The Old Folks Effect

I want to get a copyright on this phrase. It’s something I’ve noticed ever since the Superbowl halftime show four years ago. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were the band that year, and though I personally enjoyed them, it seemed to everyone else at the party that they weren’t especially good. Okay, I get it. They aren’t exactly Heartbreakers anymore. But the music should speak for itself.

In fact, there seemed to be a similar reaction to The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springstein, The Who, and most recently, Madonna. I call this the “Old Folks Effect.”

It seems to me that people get turned off by old people playing music. I suppose it’s a young person’s game and all, but honestly, nowadays, old people are much better at it than young people. Remember the Black Eyed Peas? No instruments, and Fergie was the only person actually singing without the aid of autotune. When did we start using computers instead of instruments?

Look, I’m not trying to knock modern music. Obviously, most modern musicians are very talented. But I think that there is something to be said for old music. Personally, I find it to be far more appealing, but that’s not the point. The point is that modern music wouldn’t exist without the old folks.

So next time you see an old person rocking out to “Born To Be Wild,” try to repress the Old Folks Effect. Someday, that’ll be you. Only, you’ll probably be listening to something like “Moves Like Jagger.”


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