Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Where did Rock and Roll's audience go?

As a part time historian, I can't help but look at the last 51 years and wonder if Rock and Roll is no different from Baseball, the movies or other forms of entertainment.

I know that Rock, or what people describe as rock is alive in today's culture. But it's no longer a "lifestyle" like it use to be. It's gone from being the The Devil's Jungle music; to my grandparent's music. I get a kick out of seeing posts on Foghat's Myspace site where 19 and 21 year olds say, Man you guys rock, My mom use to play the live album when I was still crapping in my diapers.

The Ramones are now selling Toyotas with the Blitzkrieg Bop. The Who has become the official music of CBS's CSI series (all three Las Vegas, Miami, and New York). Dick Dale is selling Nissan SUV's. Paul McCartney is only selling his music at Starbucks. The Eagles are only selling their music at Walmart. Coliseum concerts are a thing of the past. The only thing that comes close is the Superbowl half-time show (providing there are no costume malfunctions)

Rock was the ultimate way for a kid to piss off their parents and tell society to stick it up their ass. But now Rock is society. Where's the rebel to go? Gen Xers are locked up in their bedrooms playing X-Box til they pass out. Where's the defiance in that? Marylin Mansion became so disgusting that even pissed off teenagers couldn't lobby for the guy.

Part of the problem is, we have an inherent need to defy our parents. And if our parents our cool, then we're screwed. How would James Dean act if he was the son of Grace Slick? He'd probably be a straight A student in the young republicans club. I'm telling you, it's hard to be cool anymore.

Hip Hop will get you killed or thrown in Jail. The Fast and the Furious gave kids hope until they kept getting their rice rockets impounded by the man. That's one thing (Side Shows) that this younger generation can say is their thing. Now some say it's no different from racing Hot rods for pink slips and to a degree they're right. But these kids are having fun, breaking the law and ruining their transmissions all in the name of defiance. (That's rock and roll)

There's really no fun in protesting war because it's something old burned out coward hippies are trying to get kids to do. And today's kids have a built in level 5 of ADD. So they aren't going to stand around and hold signs. Now put a video controller in their hand and let them play GTA for peace and you'll get reactions.

In 1956, Boys and Girls had parents that were at home. (both of them) There wasn't any "hanging out" or "Hooking up" at the age of 14. Virginity actually made it to marriage back then. Now we have the latch key kid who watches cable TV in the absence of their parents. Then the first chance they get, they find a hormonally desperate mate and exchange body fluids just for experiment. It's sad. What about love? Ya I know what Tina sang.

So as Rock musicians, who's going to listen to our music? Who's going to go to our shows? Especially when the best musicians are in their 40's to 60's. Eddie Van Halen is 51. When you were 17 were you digging the music of a 51 year old? Hell no. That would have been like saying you dug Frank Sinatra. (whom I now love) We didn't trust anyone over 30. But even the kids that rock today like SUM 41 are imitating Judas Priest and Motley Crue.

So our kids turn to entertainment like "Jack Ass". And reality TV. Something with Shock Value or some kind of passion in it. They say that innocence died in the 60's.

It's obvious that without Morals, defiance is dead; and if defiance is dead, what's left of fun?


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