Gen X-ers with ‘cool’ parents may have been lucky enough to have had a parent who accompanied them to the odd concert (and maybe even stayed awake through the encore). They may have heard their moms and dads randomly humming along to Dio’s Rainbow in the Dark or Culture Club’s Kharma Chameleon.
But despite these occasional outbursts of coolness, the music Gen-Xers listened to at that time was unquestionably ‘their music’. Parents may have enjoyed the odd tune or so, but then it was back to enjoying The Beatles, Elvis, classical or whatever type of music they preferred.
But now something completely different is happening. Gen-Xers have children of their own and many of these children are owning the music that was popular years ago. In other words, they are listening to their parents’ music.
Unheard of many say. Unspeakable others say. But no matter how unbelievable all this may be, it’s happening.
This article will look at why the tides are turning and how this may be closing the generation gap for some families.
So first let’s take a look at the why. Why are children listening to Metallica, Megadeth and even Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath? Why are they buying vinyl when they could be listening to music on CD or in digital formats?
It may be impossible to pinpoint one reason but part of it could be that rock stars are getting younger. With fifty being the new thirty, many of the rock stars that were popular thirty years ago are still at it. They are out there and visible which enables them to attract a younger audience.
It may also be due to the changes in the music industry. With so many options for musicians to put out their work independently, tastes in music are widespread and many bands are here today, gone tomorrow. Perhaps these musicians that withstand the test of time are the unifying forces that are holding it all together.
The overlapping tastes may also be due to the emergence of rock schools that teach children to appreciate classic rock at an early age.
When it comes to vinyl, many of the younger generation claim to prefer the sound quality of LPs as well as the appeal of hunting for old records.
Is the Generation Gap Shrinking?
Whether this shared taste in music is causing the generation gap to shrink is a matter of personal circumstances. Admittedly, some families will bond better than others regardless of the music they listen to. However, a shared taste in music can definitely lead to more bonding moments.
In some cases, adults may even start bands with their children; a situation that is definitely conducive to family bonding.
It will be interesting to see what the future will hold. As years go by, sadly, many of these old rock stars will be dying off. Will they still hold the relevance they once did after they are gone? Or will their music die with them?
Will there be new rock stars to take their place? Will your children be listening to Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Cage the Elephant and Trivium? Time will only tell. In the meantime, we can only keep spinning those tunes that keep rock n’ roll alive.