Opinion: Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t dead

Neville Hardman is a sophomore magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected]

Neville Hardman

Monday evening, adding a plethora of musicians to my collection of pop-punk, alternative and classic rock, I realized that Lenny Kravitz was wrong.

In his 1995 album Circus, Kravitz came out with a song called “Rock and Roll is Dead,” lamenting the superficial focus on image and scoring women that consumed the genre instead of a solid sound. The Doors also released “Rock is Dead” in 1997, ironically both available for purchase after Kurt Cobain died in 1994.

Yet, there’s not a lot of proof that rock and roll ever died—just great artists.

 The ‘70s welcomed a wave of solidified music that perked interest and thought revelation, including artists such as The Beatles, Queen and Kiss, among others. This generation hasn’t seen anything like them, and probably never will; their originality cannot be matched with the likes of overhyped and media-obsessed artists in today’s industry.

No offense against Lenny or The Doors, but rock is too broad of a category for it all to be proclaimed dead. The amount of subgenres that evolved from rock are tremendous, but their roots still trace back to the same tree. Pop-punk isn’t going anywhere; Vans Warped Tour is proof of that. Post-hardcore isn’t disappearing either and there are many fans that would laugh if you tried to call their scene dead.

Rock is still out there. Those who say rock is dead are on the same level of cluelessness as the people who mercilessly yell “Free Bird!” at concerts. While it’s not the same artists your parents knew growing up, it’s present and it’s not going away soon. It just might take a few extra clicks to find someone who is worth listening to. This is the kind of music that requires research and digging, but the results are worth it.

My only advice is to not get caught up with labeling bands with countless subgenres. It’s really not worth the stress.

Current rock is the Seattle based Foo Fighters. It’s Queens of The Stone Age ripping a guitar solo. It’s The Hives, The 1975 and Cage The Elephant. They are all examples of a nourished genre.

In fact, old legends are still putting on performances; they just aren’t producing new music. Billboard reported that Queen and Adam Lambert are going on a North American tour this summer. Alice Cooper and Yes tickets are also available on Ticket Master.

In the end, age is just a number. Rock and roll will thrive as long as there are people who are willing to take time to find it. It becomes dead when no one listens to it anymore, but with a myriad of people in the world, that’s unlikely. Perhaps this genre isn’t living in the golden years anymore and will never see another crazy talent like Hendrix or Springsteen, but the artists who populate it now are still worth a chance.

And for those who still actively search for rock, I salute you.