Music is a legacy of our boomer generation

Music is one of the legacies of our boomer generation. Patrick Ames of Palo Alto, California, a boomer musician himself, has written a piece for BoomerCafé about not just the role music plays in our lives, but about the role we play in the life of music. It’s called, On Boomer Playlists.

I’ve seen some good baby boomer playlists on BoomerCafé, all those great songs that remind us of the years when we boomers were growing up, from rock & roll classics to Motown. I can remember each and every song myself, as you probably can, sometimes with snippets of old memories associated with each melody. Great stuff.

Patrick Ames

Patrick Ames in a recording studio.

And, as an active singer/songwriter in his 60s, I can’t tell you how many times someone in my audience has requested those old songs. “Play some ‘Traffic’” they request, or, “Know any Bonnie and Delanie?” I try to do one or two ‘covers’ as they say, which basically means songs that are already famous, that people can listen to over and over again, but there are too many new songs, new themes, and new music to write and sing.

It’s that way with a whole generation or two of active musicians who still perform. And I’m not talking about the boomer Rock Star who performs in concert at a huge football stadium nearby. I mean local musicians who have day jobs, families, kids, but still perform with lots of other musicians and performers, creating and playing original music. And it’s all local. There’s a whole organic food movement about eating local foods grown by local farmers— well, this is about local music by local musicians.

So, here’s a recommendation for your new year’s resolutions. Go out and visit some local live music.


Go to the bars or pubs in your town, the churches, the street fairs, the festivals You’ll be surprised by the number of middle-age boomer musicians there are, playing and singing throughout the week. Go see them. Go listen to them. Don’t worry about how you look, or how you’ve aged. Don’t feel “weird” because it’s the middle of the week and here you are, listening to, hopefully, a little loud music. Don’t convince yourself before you get there that this whole thing is ridiculous and you’re past it. Whether it’s jazz, or blues, or country, or a chamber quartet, there are boomer musicians playing in your town, right now, and other musicians of all ages needing your attention. Skip the TV some night and go discover your local music scene.

You’ll hear those great playlists over and over again. Only now in new and formidable arrangements. It’s quite beautiful.


  1. Well, Patrick, you will be glad to know that we support our local bands cos our favorite bar here in town brings them in and we go to sing and dance with them, as well as driving from Georgia last year to participate in the celebration of 50 years of the Grateful Dead right down the street from you at Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara. I saw the Grateful Dead for the first time in 1968 when I was 18 and never stopped going to see them or other bands. The list of live concerts I attended includes David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jethro Tull, Altamont, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Pat Metheny, Albert King, Canned Heat, The Velvet Underground, Iron Butterfly, Richie Havens, Fleetwood Mac (in Diamond Head Crater on Oahu, Hawaii), Elton John, Neil Young, Hot Tuna, Santana, Spooky Tooth, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks and all the other formations of the Grateful Dead after Jerry Garcia died.
    Wow! I have never done that before today which Is listing out all the live concerts I have attended other than the Grateful Dead. Thank you for your piece which triggered that trip down memory lane and keep keepin’ on locally as we will, locally.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more!
    I just picked up the bass 6 months ago and plan on rockin’ till the grave!

    Thanks for the article.

  3. Indeed it is very important to support local musicians and establishments. I feel it also important to continue to support the performers and bands that were our favorites in our youth. Many are still producing new music, but do so on their own (or much smaller) record labels. Take a couple minutes and Google bands you loved. You’d be surprised how many are still active. So many that I produce Classic Artists Today, weekly, that features their great new music (interviews & classic songs, too)!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *