The band is in the studio at the moment and one of the songs we’re working on is called Olden Days. The song is inspired, well the title at least, by a conversation I had with a student when I started teaching.
I was telling the class about how I remembered when the internet came to my hometown, Dubbo. I didn’t realise it was like saying I remembered a time before cars. He responded, “oh, back in the olden days Sir?”
I guess if you’ve always had something in your life it’s very hard to imagine what it was like without that thing… when that conversation came back to me as I was writing lyrics for the new record it gave me a bit of a laugh initially but I started to see how, in the position I’m in of being an (almost) 40 something in an original band, I could write about the things that have gone by the wayside in my living memory.
Whether it was using my trusty typewriter to wake my parents as I typed the top 50 out watching Rage at 5:30am on a Saturday (live tweeting 20 years before twitter!) or the story of how my first ever record (Ghostbusters if you must know) melted in the car because I forgot to get it out - there were many things I loved about the “olden days”
But reflection is always tinged with this sense of romance and it is worth thinking about whether things are actually better or worse… those who forget the past etc…
One thing for sure, that 17 year old me who used the 28.8kbps Internet connection ($10 an hour!) at the local library to look up chords for Pearl Jam songs never would have believed that in 20 years time he’d able to record songs and release albums from a backyard studio at a mate’s house… and how can the olden days compete with that?