I won’t say that life has come full circle, but I am reminded of how “the more things change the more they stay the same”.
I see, when I can’t avoid them, “news” snippets of the latest outrageous acts of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and wonder what teens these days can possibly find to admire and emulate in the two. A decade ago, it might have been Eminem and 50 Cent, the Smashing Pumkins in the 1990s, Madonna or Prince in the 80s, the Stones in the 1960s, and, of course, Elvis in the 50s. In each of these eras, adults bemoaned the decline of society and parents feared for their children’s future.
Observing the passing of each successive decade from my safe distance–as I have no children to worry about–each decade appears to me to have “one upped” the prior. Adults migrated from demanding their sons get a hair cut to threatening banishment if their daughter came home with a tattoo, to stunned silence. What can they say now?
My own adolescence was oh-so-tame by comparison.
Francoise Hardy was my idol at the dawn of the 1960s. We lived abroad and I attended a French speaking school in Portugal and the gorgeous brunette singer-songwriter was the rage on our tiny school campus and even graced pages of the several issues of Vogue with her model’s body. Cashing in my life savings from weekly allowances, I bought every one of her albums and played them on a record player (yes, a record player) so many times the grooves were bordering on ravines.
Today, in the back of one of the closets in my house, I believe an actual Francoise Hardy LP album is gathering dust in its cardboard jacket. And though I’ve treasured that keepsake of my youth, I’d nearly forgotten the singer until recently–was it a crossword puzzle clue or a jeopardy answer, I don’t recall. Whatever the trigger, and despite doubts I’d find any reference to the long ago idol, a few clicks on iTunes and “voila”. Though no longer a brunette, Francoise Hardy has aged beautifully and if anything her music and voice are more pleasing, less rock and roll or be-bop and more haunting and full, more experienced and worldly. A woman who has come into her own.
Unfortunately Francoise Hardy ended her recording career in 2010 s with her last CD (no more albums), La Pluie Sans Parapluie — Rain Without Umbrellas, a fitting way to end. I’ll always be a fan.
Do you remember your early idols? Are you still a fan?