THE YouTube GENERATION GAP (UP-DATE)
Tuesday, February 19th, I lectured before the “Music, Television and American Culture” class at the University of Southern California (USC). It was my third appearance in an equal amount of years and, as before, it was a great experience. I learned how wonderful students can be when I did my show in the 60s. This talk was no different, enforcing my theory that if you give respect, you get respect back. These students were awesome (to borrow their own phrase).
The class is taught by Jon Burlingame, the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television. Jon writes regularly for The New York Times and Daily Variety and has written several best selling books on the subject. He is also the owner of 5 Lloyd Thaxton Dawks. What a guy.
My lecture was “Making Recorded Music Visual For Television.” One thing that fascinates me about this class is that the average age is 21 years, which means that the oldest student in the class was born 20 YEARS AFTER my show went off the air. They had no idea who I was (unless their parents mentioned me) and it was great fun trying to win them over. My favorite comment from a student after my first talk was, “I hope when I graduate I will get a job as fun as yours.” There is a comment below, left by a student who was at the lecture, that made my day. The reason why, just like the Energizer bunny, I keep going and going.
This is the Internet generation we’re talking about (and talking to) here. The same kids who kick-started YouTube’s success with their amateurish lip-syncing to records. Not unlike the amateurish lip-syncing I started out with on my show. The difference is these YouTube performances were viewed by more people than any of my attempts on my first show. However, lucky for me, videotape was invented (Al Gore?), national syndication followed and television career opportunities, including mine, grew to enormous proportions.
And, lucky for these students, the Internet is going to do the same thing for them, opening up an exciting future for all in the communication arts. I loved being able to discuss these future possibilities with these young show business entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
Actually, when you come to think about it, there is no generation gap here at all.