You do? Well in that case you must be a Gee-Bee. Jim Fusilli explains for the Wall Street Journal:
It’s 1955 and you’re in a record shop. The proprietor puts on “Maybellene” by a newcomer named Chuck Berry. You’re enjoying it, but a fellow customer saunters over: “That’s nothing more than Roy Acuff’s ‘Ida Red’ with different words,” he says, pointing out that Acuff cut his track in 1939. “I wouldn’t call that original.”
Or it’s 1963 and you’re listening to “Girl From the North Country” from “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.” Someone says, “Dylan didn’t write that. That’s ‘Scarborough Fair.’ It’s on Shirley Collins’s ‘False True Lovers,'” he adds, referring to the 1959 recording. “Dylan put new words to Martin Carthy’s arrangement, that’s all.”
Or it’s 2012 and there is a multitude of young singers, songwriters and musicians trying to develop their own sound. They’re not quite there yet, so the music they make is still familiar to veteran pop and rock fans, some of whom dismiss them, often without reflection or musical expertise.
These naysayers among us demonstrate a kind of generational bias that can blunt a promising musician’s career. It can be summarized thus: “The only valid music is what I liked when I was in my teens.” They tend to be vocal about their disapproval and aren’t likely to exploit new methods of dissemination, such as downloading or using Spotify, to hear new sounds. When they come across new music, it’s usually pushed toward them by a critic or a friend, or they hear a snippet on television. Had they been around in 1955, or 1963, they might have dismissed Messrs. Berry and Dylan too.
Often aggressive and belligerent, the generationally biased—let’s call them Gee-Bees—rarely attribute their affection for the music of their youth to tender memories. They present their argument as perceived wisdom: Popular music was better then. For you to disagree is to reveal a deficiency on your part. Cite examples of excellence among today’s musicians and you too are dismissed…
[continues in the Wall Street Journal]
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