Rock and Roll Never Forgets
For Elvis Fans.
Roll Over, Roy Orbison
Senior’s Fitness Ideas.
Finding Joy in Living Helps You Live Longer
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
It’s a sad thing when we, as baby boomers, begin to feel like “old fogies” when it comes to music and the “hip” things going on in popular culture. It’s also easy to forget that the rock music and many other genres of modern music got their launch way back during the days when baby boomers were the young people changing society and it was our music that changed the world.
So it’s good for baby boomers to remember such things about their heritage and what they passed on to the music and entertainment culture today. In the song “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” by Bob Seger, the singer reviews the changes baby boomers have gone through as they go from youth to middle age and deal with pressures of work, family, child rearing and changes in health due to aging. But the end result remains the same that at the heart of every baby boomer is a rock and roller who is just as capable as ever of enjoying the music that was the foundation of their culture.
One of the things that disheartened the baby boomer generation growing up was seeing the rock and roll life style take its toll on many of the icons of youth culture and music including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. But the unfortunate demise of these music heroes does not diminish the great contribution to music and to culture down through the years. So as much as we grieve the loss of great talent, we can always celebrate what they gave to us and continue to give to us down to modern times as music continues to reference those great figures of 60s music as icons and inspirations.
But for every rock and roller who did not survive that turbulent time in our culture, we can look to great performers who did survive, overcame their addictions and went on to continue to give great music to the world decade after decade. Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones are examples of wonderful and talented music heroes that demonstrated that age and a few wrinkles don’t mean a thing. They continue to rock and roll today as hard and with as much heart as they did when they were in their twenties.
In a way “to rock and roll” is a metaphor for living life to its fullest and for staying true to your values and living life in a genuine way that never gives up on what’s important in life. That is why baby boomers have always had the greatest contempt for anyone who sells out or abandons their core principles that they espoused in youth. To sell out is to say that none of the great history of the youth revolution meant anything and we are willing to turn our backs on it. But to “rock and roll” means always going back to your roots and never giving up, even when age, and busy lives and poor health say that you should slow down and not try to live with as much earnestness as you did when you were young.
Baby boomers, even at this dignified and “mature” stage in life, should feel liberated to be able to go ahead and “rock and roll” in a real sense of the word. The Bob Seger song was a hit because it gives us permission to reconnect with our roots and express that youthful enthusiasm again. You don’t have to go to a nostalgia show to do that either. There are dozens of great rock and roll acts that are giving to the children of baby boomers (and their grandchildren) that same excitement we got from The Beatles and The Stones.
“Discovering” rock and roll all over again can be great fun for a baby boomer especially when you find a new act that has that power and ability to perform that reminds us of the acts of our youth. They are out there so just get out there and uncover this great natural resource of talent in the music and culture of today’s youth revolution.
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For Elvis Fans.
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Roll Over, Roy Orbison
In the late nineteen sixties Roy Orbison, on a concert tour of Australia, arrived in Adelaide on the same flight as the Walker Brothers. I recall watching on television the airport interview in which Roy, always the nice guy, explained how much he loved the music of Scott Walker and his fellow band members. He went on to explain that he believed Rock 'n' Roll was a passing craze which would soon die out, but that the wonderful music of the Walker Brothers would live on forever.
Sadly, it was the loveable Roy himself who would soon die after such a tragic life, leaving behind a rich legacy of music that remains very popular so many years later. As for the music of the Walker Brothers, they certainly left the world with some memorable hits. "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More", "My Ship Is Coming In" and "Make It Easy On Yourself" were all Walker Brothers originals that come instantly to mind, but you can't dance Rock 'n' Roll to them.
Roy's gaff can be forgiven. It’s true that the production of music in the original Rock 'n' Roll style didn't continue, although artists like Shakin' Stevens did release some pretty good tracks in the old style during the 'seventies and when Jackie Wilson's Reet Petite was re-released after his death it soared up the charts. In Australia, even Gene Chandler's Duke of Earl enjoyed a revival in the 'eighties after it was featured in a television commercial. The expected death of Rock 'n' Roll wasn't happening.
This also brings to mind a song released by one of the most successful Australian groups of the 'sixties, The Master's Apprentices. The lyrics say "Rockin', Rollin' we're still doing it now, 15 years today and we remember how." When that song was released in 1970 it was apparently remarkable that we "remembered how" after an eon of 15 years. It’s now over 50 years since Rock 'n' Roll first appeared and we still remember how.
It’s a fair bet that Roy Orbison's early songs are played a lot more often around the world nowadays than the Walker Brothers records are. The main reason for that is simply that you can Rock 'n' Roll to them. It can have little to do with the quality of the music, since those of us who were teenagers back then have forgotten so many excellent recordings from when we were young.
Simply put, the dance preserved the music rather than vice versa. Without the lasting popularity of the energetic, versatile and easily learned dance style, the music would probably have died long ago. Perhaps not all of it, at least initially. Elvis fans will no doubt testify to the immortality of The King's music, but reality will triumph. Elvis fans are no more immortal in the flesh than he was. They too will eventually die out.
Most young people who learn Rock 'n' Roll dance nowadays have no more preference for the music of Elvis or The Beatles than they have for any of the obscure one-hit-wonders who contributed so many of the old hit records. They find Smashmouth more appealing as artists, but if an old song is good to dance to they like it no matter who recorded it. It’s reasonable to assume they will preserve much of the music after we are gone, but mainly for dance purposes rather than for entertainment.
That is what has happened to other music styles. For example, the folk music that was so popular in the late 'fifties and early 'sixties has died out because you can't dance to it. On the other hand, many old-time tunes such as waltzes and marches remain popular today because ballroom dancing preserves them.
So, how long will Rock 'n' Roll last? No-one can tell, but the waltz dates back to 1780 and is still practiced, so our favourite dance and music style might have a couple of hundred years to live yet.
Perhaps then a songwriter will compose a song in the popular style of the day entitled "Roll Over, Roy Orbison."
Understand that finding
Joy in your life is a wonderful life extender
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Finding Joy in Living
Helps You Live Longer
The quest for longer life has fascinated mankind for centuries from the fountain of youth to Frankenstein to cryogenics and more. In recent years any number of different theories have been floated to the masses from special diets to supplements, medical procedures and more. Yet somewhere in that fray perhaps the most effective formula for life extension has been pushed to the proverbial back-burner.
In fact, its simplicity as a concept may have been too difficult for many people to accept as a possibility, yet it remains a strongly correlated habit with longer life. This magical secret to longer life is quite simply finding joy or gratitude in life.
A strong example is a section from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers about a small town in Pennsylvania in the 1950’s that had almost every classical health marker for short life spans in America such as poor diet, smoking and so on, yet the life expectancy in this small town was remarkably high.
At the end of the day after years of research and analysis, the only conclusion researchers could surmise was that the people in the town were simply happy, and this factor extended life.
While this is purely anecdotal in many ways, the study of joy and gratitude and its effects on mankind is growing. One such theory has been floated by B.L. Frederickson (1998, 2001), called the “Broaden and Build” theory, stating “positive emotions asserts that people's daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources.”
In other words, the more positive emotions that are felt over time such as happiness, joy, gratitude and so on compound and build a bank of nostalgia, so to speak. Thus, in many ways you could think of joy, or gratitude and happiness as an investment in the future to be drawn upon, and your memories or nostalgia of those feelings as a bank account to be drawn from as needed.
It is reminiscent in many ways of the classic book by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, which in many ways is a practical demonstration in the most horrifying of scenarios what the power of focusing on positivity and nostalgia can produce. He talks in the book about the “ultimate personal freedom,” and in many ways that is the secret to longevity and will always be more productive and effective for us over time than any diet, supplement or pill will be.
Finding joy in an attempt to live longer may seem like a vague or abstract concept, however there are very basic activities that can be used on a daily basis to increase joy in our daily lives.
In a research article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Strawbridge et al. noted that “Cross-sectional comparisons at follow-up revealed significantly higher community involvement, physical activity, and mental health for those aging successfully.” These types of basic activities can go a long way and can be done even with a very busy schedule. Simple activities like exercise especially within a group, meditation, spending time in nature and other simple activities can be very effective at increasing joy and thus in many ways extending our lives as well.
The old impasse of “age is just a number” ultimately does have merit, and lifestyle and our ability to maintain a joyful and positive mindset is crucial to us maintaining a quality of life that precludes success and long life.
There are other key lifestyle factors such as fitness, diet, and sleep that can be key contributors to a long life as well as the ever-prevalent topic of genetics.
Ultimately, our ability to create a lifestyle and mindset that can find joy and gratitude in any situation is a key option in extending our life.
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Wishing you and yours a long and happy life.
From the Team
Now turn that music on and enjoy Yourself.