In the 50’s the kids had Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. The sixties rock fans had The Beatles, The Who, and The Stones. The 70’s gave us Led Zeppelin, KISS, and Van Halen. Rock fans in the 80’s got to grow up with Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, and U2. Grunge ruled the 90’s with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. As the nineties were dissolving into the new century, rock and roll was just dissolving. The music is still being made but where are the rock gods?
For the first time in over 50 years the kids of today did not grow up on rock and roll. Hip hop and rap became the music of the youth. How can the next great rock band come from a society that didn’t come of age listening to the, dare I say, power chords on the guitar? The question is why has rock been passed by like it was going reverse on the freeway?
There are many answers to these questions. One could be technology. It’s so much easier to put together beats on a computer than it is to sit in a dirty garage learning how to play the electric guitar. With auto tune one doesn’t even have to be able to carry a note. That computerization of a singing voice has somehow become, not only palatable, but popular. This, I will never understand.
The sport of baseball has died out in the inner cities, not because baseball isn’t fun, but because you need to get 18 people together to play a game. Hip hop and rap is something that can be done solo or with just a couple of people. In order to play rock and roll music you need at least three and that is only if the three are very talented. Most bands really require need 4 or 5 likeminded musicians.
I know there are bands and good bands out there today. Part of the problem is that many are faceless. Say what you will about bands like Poison, Hendrix, and Bowie, but they looked like rock stars. They stood on the stages of the world and people wanted to look like them, act like them, and be like them.
Recently, I was in a Barnes & Noble Bookstore. I was looking at the hundreds of magazines they sell. My focus narrowed down to the music magazines. They were selling at least 7 guitar mags. Gracing the covers of these publications, were Eddie Van Halen, Lita Ford, Keith Richards, Slash, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Neal Schon. Where are the new guitar heroes? Are they all playing the video game? While the lead singers are the focal point of the bands the lead guitarist remain the rock star’s rock star.
Loud rebellious music will never fully go away. It is getting harder and harder to find. Maybe what the kids of today need is something to rebel against. Not that I want some kind of world catastrophe,but maybe some band can write that hard rocking defiant song about the New York Stock Exchange taking a dip for 3 days in a row. Get the kids in the mosh pit for a song about getting overcharged on their data plan.
All I’m saying is, that eventually the cream rises to the top. It’s a cliché because it’s true. Talented musicians making music worth listening to is coming. It will force the people to take notice. A song about having to wait for the cable guy might be a good starting point.