Thursday, December 20, 2012

Late to the Party

I know I am very late to this particular party, but I really like Jimi Hendrix. I recently came into possession of “Voodoo Child.”

Got it in an actual record store. (Remember those? Average age of the customers when I was there: 45-50. Sigh.)

I’ve been playing these two CDs, which contain the songs “Purple Haze,” “Are You Experienced,” and “Stand Next to Your Fire,” a lot in the car. My kids, ages 14 and 17, seem to like them too. The songs put us all in a pensive mood.

I met a woman once, a native New Yorker, who, as a small girl, saw Hendrix perform in Central Park. She was there all by herself, allowed to roam alone in the city, even though she was probably only 7 or so. “It was a different world back then,” she said. She didn’t know who Hendrix was, but she knew he was special. So special she ran up on stage, reached out a hand and simply touched him. No one stopped her or got mad at her, including Hendrix.

It is such a different world now and I wonder how much my kids (and I) are missing, them without even realizing it. They live in a world where kids don’t do drugs for fun but to keep their grades up, where they worry about their resumes, their grades, their standardized test scores, anxious not to mess up on the gauntlet we make them run.

The 1960s seem like they were such a blossoming of exuberance and fun. And now we live in an age of such fearfulness and anxiety. It makes me sad.

1 comment:

  1. If you go back "in the day" to my generartion, the change is even more startling.