1: Bronze Age
Immediately after the cavemen invented fire and the wheel etc. They made an extraordinary discovery – they learnt metal refining. At first they made items from copper- then they melted copper with a small amount of tin and they invented bronze. Almost at once they started going around calling themselves the ‘Bronze Age’ people.
Now, this meant that they could make attractive jewelry for their glamorous girlfriends, they could create decent studs for their biker jackets and make rivets for their jeans. In addition, they could manufacture useful bronze objects such as Zippo lighters, wallet chains and belt buckles.
2: The Iron Age
Iron Age people tended to troll around the place wearing a lot of chunky metal jewelry, carrying axes, swords, battle hammers and other large rusty weapons.
Probably, they also had long messy hair and clothes made out of sheepskin. They liked leather bracelets and shorts / kilts and tended to wear a lot of makeup and liked lots of tattoos. They also liked piercings. In fact, they tended to look a lot like me and you.
And, although there is scant archaeological evidence to support this very poor hypothesis … they listened to heavy metal music day and night.
At least it is agreed (by most distinguished historians) that they probably built several large music venues i.e. Cadbury Castle in Somerset and Maiden Castle in Dorset – to listen to their heavy-metal concerts.
Archaeologists have found evidence of these large-capacity venues, and have found remains- including discarded ticket stubs, fossil wrist-bands and hordes of old plastic cups at these sites. The Iron Age was eventually closed down after neighbours complained about the noise and the smell of skunk – and the ‘police’ in the form of ‘The Romans’ were called in – to break up the party.
3: The Industrial Revolution
Before the Industrial Revolution, Mrs Beeston of Telford, Shropshire slaved over a hot campfire to make a thin gruel of twigs for her family of four – before she went out hunting and gathering for food – up to 19 hours a day – hoping to find some succulent berries and nutrient-rich bundles of straw to feed her family for their evening meal.
But on Wednesday, April 25, 1760 (the day after the industrial revolution had begun) Mrs Beeston was able to rustle up toasted pop-tarts and a steaming plate of waffles at breakfast-time for her family – using a flyer and-bobbin-powered microwave – before she could settle back and relax on her new Ikea sofa to watch ‘Good Morning Britain’ on her spanking new spinning-water-frame powered flat-screen TV.
She could then laze away the morning with a series of coffee meetings and tupperware parties. Before she flew down to the local Lidl using a steam airship, to pick up some light groceries for the family (and some lottery tickets) before heading back home to fix the evening meal – a tasty dish composed of faggots, gravy and instant whip.
4: Sunset Strip Music Scene
If you had ventured down the Sunset Strip, West Hollywood, California in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s it is likely that you would have been jostled by the Hanoi Rocks, Van Halen, Poison, Cinderella and Mötley Crüe as they all fought each other for the ‘right’ to pay to play a gig inside the ‘Whisky a Go Go’. Afterwards, you would have probably seen the band members leaving the venue with a string of leggy strippers in tow.
They would spend their mornings attempting to govern their ridiculous piles of hair – and then spend the afternoons writing and releasing three best-selling albums.
It was a wonderful thing to watch – but for most hard-working folk in America their lifestyle was just an artificial dream. It was like perpetually living inside a glossy, faintly titillating … but ultimately boring … never-ending MTV music video. In the end, thankfully, someone pulled the plug.
5: The Seattle Sound
Seattle in the mid-to-late 1980s was a miserable dump. A moist, dark place full of dejected, unkempt, angst filled teenagers who trudged forlornly around the place – complaining about social alienation and the ‘injustice of everything’.
These guys invented a new kind of music. A genre that did not rely on glamorous hairstyles, snazzy clothes or mountains of cash. It certainly was not based on any recognizable talent. Instead, they relied on recreating raw sludgy sounds, with miserable lyrics and somnolent beats – bleating on about how isolated they all felt.
Although grunge was seen ( at first ) as totally authentic and culturally relevant – nowadays the bands and artists who were actually there – in Seattle in 1991 – prefer to pretend they knew nothing about it …. and they claim that they were hundreds of miles away at the time. Sunbathing on a beach.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by Washington State University has shown that, if – as is claimed – the majority of the population of Seattle were on vacation in Southern California during the period 1989-1992 – then the total population of King County Washington would have been about 4,535 residents . This is clearly false. There was at least twice that many residents in the city during the late eighties.
Words: – © Neil Mach March 2014 –