Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Five Years

Earlier today, Trip sent me a note asking if we were about to hit Teenage Kicks’ fifth anniversary. So I looked it up, and it turns out that said milestone is . . . today. You can accuse us of a lot of things, but not of hyping our own history.

Five years is a blink. But it’s also a chasm. It’s the time between Meet the Beatles and Abbey Road. It’s enough time for the entire world to change.

It’s also enough time for lives to change in significant ways. When we started, my kids’ ages were five and two. Now at ten and seven, their activities and tastes (hello, Nickelodeon!) dominate my free time in ways I never expected, as do other things I never expected, like running the occasional half-marathon or taking a stab at writing long fiction.

That’s my way of saying that I used to pour a lot of effort into this place, but that I don’t anymore, and please don’t blame me.

I still love music, and I’m even trying to learn it (my third piano lesson is coming up), but it doesn't consume me quite like it used to. Still, it can still possess me in unexpected ways. Over the past four months, I've listened to the Beatles more than at any time in my life, and I’m working on reading a couple thousand words about them. Forty years after they went away, they’re blowing my mind all over again.

And bands like Dawes and Ezra Furman and the Harpoons give me faith that rock and roll, even in a time of great technological and creative upheaval, will continue to thrive as long as there are talented young people who want to connect with others in the most powerful way possible.

Five years is a blink. But it’s also a chasm. Clarence Clemons has played on two original Bruce Springsteen albums since we started. Now he’s gone.

The spirit of Springsteen and The Hold Steady, more than any other acts, animated this space like no other in our original burst, and provides the framework of our worldview. It’s a deep love of what came before and a fervent belief in what’s coming next. We love our old records, but we can’t wait to hear the next thing to grab us by our collars and shake our bearings loose.

Five years is a blink. But it’s also a chasm. When we started, I hadn't even met Trip in the flesh. Now he’s my blood brother, a bond formed over rock and roll, the occasional beer, college basketball, the community of friends we've formed, and a shared sense of what’s good and right in the world.

Thanks to all of you who have spent some of your valuable time with us. We and our friends are like the drums on “Lust for Life.” We pound it out on floor toms. Our psalms are sing-along songs.

1 comment:

juanita said...

Well happy anniversary, Teenagers. Thanks for 5 years of good writing. I've discovered after 5 years that we don't share a lot of musical interests, but I appreciate your enthusiasm, wit,& humor.