I put the above up as illustrations of the post's title, all of which are examples of the sort of music I listened to during that period of time when I was… really, in all respects… a Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy. Both Jackson Browne and Dan Fogelberg figured heavily in my musical tastes back when I was the guy in the post's title, along with groups like The Moody Blues and 10cc (as above). While I'm tempted to put the "sensitive" bits in quotes, the reality is I was that sort of guy. Which, of course, bears some splainin', as Ricky Ricardo said.
I've been on a mini-voyage of rediscovery of late, which is to say that thanks to the wonders of the 'net… and YouTube, specifically… I've been doing some deep dives into the music that formed the biggest part of my life back when I was a Sensitive Seventies sorta guy. The videos above are icons of that period of time, but let us also be clear: there are other "icons" of that age I can MOST definitely do without… like Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, and Billy Joel, just to name three… about which I mean: there WERE (and are) limits to the amount of cloyingly sweet sentiment one man can take. If I never hear "Operator" again it will be too damned soon (and oh! how it hurt me to seek out a link for that), and ditto for the entire repertoire of the other two. It must also be said that I abandoned all that J. Browne, D. Fogelberg, and other such crap for many a year and have only recently come back to it, however briefly. But we digress.
Back to the subject at hand… There were those sorts in the wayback that adopted the "sensitive" pose as a ruse, a way to connect to women. While it's possible to divine the same sort of motive to YrHmblScrb… and one would be correct, in a somewhat literal sense, to ascribe that sort of behavior to present company… the truth of the matter is I really believed in that krep. At the time, and that time being from around 1968 until about 1980. I adopted for my own the talismans of that particular class of dudes… the blue chambray work shirts, the tattered embroidered jeans, the expensive stereo system showcased on plywood boards and cement blocks… bookended with sand-cast candles… and the ever-present baggie of proscribed vegetable material. All of the foregoing were part and parcel of the expected baggage of said sensitive males… not to mention decidedly Left-Wing political views. And it's the latter I want to be on about…
I began by saying I've been revisiting the music of my ill-spent youth and that is true enough. But what motivated that recent inquiry is pretty much a mystery to me. I think a very large part of it is this: I've really been disaffected and disenchanted by politics of late, both on the left and on the right, but much more so by my comrades-in-arms on the right. A large part of my alienation with the political right is the right's tendency to pick nits and to ascribe sinister motives and radical labels to our fellow Americans on the left (see: Glenn Beck, among others). This really bothers me, in that while I strongly disagree with the Left's policies and prescriptions for what ails us as a nation, I do not for a moment think they are "the enemy" in any way, shape, or form. They are simply political opponents... nothing more and nothing less... to be debated and argued with, but NOT to be slandered or demeaned. Which brings us back to the Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy. I'll not be naïve and say that there wasn't an "us and them" mentality in play at the time… as there most certainly was. But… in the circles I ran in at the time, there was willingness to listen and openness to any and all points of view. The people I hung out with at the time… predominately Lefties… were open to debate and argument. All that changed, however, and I left the Left when they became Politically Correct to the extreme and supremely intolerant… which is to say sometime around 1980 or so. We could go on at length here, but we won't. It's my habit to be brief in my blog posts and respect the reader's ability to read between the lines. We can debate fine points in comments, if you've a mind to do so... or expand a particular line of thought, if that's the case.
So. My journey back into the music of my youth… and I use the term "youth" loosely… is more than likely an attempt at revisiting what I perceive to be a "better time," a time where the folks I hung with could agree to disagree and get on with what really mattered: having a good time. And we were quite good at that, Gentle Reader. Oh yes, we WERE.
Now… perhaps the next post in this vein will be an exploration of the sexual politics of music… specifically the sexual politics of the Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy (Heh: Marvin Gaye)… and that's a subject I could warm to, but not necessarily one that lends itself to brevity. We'll think about that.
Today's Pic: The Sensitive Seventies Kinda Guy in Kyoto in 1975:
Yes... we were oh-so-sensitive, not to mention being more fun than a National Park. (The foregoing is a quote from a female friend of mine, verbatim, and predates my first observation of such as a graffito on a bathroom wall. Srsly.) Heh.