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The Demise of the RockStar

Written on February 22, 2007 – 4:11 pm | by whiskeychick |

So here I was toolin around town with my best friend, partner in crime, and fellow Drunken Hillbilly when he made the comment that there are no more innovators in music today. No more Beatles. No more Deville’s. No more Lynyrd Skynyrds or Doors or even Rolling Stones. There are no bands on today’s radio that stand a chance of becoming the next legend. Do you know who he blames? The fans… He says they’re too fickle… too easily distracted by the next bigDH trend. But do you want to know who I fault? I assume you must if you’re still reading. I blame the marketing companies. The record labels. Hell, the artists themselves!

The way I see it these people get together and come up with every possible way to bribe, manipulate, package, and produce what was once an art into a single-serving product that is as disposable as it is forgettable. The days of someone getting behind a musical project because they believe in it… because they hear something truly original… because they think that by supporting this artist they can watch history being made are long gone. Instead young artists line up in front of Sun Records thinking that if they share the same space as greats from the past they will become the great musical legends of the future.

What they don’t realize is those great musicians had to sacrifice. They had to find a way to stand out against the million other aspiring artists and show what made them different. What made them more than just a flash in the pan. Those greats had something that made them unique and irreplaceable. And above that, they stayed true to it. They didn’t pump out singles for a buck to the next fickle fan down the block… they produced music that carried with it their heart and soul. Their dreams. Their lives. And those are the artists that became part of our lives growing up.

So tell me… which musicians are your kids carrying with them for the rest of their lives? Justin Timberlake? Miranda Lambert? Fergie? Rascal Flatts? Don’t get me wrong… they are entertaining, but they are just not going to hold a candle to the legends of the past.

  1. 5 Responses to “The Demise of the RockStar”

  2. By Weak Superhero on Mar 18, 2008 | Reply

    to call skynyrd or the doors or the stones innovators is total, utter bullshit. the doors! fuck! idiots inspired by circus music! every time i hear manzareks shit keyboards, or jim morrisons hack lyrics, i feel a rage that only el kabonging a hippy could quell. even thinking about it inspires angina. i like the stones (the old stuff), but that shit was robbed from the black man. the real innovators, the ones that count, appeared generations before any of the bands mentioned in this article. also, your range of reference seems a little… limited. have you listened to any of the new stuff? these kids take what used to be considered amazing and weave it with their own virtuosity, not unlike what the stones, the beatles and skynyrd did with the music that came before them. bringing up timberlake and the other bubblegum artists does little to validate your argument. there was plenty of shit music around back in the day too. there’s still lots of good stuff happening in music, if you allow yourself a little wider exposure than mtv, you might find it.

  3. By ~WC~ on Mar 18, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks for the review. It would have been nice if you had taken a look at what my site was for before ordering me to “allow yourself a little wider exposure than mtv”. The entire site’s purpose is to open people up to artists they’ve never heard of, and perhaps even inspire small-time musicians to do something better with their time than faking rockabilly and getting their knuckles tattooed to “look cool”. You took the time to trash all the musicians mentioned in the article… why not contribute something useful and suggest some of these “virtuosos” instead of vaguely referencing their existence? You want to open a mind, then do it with education, not insults. ~WC~

  4. By weak superhero on Mar 18, 2008 | Reply

    if your sites purpose is to expose people to new artists, why the references to all the old age pensioners? in saying that there are no new amazing rockstars, aren’t you defeating the purpose of your website? is it not meant to showcase new talent? it seems a little odd.
    my review of this specific article was not intended to offend, and your response to my review was, to say the least, unprofessional. i suppose i couldn’t expect much more from a drunken hillbilly though. and what’s the shit about fake rockabilly & tattooed knuckles? i have no knuckle tattoos. i am tattooed, but not to look ‘cool’. how limited a world view you must have if that’s the best reason for being tattooed that you can come up with. if you’re referencing my SU page, you might do yourself a favor and actually read it. i enjoy all kinds of music, and identify as a traditional skinhead (trad, not nazi). i am frankly sick of the greaser/sickboy look. that said, the rockabilly image and the music are not inseparable.
    as for educating, it’s hardly my responsibility as a reviewer; i didn’t make a point of creating a webpage to express my weak opinions, you did. if you’re not open to criticism, you’re in the wrong business.

  5. By Buckshot George on Mar 27, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t know that we lack innovators right now but I think technology has created a lot of static in the background. There is so much music out there right now. It’s cheap to record it, it’s generally free to release it(streaming on Myspace or whatever) and it’s equal exposure for everyone. Everyone has a Myspace page, even for their bullshit side project or band they had 20 years ago that played one show in a rented bingo hall.

    This is great in theory, just being able to have it all available in case you want to hear it. Like I checked out the Simon Stokes tribute page recently. Very rare early 70s obscure biker rock guy I’d heard about for years. Hell, now I can get in touch with the man himself on Myspace! I’ll probably never find a copy of that album but now he has a MySpace page and I can hear his music. Ten years ago, I’d have to hit every swap meet in the country to find it.

    But with all the saturation going on, it is very hard to find the really good shit. And like yourself, I listen to so much old rock. The Skynyrd, The Stones, glam rock, punk rock, etc. I mean if something truly fresh and innovative were played for my ears that are so tuned to 60s and 70s sound, I probably would not like it. I just like rock n roll.

  6. By Viasheila on Aug 2, 2015 | Reply

    Mike on Holy crap, this man is prolific! I haven’t piekcd up his LAST album with Crazy Horse (Americana) and he has ANOTHER one just about to come out! I love the Horse Greendale is still in medium rotation in my player. Long may he run

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