoubtedly views the song from the guys from Tempe as nothing but an oldie, and the sort of thing that deserves to end up coming from the grocery store's tinny overhead speakers, appealing to those middle-aged shoppers. And to him, were it followed by "Your Mama Don't Dance" it would sound pretty similar.

Somewhere there's a five-year-old who twenty years from now will hear Mumford and Sons in whatever outlet for foodstuffs exists then, and he will think it sounds old. Today's 25-year-old will hear the same track and remember it vividly as though little time had passed.

It is the way.

The 25-year-old in the heyday of Loggins and Messina, upon hearing Perry Como's "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" in the supermarket, probably was too stoned and in search of munchies to have much thought about it.

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