What Killed Rock Music?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Waxhead, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    To paraphrase Mark Twin, "The reports of rock's death are greatly exaggerated."
    Waxhead and LivingMyDream like this.
  2. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Things have certainly changed. I’d hate to try to make a living playing music these days. It’s video, it’s DAWs, it’s sampled sounds, it’s Rap, it’s all sorts of things. If you went back 50 years, to when people were lamenting the end of the Big Band era, the same was true. Then, it was amplification, multi-track recording, the costs of keeping a 19 piece band alive, Rock n’ Roll, and all sorts of things. Things change.
  3. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Gretschie

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    Man, I miss the good old days, when rock was ROCK!o_O

  4. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    If it weren't for The Beatles rock & roll would have been dead when Buddy Holly died.
    Rock in the early 60's was a joke. Fabian and those like him were the big stars of that time until The Beatles came along and put rock back on the map, a guitar in every household and tons of great songs back on the radio in place of the Fabian ilk. You don't have to like them but you at least should acknowledge the impact they had on the whole music industry and how they re-energized it. They paved the way for a whole generation of great musicians and 50 years on are still having a positive affect on musicians around the world. Their songs are being played daily around the world as well. You can bet your ass that right now somewhere in this world some young kid is sitting down with a guitar or piano trying to learn one of their songs.
  5. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    Add self-piloted airliners to that list.
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  6. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    It was these guys. They killed it.
    GET ‘EM!!
  7. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Music in general is dead along with Hollywood and society.
    It was said long ago that music and art is a reflection of the times.
    Look around you the whole culture is dying. Morals have taken the backseat to the "ME" generation.
    Like Rome in it's last days? Maybe but the best rock music or for that matter the best of any music reflects a happy state of mind. I don't see that happening in most of today's music.
    Grunge was a downer, a bummer and it played a big part in the so called death of rock & roll. Girls couldn't dance to it so they stopped going to rock clubs and headed to the clubs where DJs were playing Hip Hop.
    But lots of the Rap & Hip Hop subject matter was negative as well. (bust a cap in this guys ass, she's a ho *****, kill the cop and other social injustice subject matter).
    When that happened to music people started tuning out, stopped going to rock clubs and many of them started listening to country music.
    So rock is not the only fatality of a failing society the whole entertainment business is dying as well.
    I knew the music business was done when people looked to shows like American Idol to find the next "Rock Star". What a joke - plastic idols.
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I have to agree with you. Music is a reflection of the civilization in which it is created and music seems to have made a beeline towards the negative in recent decades. American Idol turned my stomach and the whole glitz of the thing appalled me. To me, music is hard, but rewarding, work. When I play, there are 53 years of experience behind the music and this includes some grueling years of practicing scales, arpeggios and inversions. With today’s emphasis on appearance, body language and dance moves, there’s little time left for real musicianship. I wonder how much longer there will be an audience for my music.

    It’s always bothered me that the best musicians I knew were struggling, while some borderline obscene act was raking in the bucks, not because of musical ability, but because of novelty and/or shock value. There are some real talents at the top; Paul McCartney comes readily to mind, but these days it seems to be about the show, not the musical content. I do t fit in that world, nor do I want to.
  9. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I agree with your reply as well. Being a life long musician I have to agree if you're going to do it right it's hard work. You and I grew up musically in a time when there were tons of places to play at all levels of talent. From schools, churches, swim club parties, bars and small to very large clubs and concert halls. Much of that has gone away so it gets harder and harder to be a full-time musician.
    The lineup of my main band stayed together for 20 years and during that time we played nearly 2000 shows - - that just can't happen today.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    It has changed drastically, mostly in the last 10-15 years.
  11. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    Sep 4, 2009
    The problem seems to affect ALL music. Very strange, it's obviously in our souls to make music but it seems to have disappeared up its own jacksy. I love my music but I think it's only relevant now historically. A bit sad but hey, there's a lot of history to discover and enjoy.
  12. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Rock Music is so not dead, give me a break. The clubs changed when the drinking laws changed and the newer generations have information and tech like never before so they naturally have a huge and instant access to any kind of music they want but nobody buys music anymore, we just pay for access to film and music.
    Here's some bad ass rock n roll by guys that are mostly young. Only one old balls grey hair guy in the band but he's lit as sh$t. :) JD McPherson Band
  13. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Rock is alive and well in my head.
    we are the band.jpg
  14. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    Jun 25, 2017
    Italy (Rome and Genoa)
    This is a really interesting discussion.
    First I'd put the following question: is Rock music dead?
    My answer is: No, but It's bleeding.
    Then I'd put a second question: who/what is hurtin Rock?
    My answer is: The same category of people who gave to Rock power and energy during the past: The Young People.
    Yes, imo it's simply a matter of Young people's choice and taste...
    In the 50's Elvis was an idol for girls and boys and rock'n'roll was the coolest Young people's music, in the 60's British bands were the hip, cool stuff around the globe, in the 70's Rock and punk rock were lifestyle icons for new generations...
    During the 70's and following in the 80's, I think there's been the beginning of a "fracture" between "Rock lovers" and "Disco music lovers" ... Progressively Young people became to find that Disco music and Dj's are "COOL" and Rock music is "OLD". This trend, that's grown up with MTV and the social media during the years, going through a change of taste in the audience (Hip-hop and dance music became mixed together and get into a super commercial pop music market) is continuing till today and Rock music isn't more popular between girls and boys.
    So, my personal idea is simply that Rock is not dead, maybe is just out of fashion, but till the day there will be even a single kid who feels his heart beatin' to the sound of an electric guitar, I can say that Rock'n'roll is still alive.

    P.S. Sorry for my bad English, but I hope you can understand my opinion... ;)
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Excellent discussion guys and isn't it great we can all do it with mutual respect and good humour :)
    Everybody's views are welcome and valuable so please keep them coming.
    Henry likes this.
  16. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    These guyz are seriously too jazzy...
    Their singer is a rock killer by any sense...
    wildeman likes this.
  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    I agree with so many comments here and see the wider picture of cultural, economic and technological change in western society.

    And then like we all do I mix this big picture into my personal experience.
    My personal experience was coming from a working class family and teaching myself guitar as a 12 yr old.
    From age 16 I had zero family $$ support and had to fund myself through high school and University.
    By age 26 I had a Masters Degree in Science and a career.
    That was obviously a very hard slog living in poverty.

    I worked every kind of job I could get and in the early 1980's in Sydney you could make ok money if you gigged with bands in pubs and clubs. At age 16 I started playing in punk bands in pubs just to get myself thru high school.

    Playing in a string of pubs bands, driving taxi's, working construction, labouring in factories etc also got me through University. But I would never have even got thru high school without music and live gigging.
    Weekly gigs in various bands was essential to survival for me.

    But now that option appears gone for kids of today.
    All part of the new world order :)
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  18. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    I think the answer is simple. Music evolves and moves on. The best of every genre remains in our collective popular library, but the bulk of any given era of music generally goes out of style. I'd say that 70's and 80's rock music goes down as some of the best music ever made in a long time and people of any generation will start tapping their feet and singing along to Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin whenever or wherever it is played. But I also recognize that there is a lot of newer music competing for our attention and when it's good, it's good. So Rock isn't dead, it's just made it's mark and has settled in for the long term.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Perhaps we’re not framing the question optimally. Do people still listen to Rock? Absolutely! Is new Rock still being created? Not nearly as much as there used to be. In the late ‘70s, I taught guitar in a small town music store. They had a small record department and there were new albums by established bands coming out like clockwork, plus the output of the Disco artists. Flash forward 40 years and we are still playing many of these same tracks on Classic Rock stations. I can turn on a Classic Rock station this minute and hear a mix, mostly from the ‘70s, but the newer youth market music seems to be dominated by synths and electronic percussion.

    In the early 2000s, I visited a friend and his very young (21) wife. I had made a CD of Classic Rock from the ‘70s and she thought it was awesome. Most, if not all of this music predated her birth. This was the music this young woman’s mother listened to in her teens. To me, it’s telling. The sounds I grew up with exist, almost exclusively, as music of the past. It’s still beloved and still listened to, but it’s not being produced. Why?

    As I write this, it occurs to me that even though I know how to write a song and know how the music of the Classic Rock era was structured, I don’t feel inclined to write anything of that nature. I think that’s because the world around me has changed and no longer inspires the same kind of sentiments to be put into songs. To paraphrase Sir Paul, no one seems to want silly love songs anymore, and that’s a real shame.

    The appreciation for Classic Rock could well be described as nostalgia for a better time. Where yesterday’s songs were frequently declarations of love, newer music seems to be inclined to be declarations of independence. A lot of newer music that I’ve heard seems to draw a line in the sand; ‘you can have me in your life, but only on my terms’.

    The Rock I knew may still be played, but it’s not being produced in the quantities it used to be, if at all.
    Waxhead likes this.
  20. Charlie westside

    Charlie westside Synchromatic

    Jul 27, 2018
    Sylmar Califirnia
    I give free lessons to kids on Saturdays. It started with my two sons. Next thing I knew kids were lining up on front of my home studio with guitars. Both boys and girls. From age 8 and up. my eldest student being 17. To my dismay without exception, they all came to learn Rock music. 60's, 70' 80's 90's.
    Rock is not gone. It's just not marketed by the industry. At some point I expect to see a new generation of Rockers. When and in what form? Only time will tell.
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