— Dave Eisbach
The Hollywood formula back in the fifties
and sixties was much the same as today.
Frankie surfs and Annette adores!
They sing, dance, and drink coke
and are marvelously non-neurotic.
The music then was the harbinger of change,
though not in the same league
as Bill Haley, Buddy Holly or Elvis.
The kids sang and danced with the calm
assurance of the righteous.
Old folks faces registered shock,
amazement, disbelief and disdain.
It meant the end of the Big Band Era,
Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.
Discarded were composers like Cole Porter,
Mel Torme, and Gershwin.
It endangered singers like Frank Sinatra,
Bing Crosby and Frankie Laine..
Gone were Beethoven, “The Stormy”,
Rachmaninoff, “The Moody” and Stravinsky,
“The best companion to raging hormones.”
Hollywood wins; the Elders are converted
and music appreciation moves from furrowed
brow to that look, made famous by Bernini’s
statue: “The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa!”
It’s all crap!
Today, I’m serenaded by the bass coming
from my neighbor’s sound system in his SUV,
when he warms it up at six in the morning,
through three walls and dual pane windows;
or the “Dude” next to me at a stop light.
If you want me to listen to the latest music rage,
turn the volume way down; pry my fingers out of my ears
and hold my jaw to stop the “La, La, La. La….”
Then, just maybe, that fresh look of astonishment
and euphoria might transform my face.