The Music Tells Our Story

Thomas F Campenni
5 min readJul 16, 2021

Music has a way of defining the events and times of one’s life.

The meanings we give to those tunes that were popular during different periods become more important than the song itself…what was going on behind the lyric. And the younger and more impressionable someone is, the greater the significance. This was quite a regular occurrence for me in the late 1960s and early 1970s with rock music.

It was a chaotic time in the U.S. There were assassinations, race and anti-war riots, drugs being used by all classes of society, and a sexual revolution. Socially, it was about as libertarian a time as there ever could be.

Those who had been raised during the Great Depression of the 1930s and fought in World War II were assuming national leadership positions. They were taking up the mantle from those born in the late 19th century like President Eisenhower (1890), Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen (1896), and Democratic Speaker John McCormack (1891), all of whom had served in WW I. They were the “Lost Generation,” which was a term credited to Gertrude Stein.

JFK Library

President Kennedy’s assassination may have precipitated the chaos to come. But it was a clashing of ideas between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers that brought an unraveling. While the latter took their turns waiting for the passing or retirements of leaders…

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Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manager in New York City.