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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More thoughts on cars and rock and roll...

I'd been consciously aware of the pleasures of cruising while listening to rock long before writing the previous post, but putting those musings into words brought about some new thoughts about the subject.

For example, I realized that my association with rock music and cars was so strong that for much of my life I seldom listened to that type of music in any other context. As a teenager, I bought jazz and folk records and sometimes heard those artists live but didn't buy rock records or go to rock concerts until my 20's. Now in my 60's, I still sometimes buy the music and go to concerts.

Having heard much of the great 1960's rock initially through tinny- sounding car radios, it was a revelation when I started listening to quality sound systems. High fidelity brought a different dimension to rock and, in some ways, I am still discovering the beauty of some of the old music. In recent years, I have bought Beach Boys CD's although it wouldn't have occurred to me to buy the records when they were new. Nah, the Beach Boys were to for driving with your friends to the hamburger stand or for on the way to pick up a date. Those melodies and harmonies, however, contained nuances and subtleties that are missed unless played through quality speakers or headphones.

But although the sound quality may have been lacking, the power of the music was there. "Sugar-pie, honey-bunch..." sang the Four Tops in the spring and summer of 1965, the year I graduated from high school, and that song seemed to be in the air every time I was in a car. It made me feel good then and it still does.

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