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Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Cruising and playing the radio..."

... no particular place to go."

In a lot of ways I really haven't changed much in behavior since my late teens, nearly a half century ago. For instance, I still like driving around listening to the car radio, and my choice of music is still usually rock and roll. Like one radio station described their rock playlist and target demographic: "It's the soundtrack of your lives."

Performers such as Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen have reflected in their lyrics this association of rock and roll with cars. I guess a driver's license often represents freedom to the teenager, freedom from parents, schools, and other adult authority. There's a freedom about rock and roll too. In the 50's communist Russia tried unsuccessfully to suppress the music, probably because they recognized this, but the USSR is no more and rock and roll remains.

So is it that I've never grown up, or am I still seeking freedom? I prefer to think that as an American I like to revel in my freedom, and the music makes me feel good about it.

Anyway, I first listened on the AM dial, but in the late 60's it was mostly on FM. AM radio still had decent classical and country music, but as I said previously I mostly listen to rock and roll when driving. Eventually I felt a similar deterioration of rock music on FM that I had experienced on AM. There was a drought in suitable cruising music until satellite radio, XM and then Sirius XM, came along for me in the 2000's. When a great song comes on just as I've arrived at my driving destination, I'll either drive around the block or sit in my car until it's finished, just as I did as a teenager.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!

    As a teen, I would often run into trouble of one sort or another. My punishments often included having my radio taken away from me for a time. Might as well cut off my arm!

    My mother took pity on me, however, and would occasionally extend our drives by circling the block a couple of times so that I could get my rock and roll radio fix!

    I had forgotten all this until I read your post, so thanks!