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Thread: Give me your theory of Rock n Roll and I'll start with mine.

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  1. #1
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    Default Give me your theory of Rock n Roll and I'll start with mine.

    I grew up in the 60s. I'll tell you exactly why Rock cannot make a proper comeback. Culture. Numbers. Simple Statistics. When I was a kid, many neighborhoods had their own garage band. It doesn't matter if they were necessarily good or not because If the culture embraces thousands of neighborhood garage bands across the nation, think of the vast talent pool for the cream to inevitably rise to the top. Rock stars were the childhood heroes of the era. They have since been replaced by NFL players.

    Culture produces great talent at whatever endeavors that a given culture embraces at the time. When culture embraces hot rods and rock n roll, the school parking lot will be full of uniquely modified cars blaring rock music and that is what the "cool kids" of surburbia did. The resultant commercial reaction will be muscle cars rolling out of Detroit and thousands of professional rock bands searching for unique, stand apart sounds. Rock then reactively subdivides and diversifies into varying styles such as alternative, heavy metal, grunge, or punk.

    Rock bands cannot thrive today only because the business model does not have the cultural backing to make rock bands profitable. I believe this is cyclic. I believe that new genres of music periodically sweep the land and the associated culture produces great talent at creating the associated new sound. Perhaps rock will influence it. Perhaps not.

    When I was a teen, social interaction wasn't tapping on a phone. It was visiting your best friend, thumbing through his/her multiple stacks of record albums, setting aside two or three for request, lighting up a joint, and appreciating the sound. That was the suburban teen social interaction of the time. Appreciating music to the exclusion of interruption as rock was not primarily used as simple background aesthetics to enhance a "vibe". Rock, by its loud, intrusive nature was designed to capture and hold your attention. It isn't uncommon for tunes of that era to contain the lyric phrase "Turn it up". In other words, your full attention is required.

    Nope. Rock wasn't primarily used as a mood enhancer as that was the purpose of POP music. Rock music, in of itself, was a primary focus. A science to be studied, dissected, and discussed. Many people from that culture commonly regard "Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" by "The Beatles" as the greatest rock album of the time because no other album was dissected, studied, or analyzed more up to that point. The influence (of studying rock as an art form to be listened to, not just danced to) from that band was heavy. Why else do you think that the era produced so many songs with multiple transitions or (songs within a song), many of which lasted much longer than the radio stations could endure? That is why many rock bands played two styles. A commercial (Pop) style of shortened songs intended as mood enhancers and tailored for radio acceptance as well as another style that could consist of single 20+ minute songs that encompassed the entire side of an album (these were the tunes intended for dissection and study). Then there were the blends that were the compromise of both styles (for example, the bands "Boston" or "Steely Dan" or specific albums such as "Abbey Road" by the original "Beatles") Sure there are people doing that with music today, but not nearly at the same cultural magnitude. I also believe that rock cannot make a proper comeback until modern bands can create those 20 minute songs with multiple transitions that can be similarly dissected and studied. Modern Rock bands are doing plenty with the Bon Jovi or Def Leopard influence but hardly anything with the Rush or Pink Floyd influence. Both styles are needed for rock to properly thrive.

    Rock didn't die. It was mostly gobbled up by Country. Country music was vastly different when I was a kid. When I listen to modern country, all I hear is rock n roll with a twangy Southern drawl. It is the unique country music vocals that separate modern country from old time rock n roll. That vocal style make it almost unlistenable for me but I do love the reminiscent rock feel of the guitar work. To me, some country music is barely salvageable only because of that guitar work.

    This is why that era of talent cannot be duplicated. Culture. Numbers. Simple statistics.
    Last edited by MickMick; 09-10-2021 at 02:02 AM.
    I miss Mike Hart

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickMick View Post
    I grew up in the 60s.

    Rock didn't die. It was mostly gobbled up by Country. Country music was vastly different when I was a kid. When I listen to modern country, all I hear is rock n roll with a twangy Southern drawl. It is the unique country music vocals that separate modern country from old time rock n roll. That vocal style make it almost unlistenable for me but I do love the reminiscent rock feel of the guitar work. To me, some country music is barely salvageable only because of that guitar work.

    This.
    But we don't play nobody.

  3. #3
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    " Two Chords and the Truth " was how Ken Burns described Country Music on the excellence PBS Series..... "Country Music is more than just about drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, suicide and the dog dying " and then went on to prove that it was indeed...all about drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, suicide and the dog dying......

    I do not know what % of music radio or live concerts are about Rock and Roll..... but it is substantial ....

  4. #4
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    I don't know if it's a difference in era or more of a regional difference, but live bands for weddings and school dances were not a thing when I was growing up, at.all. My high school was very into its music department (and it's gotten substantially bigger in the last 20 years)...so kids I went to school with did have garage bands, where they played was anyone's guess. And in this instance, that may be more of a generational thing here because the venues that had hosted bands were closing and being turned into malls around the time I was born. I'm sure some areas were able to keep the venues and an audience for the amateur bands. But not our little suburb that had once had a large dance hall that hosted local bands as well as The Rolling Stones in one of their really early US shows, in my childhood we had a strip mall on the same site. I don't know if it can't be sustained, or people just didn't want to sustain it.

    I think some of the responsibility for what kids do falls on previous generations, looking around me, we have less bowling alleys, 1 roller skating rink (within an hour drive), and less movie theaters than I did growing up, add to that public transit in the suburbs is almost non existent... so it's hard to fault kids for texting their friends when all the people making decisions and who have money to start business ventures (or more often than not it's established businesses being bought out because someone wants the land they're on) have left them with so few fun places to go on their own.

    I love the song within a song style that was so common in that era, Springsteen, Jim Steinman songs for various artists, Queen. Billy Joel to a lesser extent (he also took a jab at the music industry wanting short songs in "The Entertainer"). I think that's also a really good distinction you drew between pop and rock, that one isn't about making you feel good. It's always fun when a song is pop enough that people merrily sing along with it, but rock enough that you can see the moment when they realize it's not a happy song.

    I think there's a lot of intersections between where one genre ends and another begins, and sometimes it's one of those streets that hit a dead end and then pick up again with the same name a block or two from the dead end. I'm not going to comment on today's country because I really don't listen to it, but CCR is the most obviously example to me of a rock group that still had a very country sound to it. And there were probably groups with a foot in both worlds before them as well as between them and the present state of country music. I think my litmus test for what is country and what is rock is who is singing about how they want to leave their hometown. If it's a male singer, it's rock...if it's a female singer, it's country. Maybe that's changed since I listened to country last...

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    ,,,,
    Last edited by Markburn1; 09-11-2021 at 07:53 AM.

  6. #6
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    Blackberry Smoke...One Horse Town

    You won't know if you are listening to country or rock but it's so good you won't care.

    Garage bands replaced four dudes singing doo wop harmony and smoking cigarettes on the corner. Today's culture is all about rap and seeing how offensive you can be. Like it or not it will be around for awhile longer.

    But , Rock and Roll will never die. Neil said so.

    Here's proof.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8ui9umU0C2g

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