As Lefsetz recently said, it's gonna start happening with alarming rapidity. The passing of those that were at the vanguard of America's Cultural Revolution. And, as that revolution was driven by music, the losses sting for all of us.
Coming of age in the '60s was a heady time. There wasn't Adult Contemporary, Album Rock, Contemporary Urban, Hispanic, Alternative Rock, Alternative Country, Heavy Metal...it was just "our music." Imagine a radio station that would play Jimi Hendrix, Poco, Sly and the Family Stone, Santana, Tom Jones, Booker T & the MGs, Harry Chapin, the Beatles and Stones, the Supremes, Buffalo Springfield, the Grass Roots, Chicago, Jim Croce, the Isley Brothers and Leslie Gore. Yeah, that was pretty much our stations. Because we loved it all.
One of those artists departed terra firm this week...and left a hole in my heart. And, not just because a former girlfriend used to be able to convince bar patrons that she was her sister (they could have been).
Leslie Gore's first hit ("It's My Party"), recorded when she was a High School Junior (and produced by a fledgling Quincy Jones) was the quintessential story song that rang so true. They said Johnny was holding Judy's hand at my birthday party...when he was supposed to be mine.
That ache is universal. We all have lived that song.
Her last big hit, however (just a year later), was a coming-of-age classic. Not just for Leslie...but for women everywhere. Rolling Stone called it an "empowering, ahead-of-its-time, feminist anthem."