Over the past few years, Rock-N-Roll music has begun to take a back seat to the mainstream media and receiving less radio play on popular stations. Why is that? Has the music changed? Has the audience changed? Has our taste changed?
Almost all of these are perfectly acceptable reasons but I believe it is something deeper. Rock-N-Roll is no longer in the forefront of music is because Rock music no longer has these iconic figures who not only influence us through their music but influence us through their iconic lifestyles and beliefs. Look at some of the most popular Rock acts out there. For example, The Beatles had John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. I understand most people would not be able to name all of The Beatles but majority of them could at least name one. And why is that? It is because of some of their antics and their life outside of the band that truly made this group icon. Of course, The Beatles make amazing music but again they solidified their place in Rock history for everything they did outside of their realm of music. They influenced pop culture. Because of them everyone started wearing their hair just like them and dressing like them. They became so huge that major news would report on them.
The reason why Rock-N-Roll is taking a back seat to Pop, Country, and Rap is because of this. Rock Music no longer has these characters. Rock-N-Roll no longer has ROCK STARS.
So where are all the Rock Stars? If you believe the title of this blog, you could say and make a pretty decent argument that they are all dead. Currently right now in today’s music scene, Rock-N-Roll is not challenging in any sense of the word. It is not challenging musically, it is not challenging lyrically, and it is not challenging to pop culture and the rest of the world. I believe this is because a lot of Rock bands think to themselves “How can we be the heaviest Pop band out there?” They are trying their hardest to get played on the radio so they can become bigger and make their management and record company more money.
They are focusing on the wrong thing here. They should be writing true, real, honest music that is not influenced by anything or anyone other than the artist themselves. When a band does this we get The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who, Metallica, Green Day, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Oasis, etc. (If I made any of you feel nostalgic then you can listen to all of these bands here on Spotify.) And the real winners are us the fans, because we get AMAZING music that we all shall talk about for years and years to come.
In the weeks to come, I shall be discussing more about how we need the Rock Stars put back into Rock-N-Roll music. I shall be talking about certain bands of the past and certain bands of the present as well and see what makes them important to Rock-N-Roll. If any of you have some favorite Rock Bands you’d like for me to discuss, please leave a comment below.
Photography by: Iain Macmillan (1969)
Photography by: Jill Furmanovsky (1997)
Photography by: Joe Papeo (2013)