Kids These Days Have Got It Easy

Kids These Days Have Got It Easy


Music fans queueing to buy concert tickets, 1988 (Photo: Mail Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

These days, everything is instant. Instant gratification is king. Selfies (how many likes can I get?) Memes (how viral can I make this?) Restaurant food delivered to my door in 20 minutes. On demand TV means I can binge watch  a whole series when I want. Music streamed direct to my phone or any other device I want. It's so easy!

It wasn't always so easy, but does that mean we appreciated it more?

Growing up in the 80’s, I used to get pocket money if I did something, like, mow the lawns, wash the cars, empty and repack the dishwasher, ya know, normal stuff that kids did to earn a quid. I used that money, when I was 6 years old, to buy my very first albums. Well, one was a single, one was an album. The single came from Split Enz, it was "6 Months In A Leaky Boat". I remember hearing it on radio at the time, and liked that the band sung about a boat, because we had a boat that we would go fishing in, and when I was 6, I loved that boat. They loved boats, it was a match made in heaven. Still one of my favourite songs from Split Enz, by the way. The album, was Chipmunk Punk.

I remember handing over my $7.99 to the lady behind the counter at Brashs at my local shopping centre for that one. That was the one I had my heart really set on. Simon, Alvin, Theodore pictured on the front cover up against a brick wall with PUNK spray painted on it. I was totally cool. I was totally punk, and I totally played the hell out of that album.


For the uninitiated, it was an album of covers that the Chipmunks did and the songs were absolute classics and I dare say it’s where I found a love of some artists. The Cars' "Let’s Go", Blondie's "Call Me", Tom Petty's "Refugee", Billy Joel's "You May Be Right", and Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". This album was a treasure trove of brilliance. Someone on Spotify has compiled all these tracks into a playlist... see how easy it is to consume music now?

I poured over the cover, reading the lyrics, looking at the names of the original artists and who wrote the song and when it came out, I was soaking it all in because I had something tangible, real and ornate that I bought with real money, handed over a counter to a lady I didn’t know who could only see me beaming with pride at my purchase.

This is why I started buying vinyl again quite a few years ago. When you buy a physical copy of an album, you feel like you’re in a gang. You’ve contributed, you’re in the club, you’re part of something, and it feels good. So I’ll keep buying albums, on vinyl, till the day I die. Plus, I like the sound of the crackle.

The other thing kids these days don’t understand is just how hard it was to get tickets to your favourite gigs before the internet was around. We relied on street press, flyers, and word of mouth to know when bands were coming, and there’d even be an ad on TV if the band was big enough! 

When Metallica released their self titled 'Black' album in 1991, and in 1992 announced they were coming to Australia, my mates and I were stoked, and we knew we had to be there. But the only place we could guarantee to get decent tickets from, was the BASS outlet which was situated in Myer. The closest Myer store was about 15 minutes from my house, so myself and two friends, Dale and Jim, decided that we would camp out for tickets.

First we had to do some reconnaissance.

The week prior to tickets going on sale, we visited the store to see which entrance was the closest to the BASS outlet desk as there were multiple entry points, and luckily, the closest one, was the one that lead to the upstairs car park area. So that would be our spot. Surely no one else would be as keen as us. I’d seen them on the And Justice tour in 88, I was a fan! But, I was wrong. When we rolled into the car park the evening before tickets went on sale, there were at least 25 other people who had the same idea. Slightly bummed, but enthusiastic, we hopped out of the car and made our way over to the line, dropped our backpacks, rolled out some blankets, and got ready to wait.

Someone had brought a boom box and was playing all kinds of metal I’d never heard, it was brilliant, someone else brought a footy so we were kicking that round, making new friends, discussing music, it was, again, like being in a club, a gang, a movement. It’s something I’ll never forget, and I appreciate my friends that camped out with me that night to get tickets to what went on to be a 3+ hour show. It was rad.

These days you just get online and click a few buttons and you get what you want. Where’s the adventure? Bah, the kids have no idea. 

 - Higgo 

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