Friday, August 4, 2017

Rock is dead

It happened quick. I don't know when. But I was at the front desk of the library I work at. I helped a father. He had two kids. The cute 3-year old boy was wearing a Who t-shirt. The Who, as you know, were a great and wild band who nihilistically smashed their instruments at the end of concerts.

They make Who t-shirts for toddlers: Hope I die before I get old.

It might have been right then, at that moment. Who knows about these things.

Later though I was in a suburban mall, which is where I go these days to write blog posts so good that there are only eleven of you in the world equipped to suspect that this... is... not... normal, and in a Juniors section of a department store there was a whole broad selection of really nice rock t-shirts; Tupac, Beatles, Doors, Talking Heads, Bob Marley, The Jam, and The Grateful Dead. Wow! These were nice! Really nice.

Rock is dead.

I know what you're thinking:

Rock is always rebellion that morphs slowly into commodification. But Rock, young, wild, surprising Rock, ever emerges in new and dangerous forms.

Yeah. It used to be like that. But not anymore. Let it go. Rock is dead. It's better to burn out, than to fade away.


  1. The Who Sell Out is the third studio album by the British rock band The Who, released on 15 December 1967 by Track Records in the UK and Decca Records in the US. It is a concept album, formatted as a collection of unrelated songs interspersed with faux commercials and public service announcements.[2] The album purports to be a broadcast by pirate radio station Radio London. Part of the intended irony of the title was that The Who were making commercials during that period of their career, some of which are included as bonus tracks on the remastered CD.

    The album's release was reportedly followed by lawsuits due to the mention of real-world commercial interests in the faux commercials and on the album covers, and by the makers of the real jingles (Radio London jingles), who claimed the Who used them without permission. (The jingles were produced by PAMS Productions of Dallas, Texas, which created thousands of station ID jingles in the 1960s and 1970s). It was the deodorant company, Odorono, who took offense that Chris Stamp made a request for endorsement dollars.[3] "I Can See for Miles" was released as a single and peaked at #10 in the UK and #9 in the US

    1. Um, who are you?

      But, okay.

      I never had much success in enjoying The Who Sell Out. Of course rock bands always sold out. I suppose if I must interpret my above piece it would be to say that it reflects on the utter lack of cultural division or antagonism in Rock towards anything vanilla in the culture. All rock is now vanilla.

      Of course, maybe that has long been true. Maybe rock died in 1967. I'm willing to believe it.


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