Rock Died When Guns N’ Roses Broke Up

11 Dec

The other night, my wife and I were riding down the interstate and having a conversation about music. I cannot remember the context, but, at some point, I said, “Rock died when Guns N’ Roses broke up.”

My wife said that I had to remember that line because it would make a great title for a blog post. I knew that she was right, but I had no idea what should go under that title. Now, I may have figured it out.

I am a fan of most musical genres, but Rock has always been my favorite. It is a genre that changed the musical landscape in the 1950s and found itself changed in the decades that followed. Rock and Roll. Psychedelic Rock. Prog Rock. Punk Rock. Glam Rock. Southern Rock. Heavy Metal. There are different styles. They are all Rock, and I like them all.

I could list many Rock Stars, but the list would go on and on. Instead, all the Rock Stars and Rock Bands, no matter the style, fit within the lines of an AC/DC song.

There was sound.

There was light.

There was drums.

There was guitar.

Using the past tense is fitting because Rock is dead.Rock Dead

Some people are going to argue that point and mention that Rock Bands still exist. That is true. However, Rock as the dominant genre is dead. In my opinion, current Rock Bands perform on the fringes of popular music. In the old days, Rock Bands were the leaders of popular music. They ruled the airwaves and the charts.

All of that ended when Guns N’ Roses broke up. This does not mean that it is the fault of Guns N’ Roses. Plenty of groups before them broke apart, and they were only following an established pattern. The difference is that there was, in my opinion, no Rock Band to replace them. They were replaced by Grunge. The flamboyant clothes were replaced by cardigan sweaters.

Rock Bands still tour and fill up arenas, but they are the bands of old playing for people reminiscing about their younger days. The Rock Stars are graying, and their fans are retiring. It is strange to hear someone who qualifies for AARP singing lyrics that relay the feelings and thoughts of their younger selves.

When I was in high school, there was an awesome Rock station in Nashville. 103.3 WKDF played all of the great stuff. I laid in my bed with headphones over my ears and listened to Metal Shop. Many years ago, that station changed to a Country format. It was a sad day, but it was a fitting and smart business decision.

At times, I lament that state of Country music. The genre should be a singer standing behind a microphone and singing about heartbreak and loss. Instead, it is a genre about partying and having a good time. A contemporary Country concert would be unfamiliar to Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, Roy Acuff and others. However, it is familiar to me because it has sound, light, drums and guitar.

Country has filled the void of Rock. Today’s Country fans would have been Rock fans in the past. A while back, we went to a Kenny Chesney concert, and Joe Walsh, a guitarist who epitomizes Rock music and its culture, was his special guest. At the time, I thought it strange. However, it was the only place for Joe Walsh to go.

I know the history of music from the 1990s until now. I know the bands and the singers. However, I still think Guns N’ Roses was the last great Rock Band. When they broke up, Rock as I knew it died.

 

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7 Responses to “Rock Died When Guns N’ Roses Broke Up”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong December 11, 2015 at 04:05 #

    I have a lot of trouble connecting with current music. I guess I’ve become one of those old people, but musically, I have my comfort zone and I’m happy to be there. I miss rock too. A lot.

    • Rick December 11, 2015 at 04:12 #

      I thought Rock would live forever.

  2. sittingpugs December 14, 2015 at 01:06 #

    The popularization and increased dissemination of genres like pop/r&b, hip-pop, Korean pop, progressive chill-trance, contemporary Christian pop/rock, and instrumental relaxation/meditation music, courtesy of YouTube, Spotify, etc have given the listeners more music and more of different kinds of music. I wonder if the pre-grunge rock could effectively “new” again if a graphic novel or a movie found a following. And now I can’t stop hearing “it’s the final countdown” from that Geico commercial. hahaha.

    • Rick December 14, 2015 at 02:47 #

      That’s a great commercial.

  3. Bantering Ram December 16, 2015 at 10:31 #

    Rock bands died but Rock lives – it’s just that it’s no longer a dominant genre.

    • Rick December 16, 2015 at 13:55 #

      I long for the days when it was dominant.

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