Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hagerty Employee

Olivia Rodrigo and "drivers license": Pondering a Cultural Phenomenon | Hagerty Media

Back in the day, when people bought recorded music on physical media (such as Long-Playing (LP) vinyl phonograph records; Philips/Norelco analog-tape Compact Cassettes; 8-Track endless cassette tapes; and, later, Digital Audio Compact Discs), the conventional wisdom in the pop-music end of the record industry, as it was explained to me at the time (by "insiders"), [...]

<i>"While, in the 1890s, young couples courted on the porch swing under the watchful eyes of their elders, by the late 1920s, parents (no doubt justifiably) feared that their daughter’s boyfriend’s family’s sedan would serve double duty as a “motel room on wheels.”"</i>

In 1960 you would rather have had your daughter's date pick her up in a two-seat Corvette than a Rambler. Rambler front seats would recline almost flat, creating, together with the back seat cushion, a large, mattress-like surface.
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for the hearty chuckle!

The Peugeot 404, over and above its elegant proportions and massing, also had that motel-room reputation.

In the mid-1970s, I often sighed, "Ah; for Brooke Shields, and a Peugeot 404 with a Moonroof!"

Kinda sorta an Omar Khayyam thing, I think.


Intermediate Driver

Oops... Shut my mouth... it was the 504...

mea culpa,

Intermediate Driver

By the way, for those whose computers are well past their Recycle-By Date, the original caption for the top photo might not be visible, so, here it is:

Members of the band Genesis, circa 1974, with Herb Belkin
(second from left). Atlantic Records/ATCO

In my tale, Herb represents the "Realpolitik"/Cynical side of the music biz.

A fascinating guy... and I do think that he loved music for its own sake, more than he would let on.


Intermediate Driver

Torn is still my favorite broken heart woman's pop ballad, along with No Doubt's Don't Speak and Alanis Morisette's You Oughtta Know... Those came out in my teenage years, so my opinion might be biased.

As for Driver's License, I still haven't heard it, but I already pronounce it less culturally and historically significant as "Baby Shark Doo doo doo doo doo doo" people will still be singing Baby Shark in 20 and 30 years for now... Then it will be as forgotten as Tiny Tim (I had to Google him sorry. Even though I'm old, well I'm not American)
Intermediate Driver

Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing in!

Responding to your comment about Tiny Tim, I believe that the "Great Divide" in music listening is that some people listen to music very consciously, as the major focus of their attention, while other people listen to music only as an accompaniment to other activities, such as reading knitting, or socializing. I believe that serious listeners are in the minority, and that "convenience" listeners are in the majority.

That's the reason some songs, whether "Baby Shark," or "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," break through and become cultural artifacts. As the great orchestral conductor Sir Thomas Beecham observed, "Most people don't really like music; they just like the noise it makes."


An excellent overall read, tangentially-connected to car culture, albeit with a tortuous sentence or two "(...including Phil Ochs, but only to the extent Ochs might not have been being totally ironical)".

Sensitive artistic girls, unrequited/unreturned love are evergreen themes.
Intermediate Driver

Dear Flashman,

Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing in.

When I first arrived at a prestigious New England prep school, the first book they had me read in English class was "Tom Brown's School Days," in which Flashman was a bully. Flashman later was the anti-hero of a series of historical novels. Is your moniker derived from that character?

As far as my at-times-Byzantine prose, from time to time I leave a convoluted sentence as-is, rather than Strunking it to death. Such sentences, I think of as "Speed Bumps," the reader's slowing down, to cause. Like the sentence I just wrote.

BTW, a friend of mine, upon reading a draft of this essay, commented that there was something of Jack Baruth's style in it, and I took that as a compliment. My guess is that that guy was referring to my Parthian shots directed at Olivia.