‘I like that old time rock and roll …’

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, March 2, 2016

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There isn’t an English word to describe nostalgia for something you’ve never experienced.

In Portuguese, this phenomenon is called “saudade.” I’ve been experiencing a weird amount of “saudade” here recently.

I blame Bob Seger.

Racey Burden

Racey Burden

I heard “Night Moves” playing over the speakers of some store, and I thought, “Hey, I’ve heard that song on the radio before.” I liked the melody, so I went to iTunes to buy it. I bought “Old Time Rock and Roll,” too, because why not? I already knew that song.

It was all downhill from there. I needed more hits from Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. I bought “Turn the Page,” then I gave in and just purchased their greatest hits album.

That kind of led to a tailspin of other old rock music binge-buying. Billy Squier, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, The Rolling Stones – they all got added to my playlist aptly titled “Old,” which until a few weeks ago was pretty much just Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC.

I don’t really feel compelled to separate out my true, longtime ’80s hair metal loves, Axl Rose and the Slash, from the rest of this pack. It’s all old music to me. Sorry, Dad.

I’m not one of those people who insists music is devolving. I’m actually a pretty big T-Swift fan. But there’s something about this music, stretching from the ’60s to the early ’90s, that makes me feel like I’m missing out on some important artistic revolution, or at the very least a really cool party.

My dad saw Boston in concert, and I can’t ever replicate that experience because Brad Delp is dead, even if they are still touring. The Stones all look like they should be dead any minute now.

G’N’R won’t stop flirting with a reunion, but I have not forgiven Axl for “Chinese Democracy.” I remember being 16 and so excited about that stupid album and then being crushed by how awful it was. Never again (although, to be honest, if the reunion tour comes to Dallas I will likely be there).

I had to Google Bob Seger to see if he’s still alive. He is, and he’s 70. Still touring as late as 2015. Good for him. But you know, I just don’t think 70-year-old Bob Seger is going to match ’70s era Bob Seger. It would be unfair to expect as much.

I’ve seen a few great concerts in my time. I wonder if one day the next generation will look back with this “saudade” and think, “Man, I wish I could have seen Imagine Dragons live when they were still young and cool.”

I hope so. And I hope they still listen to that “Old Time Rock and Roll,” too. May the music never die.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter.

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