Prediction: Rock’n’Roll will be dead by 2060. The only thing that will preserve it is holograms.

Like I just said, there’s always someone out there predicting the death of rock. Just like the End-of-the-Worlders who are constantly saying the Rapture is just around the corner, those who claim to know the expiry date of rock are constantly having to revise their assessment of The End Times.

1957: Rock and roll is declared a fade, something that was bound to fade (a) now that Elvis was in the army, (b) Buddy Holly was dead, and (c) once youth grew up and started getting into “proper” music. It did look glum for a while, but then The Beatles came along and…

1970: The trauma of Altamont, the break-up of the Beatles, the end of the hippie movement, the beginnings of a period for 50s nostalgia. That was all counteracted by the rise of hard rock (cf. Led Zeppelin) and the punk explosion.

1977: Disco will consume rock. Nope.

1981: Synthesizers are bound to kill the electric guitar. Didn’t happen.

1988: A massive rise in the popularity of pop music (cf. New Kids on the Block and their ilk) showed that young people were tired of rock. Uh, no.

1996-97: The era of boy bands, the Spice Girls, and Britney begins. Turntablism and electronic music threaten to kill off rock. Never happened.

2008: Another surge in pop bolstered by hip-hop, rap, and R&B. Predictions were that rock would soon be rendered irrelevant. Again, they got it wrong.

Now we have this article from Variety that states rock will be dead by 2060, some 90 years after it was invented. Let’s have a look at this, shall we?

“I was born in the 1950s, along with much of the Baby Boom generation. That decade also birthed rock ‘n’ roll, a then-new music genre that powered electrifying live concerts. In 2019, as some of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll artists are observing 60th career anniversaries, you don’t need a stethoscope to see that the genre is not only long past its prime as the dominant economic force in the music industry, it’s in decline.

“Supported by fuzzy math, I believe rock ‘n’ roll will die around 2060.

“In the early 2000s, digital recording technologies and channels of distribution (i.e. downloads and then streaming) reshaped the music industry. Before then, rock ‘n’ roll was created by instrument-playing musicians and vocalists whose performances were not enhanced by computer programs and were sold as physical record albums.”

I think all this is rubbish, but if you want to keep reading, go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Prediction: Rock’n’Roll will be dead by 2060. The only thing that will preserve it is holograms.

  • July 29, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    They have the right idea, but they’re going in the wrong direction. Let me put it to you this way…not all the space is being used.


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