Thursday, December 6, 2012

The New Classic Rock

When I think of Classic Rock, I think of bands like Led Zeppelin or Kansas or The Eagles or Jimi Hendrix or The Rolling Stones or basically any band that was relevant from, like 1963 to 1979. Anything before that would be considered “The Oldies” and anything after is either “80s Music” (because 80s music totally lives in its own little music bubble) or current/modern music. This would be the music from about 1993 to the present.

When I was a “Tween”, it was 1991. I LOVED Guns N’ Roses. But I also loved New Kids on the Block.  I listened to Lite FM 102.9 when I went to bed at night and was sung to sleep by the biggest hit of the year: Bryan Adams’ “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You)” along with a smattering of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Dan Fogelberg.

"Run for the Roses" still makes me cry. Seriously. I only got through 30 seconds of that link before I started tearing up.

The end of the Classic Rock period, in my mind, was 1979. I suppose I chose this date because this was the last year of all the Time Life Classic Rock compilations that were so heavily advertised on late night television around this time.

Which would mean, that there was only a 12 year difference between what was the current/popular music of my generation and what everyone considered Classic Rock.

So that would mean that today’s tweens look to 1999 and earlier as Classic Rock.


B-b-b-b-b-but that music isn’t old.

Is it?

Yes, it is.

Eddie Vedder is older than Robert Plant was when I was in my tweens. Robert Plant was 43 in 1991. Mick Jagger was 48.  Eddie Vedder is 48 today.

So, does that make Pearl Jam Classic Rock?


Or has Classic Rock morphed into a genre all its own and the music of the 80s and 90s will live on as some other term?

It freaks me out to think of bands like Pearl Jam or No Doubt being 20+ years old. U2 and R.E.M. are in another hemisphere all together. Where do they fall in the musical time spectrum?

It just all makes me feel so old. Really, that’s what this is about.

I try to keep up with today’s music and I do listen to today’s music, but I am so far removed from today’s Pop music that I just look back on my older siblings and aunts and uncles looking at me listening to New Kids on the Block and thinking ‘what the hell?’.

Because that’s what I do when I see a Justin Beiber.

I mean, really, girls?

I know the oldies station in town has moved from playing Frankie Valli to playing Jimi Hendrix and the Classic Rock station now plays some Pearl Jam and U2.

It’s all very weird.

Is very early pop music now going the way of Classical? Who’s playing Frankie Valli or Buddy Holly or Chuck Berry? What do kids these days think of these artists? And at what point in life does a person stop keeping up with modern music? Because it does happen to every one eventually. 

And that's depressing to think about. Who will be the end point for me?

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