ON ANOTHER NOTE: Back in the day …. yes, they had guitars

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Ahhhh…getting older  is always so much fun.

Every now and then Liam will ask me a question that makes me feel like I should be walking around with a cane, shaking my fist and saying “In my day…” The most recent was when I was watching highlights of this year’s Coachella festival and he asked “if they had guitars when I was a little kid.”

After shaking off my initial amazement, I explained that indeed we did have guitars. I was momentarily tempted to explain that they were made of stone and branches, like something you’d see in the Flintstones, but decided I’d just roll with it.

Father John Misty performs at the 2015 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

Father John Misty performs at the 2015 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

I pointed out that we’d watched clips of The Beatles and they were around before I was born. Liam seemed mildly puzzled but accepted the answer.

Not the biggest deal, but it did make me wonder if I was really coming across that old.

What bothered me far more was a question a co-worker tossed at me with complete incredulity. To say I was stunned by what she asked was an understatement. It through me off to such a degree I can’t even clearly remember what brought the topic up.

What was it she said, you ask?

“What in the world is LiveAid?!”

I still can’t believe it. Anyone in their 40s, especially if you grew up in this area, needs no explanation, but seriously, even if you have passing interest in music or pop culture, how can you not know about LiveAid?

I laughed when she asked and turned to another co-worker for back up. Not good. I could see on his face uncertainty and that confusion of wanting to say the right thing but not sure you know the correct answer.

These people were in their 20s. Was it really THAT long ago? Is it possible that it’s already become something lost in time?

So I thought if I offered some quick facts about it, they’d surely remember something regarding the iconic event.

JFK and Wembley Stadiums.


Bob Geldof, feed the world and BandAid.


Led Zeppelin reunited.


Even Phil Collins flying on the Concorde to play both venues.

Nothing and the follow up, what’s the Concorde?

I started to panic. I momentarily wondered about Liam’s question. Did we really have guitars when I was a kid? Maybe I was that old.

So I told them a little bit about the whole day in July back in 1985, mentioned some of the musical highlights and even brought up the forgettable sequel Live8. I felt like my grandfather telling me about the days before television and wondered if my two coworkers were trying to calculate how ancient indeed I was in the same way I was silently doing math in my head when my grandfather shared his story.

Is 30 years in our technologically, blindingly fast world of today a far greater leap in time than it used to be?

Finally one of their eyes lit up with some recognition. Didn’t Madonna perform?, she asked. Yes! She was there, I enthusiastically gushed. She’d seen a clip on YouTube and said she thought her parents might have gone.

I can’t say it was vindication, but I did have this sense of relief that despite the three decades, the event had left at least some trickle down trail of notoriety to younger generations even if it was just – I think my parents went to that show.

I said while you could see clips online, you could sit down and watch the whole thing on DVD.

“DVD?” one of them asked.

Oh no, hear we go again…

SINGLED OUT Yes, I know I constantly champion the Stereophonics, but does any other band consistently put out catchy singles for each new album? “C’est La Vie” is no different. A brilliant, perfect, power pop summer song that will appear on “Keep the Village Alive,” the band’s ninth studio album due out on Sept. 11. One of these days audiences over here will discover just how great this band is.

Ken Kolasinski is a regular contributor to Ticket.

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