Jim Hutter
Whenever asked to write a short autobiography, my mind immediately wanders to the one that John Lennon wrote for the
back cover of his first book, “In His Own Write.”  Stealing Lennon’s language-mangling style, I usually scribe:

“I was bored the 23rd of Octover, 1964, when I believe we were booming the V-8 Cong, led by Hoochie Coochie Man (who
was neither very Hoochie nor Coochie).  Anyway, I was much too young to fight.  I attended varicose schools around Cowtown,
Ohio, and actually passed, much to my mummy’s supplies.”

Amid the wordplay, there is an element of truth.  I was born on October 23, 1964 in Columbus, Ohio.  In the opinion of today’s
sociologists, that either makes me one of the youngest Baby Boomers or an elder statesman of Generation X.  I have come to
realize that I am a bit of both, which probably explains my passion for rock music and various other aspects of our popular

As a child of the ‘seventies, I loved listening to my older brother’s record collection.  Consisting mostly of British artists with
‘sixties roots, I rapidly became a huge fan of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Who and others of a similar ilk.  Hitting
adolescence towards the end of that decade, I hungered for something more current and was drawn to the stripped-down
simplicity of punk and new wave.  Musically speaking, much of it harkened back to the greats of the ‘sixties, only with a more
contemporary and street smart lyrical slant.  Eventually, this also led to an appreciation of rockabilly, old school soul, glam
rock, and reggae.

An appreciation of post punk music, however, was a distinctly minority interest in the early ‘eighties.  Most of my schoolmates
skewed towards hard rock and disregarded new wave as “that weird punk shit.”  While a lack of peer acceptance was a
disappointment, it certainly did not stop me from following my muse.  I continued to collect vinyl albums by artists like Elvis
Costello, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash and was inspired by them to learn to play guitar.  It also gave me a very different
perspective on the ‘eighties than most.

This left-field perspective is exactly what fuels my writings in “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation.”  As the ‘eighties become a distant
memory, commercial interests recycle a much idealized nostalgia about that time.  Thanks to this trend, many of those too
young to remember actually believe that the ‘eighties was a time exactly like any John Hughes film, where apple-cheeked
youth wore unisex blow-dried hair and Members’ Only jackets while grooving to synth pop or hair metal.  As a quasi-punk who
questioned it all, I managed to sidestep many of those regrettable musical and fashion statements.  Unfortunately, this also
meant that I spent a lot of time alone with my guitars and record collection.  While this may make a music geek, I can look
back with little or no embarrassment.  I never wore parachute pants or a Flock of Seagulls haircut.  Thank goodness for that.
Contributing Columnist
Out Of The Blue  ootb646.com