May 16th, 2007

the mark

Where have all the jukeboxes gone?

Herb Berkowitz has an interesting essay in the Wall Street Journal today full of praise for jukeboxes and scorn for iPods -and by extension, all the other portable music players since the Walkman. I miss jukeboxes myself and wonder when they started fading from public life. Used to be you couldn't find a bar or a sandwich joint without one, but these days it's more common to hear the radio playing, and I think that's a giant step backward for society. It's a lot easier to relax when you're listening to the music that you like instead of whatever annoying tune is on the radio; God knows there have been plenty of times when there's absolutely nothing good on the air. Take, for example, the spring and summer of 1983 when I usually tuned in to WGMS, Washington's all-classical station. Not because I'm a big fan of classical, but because all the other pop stations were playing R&B or disco and the one rock station was recycling the same ten Led Zeppelin tunes over and over and over and over until you wanted to shoot yourself.
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