A date with Dion was every girls dream back in the late fifties and throughout the sixties. After all, he had some of the best rock ‘n’ roll songs, he was cool and handsome. Whats not to like? Dion tours the US regularly and he put on a great show at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.
All of his famous rock ‘n’ roll hits had the audience singing along. After all, who didn’t know the words to Ruby Baby, The Wanderer, Teenager in Love. By the end, when he played Runaround Sue, everyone was up on their feet dancing to the music. As expected, the audience for this “old school” rock ‘n’ roll crooner are mostly in their fifties, sixties and seventies. Yeah, the old folks have to get out once in awhile, too.
As you listen to the famous songs of that bygone era, you may come to a realization that the music back then was…well, it was actually nice music. The songs were about love, lost love, wanted love, unrequited love and basically all about…love. In contrast, the songs, starting in the late sixties, were about war protest, and then they devolved into songs about dysfunction, anti-establishment, violence, anti-cops, anti-woman and anti-gay. If you watch many of the modern era music videos, you can’t help but see a huge sado-sexual component come to life on the screen. Is it any wonder that the “old head” stay home until an event that honors “the good old days” comes to town?
Are the “oldies” just for older people? No, never. Young people will be surprised at the origins of today’s music. They may have trouble once they realize their current music is not actually music, and they truly missed a generation of great songs that made people feel good about being in love. They substituted beautiful music of the fifties and early sixties with heart pounding heavy beats, ear piercing loud sound and lyrics filled with angst, hate and derision. This is not to say there hasn’t been some fine music since Dion. After all, we did have the British Invasion that gave us the music of the Beatles and others.
Dating, relationships and life in general have evolved rather fast. We live in a time when many people are much older and find themselves dating because divorce is so prevalent. Within one or two generations the entire world has seen important societal taboos vanish, civility diminish and violence lift its ugly head in so many areas of life. Its easy to see how the new age of music chose its path. Music is often defined by the society and era in which it is written. It’s also easy to see how folks use music to take a break from the world. They need a chance to go up on the roof or under the Boardwalk to get away from it all. Dion’s concert allowed for such an escape. Heavy metal and rap music actually bring you off that roof, into the mean streets and does nothing to calm and sooth.
On the surface, Dion had a rather celebrated life, but it wasn’t always easy. Like many rock stars, he, too, succumbed to the ravages of alcohol and drugs and was at one point down and out. Through determination, a great wife and a new hit song, Abraham, Martin and John, he was able to pull it all together. And unlike some of the greatest rock talents who perished way before their time due to the scourge of drugs, Dion is still here pleasing audiences everywhere. He is still allowing a generation to revisit their youth and all of the innocence of a kinder America.
If you get a chance to see Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame heroes, go for it. You can’t wait too long to see these stars, least they be rocking and rolling off the stage. Your iconic heroes will not be here forever and neither will you. This kind of date you will always remember, and if you think about it, what movie did you see on your last date? Forgot, huh?
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