School of (white) rock

I spent a couple of hours today at the Highline Ballroom seeing the best of the real School of Rock. The kids were super talented and deserved the support and the applause. But consider this. The parental average age was around 48, the kids around 15. Wind back 33 years when the parents were 15 and 33 more to when their parents were 15. You get to 1942. The era of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey – swing and big bands.

So the equivalent to today’s kids playing ‘Won’t get fooled again’ would have been 15 year olds in 1975 playing ‘In the mood’. Unlikely in the extreme and certainly not a quick step to cool.

Maybe the insight comes from the demographics of the event. White, relentlessly middle class with wealth rising; one African American  female vocalist out of maybe 150 kids in total.

New music tends to come from urban and often disadvantaged roots, only the progressive rock of the Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Genesis and the rest emerged from the middle class and elite education. Is it just posssible that the white middle class will hang on to this sound and make it the perennial  blues of their culture?

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