Rockabilly Decoration. Rockabilly music is alive and well after almost 60 years on the scene. Modern rockabilly fans keep the music alive by supporting the bands that play it. But these fans don’t just buy rockabilly records and go to rockabilly shows.
Many of them live the rockabilly lifestyle. They dress in vintage clothing. Decorate their houses with vintage furniture, artwork, and color schemes. They drive classic cars. And of course, they listen to their favorite music on vintage hi-fi equipment. These fans are often referred to as The Rockabillies.
The rockabillies use the trappings of 1950s fashion to express their love for rockabilly music and the good parts of the rockabilly lifestyle. They’re not trying to forget that the 1950s had its share of troubles and worries. They’re not pretending that the atomic bomb scare never existed or that the rampant fear and hatred of communists wasn’t distasteful. They don’t pretend that the racism that infected 1950s America wasn’t every bit as shameful as we all know it was. Just because they are rockabillies doesn’t mean that they live in a world of delusion.
Instead, their love for the 50s culture and look is more an attempt to celebrate what seems good about that era. It represents what appears to us looking back now to have been a simpler, more carefree time. Whether it really was or not isn’t really the point. It seems that way. Sporting the 50s look is its own unique brand of cool. It’s an easy way to announce to other rockabillies that you are one of them–that you share similar interests and a love for the wonderful art form of rockabilly.
Of course, you don’t have to visibly be a rockabilly to enjoy and love rockabilly music. I personally don’t live as a rockabilly to any great extent. I do tend toward a rockabilly haircut and I love classic cars as much as the next guy. But I don’t go out of my way to dress in 50s fashions (aside from my stage clothes when I’m performing.) Still, I love rockabilly music and (as evidenced by this, my other articles, and my blog) spend a lot of time thinking about it, writing about it, and in general just sharing the joy of the music with anyone who will listen.
But the rockabillies are a special breed. They express their love for the music and the genre outwardly in vivid 1950s colors. When you see a rockabilly, you know instantly what kind of music they love. It’s a community. Rockabillies are brothers and sisters in a common quest to keep rockabilly and the 1950s alive. The clothes they wear, cars they drive, and the furniture in their homes simply augment the soundtrack of their lives: The rockabilly music that binds all of us fans together. Whether you are a full-out rockabilly or, like me, simply a fan who loves the music despite generally non-rockabilly appearances, a fan is still a fan. In the end, it’s the music that gives us all common ground. The music is our king, we fans are the rockabilly army, and the rockabillies are our proud flag bearers!
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