Philebrity’s Joey Sweeney weighs in on the Greatest Year in Music

Philebrity editor and local rock star Joey Sweeney casts a vote for 1972 as the Greatest Year in Music.

Joey Sweeney has been around this town for awhile, first in his 00s band The Trouble With Sweeney, then as founder and editor of Philebrity and continuously as a musician in several other bands like Arctic Splash and Long Hair Arkestra. We asked Joey to give us his thoughts on what was the greatest year in music. Read what he had to say below. Vote for your favorite year here.


The family lore had informed me from an early age that, indeed, I had seen the legendarily decadent and infamous Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street tour when it hit Philadelphia. Well, “seen” would not be the right word — rather, that I would have been present but in point of fact in utero; there, but otherwise engaged. There enough, though, to feel the rumblings, to sense that, on the other side of the wall, there was the chasing of shadows and moonlight mysteries.

I never quite believed it. Not because I thought that I was being lied to, mind you — like everybody else, I’ve got a connection to this music that is DNA-nal — but more because it just sounds like too pat an origin story. My parents were 16 and 17 when they had me in 1972, and the more I have learned what it might have been like on-the-ground, being that in age in those times, the more it seems both polite and prudent to expect a certain amount of narrative haze.

But I’ll be damned, there it is: 21 July 1972, the Philadelphia Spectrum. They played two shows. I would have been conceived somewhere around March, and Exile came out in May. With my mother about halfway through her second trimester, I would have attended this concert about half-cooked, as they say. Which would have put me in sympathetic company among both audience and artists. The Stones would have been just about at the end of this tour — the one chronicled in Cocksucker Blues.

There’s a picture of my Dad from right around this time; in it, he’s got Mick Taylor’s haircut.

Let us just say, then, that it is physically impossible for apples to fall very far from trees. That we are all our mothers and fathers, right up to the point where we can or cannot help it. And while my day-to-day consciousness is very much here and now, writing this thing on the Internet for you which you will
hopefully share with a friend because this is the currency of ideas now, my soul’s interface with the human oversoul occurs almost entirely in 1972 money. So much of my default sensibilities and even my ongoing learnings, listenings and readings can’t quite step away from this era — its languor, its vulgarity, its earthen funk, its can’t-quite-get-out-of-its-own-way ambition.

It is where everything begins for me. It is where music begins for me. So far as I know, so far as I’m able to access with this present consciousness.

So, bearing all of that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, would you welcome it back, please: The Year 1972. If you’re being honest, you know that it’s never been very far away from us.

Category: 70s


Article by: Julie Miller