An Era to Appreciate...
I was born in 1969, but really developed an interest in music back in the early 1980s. By that point, music started to become very electronic - and thanks to MTV, very manufactured.
Don't worry - I'm not going to go off on some cynical rant.
Despite my exposure to 1980s music, I'm happy to say my first interest was sparked by the likes of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Guess Who, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and countless others.
There were many factors that contributed to the great music that came out of the 1960s and 70s. Specifically, the death of JFK, the Vietnam War, the peace movement, the struggle for Human Rights, and Women's Liberation (woman's rights, development of "the pill", etc.).
It was an incredibly turbulent time, and as most of us know, exploration and creativity are often born in those environments. It's so easy to actually feel the conflict and angst in so many of the great songs from that era.
That being said - each era has their own icons to carry the torch of creativity. We just have to look for it a little harder these days :) While some technology can lead to an abundance of crap, it also provides an opportunity for some good stuff to get exposure (via MySpace, YouTube, Face Book, etc.) that would never have seen the light of day previously.
The only thing that REALLY sucks is the trend to just download music and abandon the CD and its artwork. There's a reason why people went back to collecting vinyl. The music, illustrations, and text are all part of the story that the artist wants to tell. By abandoning the physical product, it becomes cheaper for the corporate music industry to churn more and more out - and the public is buying into it.
Hopefully, as consumers and individuals, we still recognize that more isn't always better - and that we can sway the market into a positive, nostalgic direction with what we choose to purchase.
Creativity is not dead - and neither is Rock and Roll :)