April 6, 2005:

Cassettes, dusty, 35 years old, some of them.

I miss having something to follow so passionately. This is not the same as saying I miss my youth. They were great artists at their peak; for several years their work mattered, whether it was a new album or a tour or just a radio interview. Nothing that's happened since has had that power. Not one thing.

Their power was astonishing in part for its relentless lack of compromise. Today people speak of "talking truth to power." That's what they did. But the truth they told carried a special weight: that power was about to have its corrupt ass kicked. By millions of young people with long hair, all around the world.

In the space of just one or two years they fell, suddenly. At first I was confused. Here's the new album and it's... empty. Here's the new tour, and it's... empty. No weight, no more. Just money and drugs.

Today they still play. Amazing, really.

Will there be anything that matters like that ever again?

That I was a child is only coincidence.