Kids Today Have it So Easy

musings 250_edited-1As always, I can connect any event to music.  This past weekend, I moved my oldest son into Reese Hall to start his freshman year at the University of Tennessee.  The irony that I moved into the same dorm 30 years ago with the Beaver Dam’s own Barry Currin was not lost on me.  First, those rooms are exactly the same, but they seem a lot smaller.

Another thing that is smaller is the music equipment.  I remember lugging a rack system up four flights of steps to put in the room.  But, I can guarantee you that it was the first thing that was packed in the car.  With padding.  Lashed down with straps.  Inside the car.  Seat belts buckled.  If anything was going to college, it was the stereo.  It had an AM/FM tuner, cassette player, phonograph, and a storage cabinet below.  Not to mention the 4 foot speakers.  Of course, we couldn’t turn the volume up past about 3 for fear of incurring the wrath of the RA.  We also had albums and cassettes as well to bring along.  So needless to say, it was a labor of love to make sure we had music in our dorm room.

Today, this is what the college student brings for music:

zach clayton, music musings,

Click to enlarge.

Plus a phone or maybe an iPod.  That’s it.  And that is even large compared to some.  No albums, cassettes or anything.  Plus they get the benefit of using the phone/iPod as they are walking to and from class.  No more having to carry the Walkman (Google it if you don’t know) and spare batteries as you walked the campus.  We had it so hard because occasionally, we would have to stop and flip the tape over to the other side.

While I am making light of it, the advancement of music technology has surely come a long way.  But I guess the really important thing is that they are listening to music still.  Hell, some affiliated with this site even took History of Rock & Roll as an elective.

About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”


  1. I didn’t bother taking a turntable & LPs to college. I took my Pioneer jambox that I bought on Lay-Away at the Donelson Pk KMart & a case of cassettes. I did buy a few more LPs my 1st two years – but leeched from a guy down the hall to record them to TDK SA-90 tapes for me. He was also the first person I’d met who owned a CD – Toto IV. I ooh’d & ah’d over the sound and size of the CD & its jewel case. Now my kids want no part of either – “Nah, just gimme another iTunes gift card instead please”.

  2. Yes, I am a proud alumnus of the History of Rock and Roll class at the University of Tennessee! Learning when Purple Haze was released was a lot more fun than anything I learned in Western Civ. And to all the readers out there, I have an old picture of Mr. Clayton with a stuffed gorilla that creates more questions than it answers, but I will be happy to post it if I get enough support from you, our loyal public.

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