Thursday, April 8, 2010
Retro Read: Bubblegum Music: The Nake Truth by Kim Cooper and David Smay
Of course, the 60s weren't all hippies and love-ins. The younger siblings, and the children of older baby boomers were cutting their teeth on sugary AM radio pop. At first I was hesitant to read Bubblegum Music, thinking it would be teeming with hipster irony, but it's actually a pretty cool homage to all those songs that should qualify as "guilty pleasures." (A concept I refuse to embrace. If it gives you pleasure, don't feel guilty. Own it.) There are a lot of fun, sometmes serious, essays here about bubblegum pop ranging from the 60s through the late 90s, including one really funny conversation about The Monkees. (Full disclosure: I am a huge Monkees fan.) It's aged surprisingly well, too (the book was written a decade ago.) The chapter, "1999: The Year Bubblegum Snapped," is just waiting for the next generation's misty-eyed nostalgia.