Opinion: Whatever happened to my rock n’ roll?

Megan Brown

Megan Brown

Megan Brown is a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

The music known as “rock & roll” descends from its original roots of gospel, blues, folk/country/bluegrass and rhythm & blues. Some say it started with Elvis Presley, others believe it started much earlier. I thrive for rock ‘n’ roll music and grew up with it, but what I have seen for the past five or so years is the decline of appreciation and love of real rock ‘n’ roll music.

On Sunday night, I sat in the living room of my house with my three roommates to watch MTV’s Video Music Awards. What I saw that night was incredibly sad and terrifying. Not once did I see or hear any mention of rock ‘n’ roll bands or artists, and I’m not talking about your average Mumford & Sons or Vampire Weekend, who happen to be talented in their work of music, but I mean real rock & rollers. All I saw was Miley Cyrus twerking and “trying” to sing, rap artists and pop stars. I don’t mean to criticize these types of artists, but they aren’t what I believe to be real music.

I grew up hearing stories of my father going to see Deep Purple in 1972, or Led Zeppelin in 1973—my sister and I have inherited his vinyl collection. Rock ‘n’ roll has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve also been lucky enough myself to have attended concerts of The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, The Black Keys, ZZ Top and many more. I go out and buy old and new albums on vinyl, cd and MP3, anything to help music sales for rock musicians. But how many other people my age do that? It’s hard to get any of my friends to even let me play some Stones, Doors or Allman Brothers around them; I see that more and more in this current generation. And it’s not even the older musicians I’m focusing on, it’s the genre of rock & roll music as a whole.

There are plenty of bands currently out there who have blown my mind with their dedication and love of rock and blues music. Canadian band, the Sheepdogs is a perfect example of a revival of rock music. They have their rock influences but add their own style, and it’s tremendous. The Steepwater Band, a blues rock band from Chicago, is another great example of current musicians who still believe in rock ‘n roll music. I’ve seen both bands live and they each put on mesmerizing shows.

My wish for the children of this generation who only believe in Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, is for their time to come when they discover rock & roll music, whether it be from the 1940s, or 2013—it’s all about that passion and love you get when you listen to the sound of rock ‘n’ roll.