. What's Happening To Classic Rock? |

Apr 24 2012

What’s Going to be Classic Rock When My Kid is in High School?

Published by at 7:20 am under Editorial

This is just one of those thoughts that started to linger after I was listening to Steve Miller in my car.   Here’s the thing.   And I just don’t know the answer to this.   What are high school senior guys listening to these days?  Like what the hell is playing at keg parties today?  Do they even have keg parties now?  Or are they stupid rainbow kiss parties or whatever the hell else they’re doing?

I mean I’d like to think I’m hip because I saw the movie Project X but now I’m thinking “good God, is it really like that now?”  All crazy dance music and psychosis?  Sure I understand that no parties can match those that are from the movie, but I also know that a mellow time listening to Led Zeppelin and playing cups just can’t be the norm anymore.

So what is going to be classic rock when say for example, my own child is in high school?….

I don’t have a kid yet but let’s say 18 years from now I have a son or daughter who is graduating from high school.  What to them is going to be classic rock?  And my real question is when the hell did classic rock stop being classic rock?  Let me explain.

When I was in high school it was bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones,  Steve Miller Band, Lynard Skynard, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crosby Stills and Nash, Grateful Dead, Billy Joel, and about 100 others that we felt like we “discovered.”   Sure the music was old but it was all new to us and hence we felt like we were cool for having bought the albums.   And sure we had the amazing 90s bands like Dave Matthews, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others.   So sure, we listened to the current tunes then as well.   But one of the great things about classic rock for us is that it all felt novel.  As I said before it was a “discovery” of sorts and each one of us was in competition to find songs that we never knew about.   Maybe an Aerosmith tune here or a Yes tune there.   It was awesome.

The funny thing is that both my brother and sister listened to the same 60s and 70s bands when they were in high school, and they are 6 and 9 years older than me.   So my question is, at what point did kids stop listening to these bands?  Like when did kids just cut out all the classics and stick to the today tracks?  When did “There’s a Brick in the Wall” turn into “Firework” by Katy Perry?  And what do kids today think the “classics” are now?   Are keg parties filled with 80s music consisting of Cory Heart, U2, and Mister Mister?  Are we longing for the keyboards again?   Something tells me that’s just not the case.  And while the 80s are incredible, I feel like in today’s culture it’s more about fashion than the music.

And in 15 years is classic rock going to be acts like Usher, Drake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and all the other crap out there?  Or will it be bands like Daughtry, Foo Fighters, Metallica, and for God’s sake the Goo Goo Dolls?  It’s just too hard to answer.  I guess the point I’m making is that the music of today just doesn’t seem to have staying power.   I mean people will be listening to the Beatles 60 years from now.  Will they be rocking out to Lady Gaga?  No friggin’ way.





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3 responses so far

  • Wineguy999

    I was one of the generation that WAS there for the 60s and 70s, and from my experience through the years with those much younger than myself, I find that “classic” is (fortunately) defined by quality rather than age. I know 25-30 year-olds who are listening to Pink Floyd, CSN&Y, Creedence, Led Zep, and of course Beatles and Stones, as much as ever.

    Classic is classic, be it Mozart, Beethoven, Scott Joplin, the Swing greats, Chuck Berry, etc, etc, ad infinitum. Lady Gaga? Katy Perry? I think not.

  • Casper

    The general rule is the same: you listen to what your parents hate until you’re free of them. Later you start embracing the best of their music, the classics. This enables a broader and more mature vision, which provides your own children with something to rebel against.

    Problem is, kids are living with their parents into their thirties now. So they’re stuck in the rebellion phase, almost into middle age. But rebellion doesn’t lead to anything except more rebellion, which causes new music to get stagnant, derivative, infantile.

    This recession is totally screwing up popular culture.

  • Amw

    Radiohead, the black keys, the white stripes, the shins, belle and Sebastian.

    There is music being made today that will still be listened to decades from now, and which doesn’t fit into the “dance crap” category.

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