I was born in the late eighties and I grew up listening to what was then, and is still now, called ‘classic rock’. It’s a broad term, sure, but you know what it means. Led Zep, Dylan, Hendrix, Maiden, that kinda stuff. Except the thing is, that at that time, a band like Iron Maiden would—for the people who cared about those sorts of things—probably not be classed into that category. Why? They were just too recent. ‘Classic rock’ implies a bit of a vintage. Maiden were just ‘metal’. That felt more correct. As a matter of fact metal as a whole barely fit under the umbrella of the ‘classic rock’ label. Sure Sabbath started it and Priest codified and expanded it, and that was still all in the seventies, but broadly speaking metal became a Thing in the eighties, after which it mushroomed and exploded into a billion subcategories. So Maiden and metal never quite fit into ‘classic rock’. For a few reasons—many of them linked to style rather than era, though that’s a nerd conversation for another time—but nevertheless, the era thing proved decisive. So if metal didn’t fit, grunge and nineties alternative certainly didn’t. And that’s not even mentioning the nu-metal and pop punk and other assorted genres that came and went post-Millennium. How could they fit into a term with ‘classic’ in it? They were now!
That almost doublespeech-ish contradiction there gets to the heart of my point here. How time keeps on slipping, slipping, and grinding you against its merciless wheels. Because now, in 2020, radio and Spotify and god knows what else—they all class Iron Maiden as classic rock. And Smashing Pumpkins, and Rage Against the Machine, and fu**ing Sum 41. And it’s breaking my brain to realise, bit by bit, that they are probably correct. Back when I was refusing to class Maiden as classic rock, their eighties heyday had just passed. I was born just as the last of the albums from that era was released. Now? We are further away in time from the beginning of the band’s post-Millennium renaissance that began with the 2000 album ‘Brave New World’ than that album was from the end of their eighties era. Almost twice as far, in fact. And that, I cannot fully comprehend. It’s like that famous fact about Cleopatra existing closer on our timeline to the invention of the iPhone than to the building of the pyramids. Mind-boggling, obvious once you think about it, but still unacceptable. An even worse one than the Cleopatra thing? Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ came out 16 years ago. Like objectively, sure: Makes sense! But also, no, I refuse to accept it. That’s still the new Green Day album.
Anywhoooo, that lengthy preamble really just leads me to this incredibly trivial, tired, and hackneyed thought: As I’ve gotten older, time has ceased to make sense. It’s gone soft, if you will. I think a part of my brain froze in the early 2000’s, and that’s where it’ll stay forever. It’s a topic that is touched on in one of the answers to this AskReddit thread, which asks the question: ‘What is an adult problem you were not prepared for?’ You can check out the full thread here but below are some highlights:
Header Image Source: Getty Images