I grew up in an era when music rocked the world. Whether magical, mystical, profound, radical or cerebral, the music from 1950-1990 changed the world we live in today. During that time music not only helped emancipate the Negro experience but also made Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel and Soul an integral part of the message delivery. I recall my brown leather-bound transistor radio stuck to my ear twenty four hours a day. Batteries seemed to last an awfully long time back then. I wore pointed black leather boots with silver zippers accompanied by long scruffy hair. I, like everyone else wanted to be a Beatle. There wasn’t a song I didn’t know, and CHUM AM was the only radio station I listened too. When I first saw the CHUM building on Yonge Street, south of St. Clair Avenue, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It wasn’t much of a building but the waves it emitted changed an entire generation.
It was a time when live bands appeared in the local bars and high schools. My bar of choice was the Gas Works. When I attended De La Salle Oaklands high school we had some of the best concerts in the city. In fact, many high schools in the city show-cased popular rock bands. Music was a powerfully reflective experience. From the Doors to Dylan, from Joplin to Croce, from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones every brick in the wall, came tumbling down.
Now that I am a bit older and perhaps a bit wiser I reflect more-so on the power of music. In my time music left no room for the imagination because the message was crystal clear. Singers and songwriters were impassioned about making change and addressing real socio-economic and political concerns. It was a world filled with war, hunger, social inequity, political assassination, cold-war upheaval and racism. I believe it was also the time when a sinister agenda took hold of our social fabric. I speak of the JFK assassination - the most critical and most important event of the 20th century. His loss still impacts the world today. He was to bring to politics what Rock’n Roll brought to the world.
Music and song are living entities. A song can be as a “virus”, a singer as the “vaccine” and celebrity as the “drug”. No time in human history has music been able to enslave and mind control its audience, as it has done so today. Music now is cold, evil, occulted and the message is one of idolatry and an empty passiveness. It shares nothing because it is intended to brain-wash you into intellectual retardation. Music has completely lost what the Black man gave it – “SOUL”.
One of my favourite groups growing up in the 1970’s was “Supertramp”. I remember wearing down my vinyl album copy of “Breakfast in America” to the bone. The song entitled “The Logical Song” really made a lot of sense – it still does today. If you have never heard the song or filed it in one of your memory banks, click on the LINK below and listen to the words.
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