The damaging effects of pop music on formative minds

Guest Post: By Brian Rogers

SunLive.co.nz

newsie.co.nz


We’ve been concerned for quite some time about the health ailments affecting some of my age group. Particularly the lunatic fringe who read this column.

Many of you are losing your minds and it’s time we sorted out why. My extensive research (which consisted of sipping low-sugar ginger beer under a shady tree while straightening old nails and listening to old fogey radio), has uncovered the reason for my generation’s degeneration.

We have been programmed for it, from a young age.

Growing up in the sixties and seventies, we have been brainwashed into becoming lunatics well before our natural time.

Because there was only one radio station in the day, and it was controlled by frenzied PC do-gooder censors – any song containing anything remotely interesting in the lyrics was banned. So most of the whacked-out flower-power brigade song writers had to write in code. We were subliminally programmed to become mental disasters from a very tender age.

Strange vibration

We grew up with Scott McKenzie warning us that if we went to San Francisco, we should surely wear flowers in our hair because all across the nation there is a strange vibration. Others claimed there was a whole lot of shaking going on.

This could have some connection to the disturbing revelation from The Who, that Mama Has a Squeeze Box.

This is in fact code for a womanly body part. I’m not sure if the strange vibration extended to the squeeze box, but it was concerning enough for Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry. They didn’t hold back on the double entendre when they explained the reason Daddy never sleeps at night. Neither would the impressionable young generation growing up with the fact that Mama plays all night. Apparently, even the dog couldn’t sleep.

What frog?

Which might explain why the Three Dog Night addled our formative brains with some of
their tripe.

Joy to the World, otherwise known as the “Jeremiah was a bullfrog” song, which if you believe the songsters, had some mighty fine wine.

I’m not sure how much wine needs to be consumed before your friends resemble bullfrogs and you feel the need to offer good wishes to the fishes in the deep blue sea.

And in case you are wondering, the Three Dog Night name is believed to be from an Australian outback saying, used to describe a particularly cold night in which one would need not just one dog in bed with you to keep warm, but three.

Now if that doesn’t screw with formative young listeners minds… What the hell was going on with Lucy and Ramona? They were doing just fine until they met Sunset Sam.

The rest is history.

Laugh lawyers, laugh

And speaking of the Aussies and their music, I stumbled on an interesting piece of trivia this week while researching the weekend’s summer concert featuring Colin Hay, the former leader of iconic Aussie band, Men at Work.

They were sued for copyright after a court agreed with the complainant that a flute riff in their hit, Land Down Under was a rip off of the Aussie classic folk song, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.

It’s one of those things that once you hear it, you can’t unhear it!

For the record, the band now forks out five per cent of the royalties to the original Kookaburra songwriter.

The point here is that a whole generation of Aussies were probably strangely connected to that series of musical notes, subliminally if not consciously, simply because the Kookaburra riff was so well ingrained in their psyche.

Whether it was intentional or not, it’s a masterstroke by the Men at Work.

It shows that if you bombard fragile minds, which accounts for most sixties and seventies children, with enough bizarre messages, they may well eventually believe that Jeremiah is a gold star vintner.

Sucked into vortex

Their parents might also have been sucked into the vortex of pop song brainwashing. So much so, that the one hit wonders “Looking Glass” managed to drag the name “Brandy” from the 353rd most popular girl’s name, up to 82nd after their 1972 hit about the fine gal who worked laying whiskey down and once loved a sailor man. Not exactly a highlight of career success, since it would seem Brandy was a pub slapper, but the song certainly struck a chord with trendy young parents.

Harder to explain and deeply troubling is the Captain and Tennille’s “Muskrat Love”. Not sure what was in the water in 1977, but the story of rats mating remains a mystery to most of us, whether we’ve lost our minds or not.

One song guaranteed to tip you over the brink is Hotel California. The Eagles might be classified as ‘easy listening’, but not even the band themselves have ever been able to give a rational explanation of what is going on. Henley and Frey at different times offered: the loss of innocence, weed, heroin, witchcraft, mind-controlled sex slaves, Satan, demons and human sacrifice.

The horse of course

It’s enough to make you want to catch the next ride out of town. Just be sure it’s not on the Horse With No Name. You’d think that even after going part way through the desert with a horse that didn’t have a name, you’d pretty soon assign it one.

I’d suggest Dusty. Or Sandy.

Anything really. Please, just please, call the damned horse something.

Finally, the best evidence that our generation was doomed from the start and destined for serious loss of faculties is “I Don’t Know Why I Love You But I Do”.

Clarence Frogman Henry seemed to have lost his marbles back in the sixties.

With a name like that he must be some relation to Jeremiah.

Thanks for following this column.

You are indeed dogged and reliable readers. We’re sorry, Uncle Albert, if you have lost your mind. Just relax in the knowledge that regardless of your state of mind, Rogers Rabbits will continue to keep you sane, your marbles in the bag and your old nails dead straight.

You can check out any time you want.

But you can never leave.


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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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