Have We Reached the End of Rock? Some People in the Rock Business Think So

I’m more optimistic than the artists quoted in this article from Classic Rock Magazine.  Or maybe I’m just delusional.

The End, it seems, is nigh. “It’s strange in rock culture just now,” Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie told BBC4’s Review Show in December. “It’s kinda dead, I think. It’s over.”
 The Cult’s Ian Astbury, meanwhile, has decided that the album has also reached the end of the line. Harking back to the two EPs (Capsule 1and 2) his band released in 2010, he told Rolling Stone last month that he’d rather do that again than release another album. The Cult’s UK record label, Cooking Vinyl, aren’t so keen, however. “They aren’t interested in the capsule idea,” said Astbury. “They want to put CDs on shelves. I’m like: ‘What shelves?’”“Rock’n’roll has died,” former Buckcherry bassist Jimmy Ashhurst Facebooked recently, “and nobody’s really that pissed because we caught it in a box and can look at it whenever we want.” Ginger Wildheartposted similar sentiments days after the Sonisphere headliners were announced. “It would appear that rock music is finally on the machine that goes bing,” he wrote. “The revolving door of (fewer than 10) worthy festival headliners indicates, to me anyway, that we have outlived the era of ‘big rock’.”

The cracks aren’t just beginning to show, they’re as wide and deep as the lines on Keith Richards’ face. The legends are getting older and, let’s face it, dying. In a decade’s time, can we reasonably expect to see tours from Bob Dylan (aged 72), the Rolling Stones (oldest member: 72), Motörhead (Lemmy is 68), Lynyrd Skynyrd (Gary Rossington: 62) or ZZ Top (Billy Gibbons: 64)? Who will fill the country’s stadiums, headline our festivals and fill our arenas then?

That last question is one that’s been bothering me lately.  What will the stadium-level acts be in 10, 15 or 20 years?  Keep reading.

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.

2 thoughts on “Have We Reached the End of Rock? Some People in the Rock Business Think So

  • January 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I read the whole article, and was following right along until the writer mentioned making mix tapes to “impress girls”. Um. I *am* a girl. Why turn a perfectly neutral article about rock fans into something that for straight men and possibly (but not likely) only? I thought it was a really great essay, but now I’m just rolling my eyes.

  • January 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    @Kat because, we all flawed. But other than that bit… the article was pretty spot on I felt.


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