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New Age Sucks


Kevin Keller has shared a great story from the 1990s:

One fateful day in the late summer, I was driving home from my day job listening to the radio. I had tuned to a local station that played a combination of “smooth jazz”, “lite rock”, and “new age” music.  The track playing at the time was particularly innocuous and uninspired, and I found myself getting angry.

newagemusicsucks2Why was I angry?

When I first discovered ambient/electronic music in the 80’s, it seemed like it was a really big deal. There was an entire section at Tower Records devoted to it, you could hear live albums by Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre with a large, appreciative audience, and there was a nationally syndicated radio show called “Music from the Hearts of Space” devoted to this music.  Artists like David Darling, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Vangelis, and the aforementioned Jarre and Tangerine Dream were constantly innovating, pushing the boundaries of what “music” could be.  These were the artists that inspired me to become a recording artist myself.  Unfortunately, some time later in the 80’s, this genre had been kidnapped by the record industry and had quickly become background music for dinner parties and massage studios. The innovation was drained out of the music, and it was given the name “new age”.

This is why I was angry. Someone had stolen my favorite genre, and turned it into something else.

All of these thoughts flooded my mind as I pulled into the driveway that afternoon.  Finally, I couldn’t take any more, shut off the radio, and yelled “New Age sucks!”

And with that, I had come up with the first ad line.

This is an excerpt from Kevin Keller’s great newsletter, and is a story that will be continued. You can subscribe here. Also make sure to check out Kevinkeller.net