Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Vintage TV - a little thought will go a long way

We thought they had it all – now baby boomers get own TV channel was a snotty headline in today’s The Independent newspaper. Reporter Jonathan Brown should be sent to bed without any supper even if he didn’t write the headline that tops his story about the arrival of Vintage TV in September.
His intro was a tongue-in-cheek take on how the over-fifties, who are supposed to be rolling in it – fat pensions supporting Umbrian farmhouse life styles – are now to get their own music-oriented television station.
The truth about the lives of the retired is much more pedestrian. But I wish Vintage TV well and I hope it comes to Freeview – at the moment it’s headed for Sky and Freesat which I don't have.
In any case I doubt that I’m part of the channel’s natural audience.
Vintage’s prime mover David Pick is quoted in the article as saying: “We are offering them (older people) an opportunity to experience the music they grew up with through their youth.”
But I don’t hunger to be reminded of my lost youth. The description ‘vintage’ means old when applied to cars but mature when the reference is about wine.
Yes, I’d like to see music legends like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison whose lives were cut short dazzle again in archived concerts.
But for all their wrinkles I’d prefer to see the Rolling Stones live now than, say, in the recent Exile on Main Street documentary where Mick Jagger and the rest of the boys speak from a different generation – and planet – to the rest of us.
Do I really need to be reminded that the No.1 rebel of my youth would end up knighted by the Queen and sat next to President Clinton at the World Cup?
You can argue whether Eric Clapton is better now (which I happen to think) than when he was God. But РI blush at the clich̩ Рtoday he is where he is and not embalmed for all time with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
If Vintage really wants to be relevant it should illustrate the development of popular music - the debt, for example, Lady Gaga owes to Kate Bush, Muse to Pink Floyd, and about everybody to David Bowie.


  1. Seems to me that one of features of popular music over last 10 to 20 years is that age barriers have broken down. Anyone brought up on punk now likely to be as interested in offerings from the likes of Hot Chip and Arctic Monkeys as in the stuff they listened to back in 1977. And vice versa, youngsters who get off on The Drums or Plan B will search out stuff their parents listened to. Pigeon holing David Bowie and his fans as relics does no favours to anyone. P.

  2. P,
    The young Stones etc weren't worried about age barriers when they were inspired by much older R 'n' B stars. I agree on your general point. I was already too old (I thought) for punk first time round yet the last CD I bought was Green Day. GC


What do you think? GC