Until about 1994, this was infuriating, but not any more. Because the great thing about the Britpop generation isn't just that they have given us music to be proud of now, but that Damon, Noel, Jarvis, Tricky, Polly, Bjork and their chums will still be producing interesting work when we're old enough to start fancying Newsnight presenters.
They're cut from a more durable cloth than the bands of the Eighties were. Few people expected Heaven 17 or Spandau Ballet to last into the next century. Fewer people wanted them to. But the Britpop crowd - they're the ones who spend their interviews saying, "We're not part of the Britpop crowd" - have too much intelligence, self-awareness, ambition and inspiration to retire before they've become very embarrassing indeed.
I'm already looking forward to hearing the gems they'll produce 20 years from now. Oddly, I'm looking forward to the disasters too. There will be unwise haircuts and bouts of born-again Christianity. There will be contract-fulfilling pap and drug-addled gibberish, bewildering CD-Roms and depressingly awful classical concertos. There will, inevitably, be jazz albums. And not only will I buy everything with these people's names on, but I'll fool myself that I can hear echoes of the genius that the young Albarn used to have, before he went bald.
Even better, journalists like me will make a living by writing nostalgic profiles, just like the ones of Pete Townshend and Bryan Ferry that we have to put up with at the moment.
To mark Liam Gallagher's 50th birthday, we'll fly to the LA home he bought from Rod Stewart, where we'll meet him and his lovely wife. ("I was out of control in those days," he laughed. "But after I got out of the Courtney clinic, Heavenly Harani really helped me learn to love myself.") We'll go in search of the reclusive Alanis Morissette ("My children are the most important thing in my life.") We'll nod sympathetically when The Prodigy say that kids today have forgotten the craft of songwriting. We'll shortlist Jarvis Cocker's disappointing comeback album for the Mercury Music Prize, and serve up soundbites for his South Bank Show retrospective (hosted by Shaun Ryder).
The 21st-Century teens will be bored stupid. "Don't you care that your heroes haven't produced anything ground-breaking for years?" they'll demand. "On the contrary," we'll reply. "Because this way, they'll always be ours."Reuse content