I’m the last person I thought would write about Justin Bieber. Then I was asked to pen some thoughts on the boy and while I sharpened my fangs and prepared for the attack, I had some time to ponder just what my attitude towards the Canadian kid, and a youngster’s devotion to the various teen idols over the years.
While I won’t get into any names, I will confess I have a few CDs in my collection purely purchased because of some excitable hormones. Sometimes the hormones have delivered some surprisingly pleasant musical treats. I have 6 CDs that were purely bought by my eyes and still not cherished by my ears. I doubt there’s one of us out there that hasn’t been attracted to music purely based on being attracted to the musician.
Before I get back to the Biebs, I’d like to offer up a long overdue apology to my younger sisters for being an ogre in dealing with their brief time listening to New Kids on the Block. My sisters were pretty young during the Boston boys’ heyday, which didn’t sit well with their brooding older brother. I remember their excitement at going to see them at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. The joy should have been palpable, but to this jaded soul it was like nails down a chalkboard. So I nipped “this problem” right in the bud by tearing the ribbon out of their tapes and taking scissors to their souvenir tour book, which looking back, was monstrous. Sisters, I am truly sorry for that. But they did get into more “acceptable” music quickly!
As I age I seem to becoming less jaded, accepting different musical tastes and expanding my own. And I think of how the younger me would react to the young Canadian who inspires Beatlemania-style hysteria in girls across the globe. Sure I would have thought he looked like Hilary Swank, but what about the good this kid could do?
I haven’t heard a Justin Bieber record. I’ve heard “Baby” and “Boyfriend” in someone’s car many times, but he doesn’t make records for me, and we’re both cool with that. But if Justin Bieber can make lifelong music fans from 10% of his fanbase, then I’m happy and so should the industry be. He’s received a lot of attention from the musical community which is rare, and may very well help him survive the terrible teens. The only people I can think of who’ve survived the same level of fame as kids are Justin Timberlake and Ricky Martin.
But I harbor no ill will towards the Biebs. The kid has a good attitude and he’s pretty passionate about trying to stay relevant, no matter your thoughts on the results. Seemingly eager to work with as many people as possible, Bieber may be on to something and why should I/we go through the effort of bringing him down while he tries to grow up? I’ve made many mistakes over the years, much like everyone else on the planet, so I’m ready to cut him some slack. Maybe he is Just Getting Started.
So to the young girls; thank you for buying your first CDs. There is a wealth of music awaiting you to explore; I hope your first concert experience inspires you to seek solace in more concerts, although less ear-shattering (in most cases, depending on which road you go down). And while most of you may cringe later in life at this stage, it’s ok – we’ve all gone through it! And Justin, thank you for potentially being the gateway to a vast musical landscape if your fans choose to explore it.