Sunday, November 23, 2003

November 23, 2003
Coming back from New Mexico earlier this week I realized something: Baby Boomers are enough of a market for us. Entertainment Weekly and others have been reporting the network’s double digit loss of the 18-34 male and the big wig’s hand-wringing at this potent market loss. When we were in New York last summer talking to the History Channel they too were obsessed with somehow corralling the elusive teenage demo.

Last night I read the new Rolling Stone with the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. I was somewhat surprised that the top ten were all Baby Boomer groups (RS is also reportedly trying to court youngsters, but you couldn’t tell it from the list): The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was chosen as number one, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds came in at number two, the Beatles again at number three with Revolver and also at number 9, then Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Marvin Gaye. The Clash was the only “new group” to break the top ten (and they’re twenty years old!).

Yes, we are the pig in the python’s digestive system, but why fight it, sometimes you just need to go with it.

Case in point: this morning I was listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR and Garrison Keillor’s show was broadcasting from San Diego. Garrison introduced a group called the Duotones, two guys on acoustics, who proceeded to play the old surf classic, Pipeline. The crowd went nuts and so did I. In fact, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up and I couldn’t stop grinning. This song is a benchmark for Baby Boomers (from Kingman). I truly believe it’s one of the greatest songs ever recorded, with the possible exception of Apache (1961) which the Duotones played at the end of the show.

So what does this have to do with True West? Well, we are playing with the idea of doing a Western music issue. Do we put Michael Martin Murphy on the cover or Gene Autry?

Speaking of Prairie Home Companion, when Kathy and I went ice fishing with Garrison Keillor two years ago, we like everyone else wanted to talk to him, but he was mobbed for the entire weekend. People hanging on him everywhere. So, on the last day, out on the VFW patio, overlooking a frozen lake north of St. Paul, Kathy and I did a cheesy thing: we took turns standing close to Garrison and took pictures of each other as if he were our closest friend. He had no idea we were doing this (notice his stoic oblivion). I have since put this on our refrigerator to remind us of all our famous friends. Ha.

”Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”
—George S. Patton

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