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One of the running themes of Young Americans, my Ricochet podcast, is the stubborn half-life of Baby Boomer pop culture. The movies, TV, music, etc., that were popular when the Baby Boom generation was growing up, and the pop culture they created, still seem dominant even as that generation ages into retirement. Star Wars movies still clean up in theaters. Bruce Springsteen tours sell out. Hawaii Five-O gets a TV remake. Et cetera.
Ordinarily, it is my job as a 25-year-old host of a podcast of young people to resent this fact. I bristle beneath the bridle of the Baby Boomers, who refuse to relinquish their stranglehold on pop culture. And I call on younger generations to start creating their own pop culture to liberate us from the Boomer reign.
Yeah, this is what I’m supposed to do. But I’ve got to hand it to you Boomers: You made some good stuff. And so, when I recently appeared on Political Beats, a National Review podcast that performs deep dives on the favorite bands of political personalities (which is what I guess I am now…), I chose Electric Light Orchestra.
ELO is a great, underrated band, as I have written before. Driven mostly by the Beatlesque creative energy of singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer Jeff Lynne, ELO generated a steady stream of hit songs and albums in its original incarnation, particularly in the band’s peak years of 1974-1979. You surely have heard some of them: “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head,” “Evil Woman,” “Telephone Line,” “Mr. Blue Sky,” and “Don’t Bring Me Down” are some of the more famous, but there are many others.
I don’t want to say much more here, because you should just listen to what Scott Bertram and Jeff Blehar, the show’s co-hosts, and I talk about on the episode.
I just want to admit defeat, for the time being. For despite being a Millennial, when I had the chance to discuss my favorite music, I chose the band of a man born in 1947, whose commercial peak came while my father was in high school and college.
You win this round, Boomers.