A boomer asks, why can’t we be creative again?

If you ever dreamed of being a rock ’n roll star, you have plenty of company. Including Stephen Satterwhite of Fairport, New York. His dream took shape one Sunday night when he watched Ed Sullivan, and saw a radical new rock group: The Beatles.

I am a baby boomer born in 1951 in Rochester, New York, the youngest of three children. I started entertaining my parents by singing to them in my pajamas when I was only two years old. The invention called “The living room television” captured my attention. Every week it brought me Captain Kangaroo, Sea Hunt, and Bonanza.

Fast forward to my favorite TV show that changed everything. When I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, the next day I decided to grow long hair and create a band, just like millions of baby boomers on every block in every town across America. Every generation has its defining moments. This was one of ours.

I remember sitting in my high school cafeteria that day after seeing The Beatles saying to my friends, “Johnny you look like a drummer, Dave you’re really smart, how about lead guitar? Tommy, if you can keep a beat why don’t you buy a bass guitar?

So, after telling our parents it was either this or we would probably be smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and ending up in jail, that week we all went to the local music store and bought our guitars, our drums, and our amps.

Since I was singing before I could walk, I became the lead singer. We formed a band and it became the most fun I ever had. We learned Top 40 songs like “Gloria,” “Louie Louie,” and “House of The Rising Sun.” And we played absolutely everywhere. My favorite venue was in a small town in the Adirondacks. We were treated like the actual Beatles when we came to that town. It’s a lot of fun having girls crying in front of you.

Then we had to go to college and my father died. My dream of singing died as well. I had to grow up and get a “real job.”

Stephen Satterwhite

It is now fifty years later and I decided to tell my story in a book called True Stories from a Baby Boomer. It could be the story of millions of baby boomers, the decisions we faced, the ups and the downs, the mistakes, the triumphs.

As I look back at my life I have trusted in my God, that what happened to me was meant to be. I had a beautiful wife and two adorable children. If I was in the rock ‘n roll world I might have been famous, but empty inside.

Last month I decided to go back in time by starting to write my own songs and sing once again. The songs are about our generation, as we have grown older. I decided that just because we are older, it doesn’t mean we can’t be creative again.

3 Comments

  1. This was so nice of you to tell my story! It is the same story that millions of baby boomers experienced. The music stores must have sold thousands of dollars of band equipment that year. There were five bands, like mine, just in our high school alone. I wrote “True Stories from a Baby Boomer” about all our generations stories.

    1. Hey Steven,
      I read your book in an evening. The local bands with guys we knew were the best back in the day. As you know, I grew up in Cleveland and our local band was the Raspberries, with Eric Carmen. I miss those days.
      You may want to catch Quincy on Netflix. What a genius . But the best part of Mr. Jones was his humbleness and his heart. You also share those qualities.
      Take care and remember, “All you need is love…”

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