I have this thing where I try to focus on an anticipated event in the future with such concentration and detail that it's the next best thing to time traveling. And then, for fun, when the actual event arrives, I try to remember with all possible clarity the past time when I imagined the moment I am currently living. In this way, I will myself unstuck in time.
Back when punk rock meant a lot to me, I tried to imagine the point at which culture will completely consume and digest my musical obsession. And, by "digest", I'm not indicating "cutting edge" advertising (that is, of course, an oxymoron, but you get the point), but the nexus where any possible semblance of the counterculture is bleached out of punk. I had a hard time imagining that happening with punk - but, then again, in 1972, I never thought I would get sick of the greatest rock -n- roll song ever, "Stairway to Heaven".
Today, waiting in line to make a deposit at a Chase bank in Elizabethtown, KY, I heard the original version of the Ramones' "Rock -n- Roll Radio" playing softly in the background. It was followed by Bryan Adam's "Summer of '69".
This isn't Iggy and William Burroughs on Nike commercials. This is at a bank, in a military base/bible belt town. This is it - the end of punk as a countercultural marker. This was the coffin nail. Punk is now only music.
I must admit I felt nothing. Nothing, that is, except the vertigo of sliding back and forth between now and when punk mattered to me.