Award shows including the Brits often and unfortunately neglect UK rock music, but some members stick up for rock music in times of dire need such as boy bands and run of the mill pop. The Arctic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner delivered a speech on the state of rock music in the UK, saying that “It’s might hibernate for a while and sink back into the swamp”, “but it’s always waiting there around the corner, looking at making its way back through the sludge”.
His speech focused around Rock music will never die, it will always be there. But was this speech a good thing? Did it actually stir up anything from the fans or radio? Or was it just annoying dribble.
We have listed some reasons why rock music will never die and will always live on.
1. The bands. Ok, if you know of the Australian comedian Steve Hughes then you are already ahead, he rants that as Brits we should be ashamed of the X-Factor as we produced absolute legends which includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, The Who, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin. These bands created the sounds, the images, and the rock star lifestyle. Put it simply without these groundbreaking bands the Brits Awards would simply not exist and British music would not be as strong worldwide as it is today.
2. The Icons. Without doubt pop has produced some icons in the past but before they was pop stars, rock stars were kings and queens, with the likes of Slash, Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury and Madonna all becoming huge household names. It’s these characters that have helped shaped 20th and 21st century cultural, which included the rock image, musically, artistically or whatever you are interested in. Rock stars have shaped our lives and developed our knowledge of new experiences.
3. Image and Lifestyle. Linked to the icons that we adore, ultimately their iconic stature was in part due to their image and lifestyle. Even nowadays, describing Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga with the term Rock Star conjures up images of debauchery, wild parties and all manner of other extremes that seems to come with the Rock Star rules. The term will be forever used to describe those with wild tendencies.
4. The emotional response. Rock music has always been able to lift people and develop emotions, looking at songs that have empathetic or anthems, along the lines of Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi, both of whom have garnered songs that are now so entrenched in popular culture, it would honestly be more difficult to find someone on this planet who is unaware of these massive songs. Now compare that to a Justin Bieber song.
5. The excellent musicians. Without doubt, one reason we love rock music and that it will never die, is certainly due to the musicianship of the bands. Of course, some are a little sketchy but the majority seem to have a great understanding of the instrument they play whether it’s Slash on guitar, Keith Moon banging away on drums or Robert Plant’s soulful vocals. The musicians in rock music have to be good at what they do; after all it’s now in the live arena that these guys and gals do best and if they can’t cut the mustard, then they are letting all of rock musicians down.
5. Dangerous, original and pushing boundaries. Rock music since its really inception in the late 1950’s with the likes of Buddy Holly, Elvis and Little Richard, Rock has always had a dangerous side. Whether this utilizing figures such as Satan, growing long hair or getting tattoos and drinking to excess, Rock music has always been there to help push boundaries and turn impressionable youngsters from the traditional approach to an experimental approach, whether this turns out to be good or bad is another matter.
6. It speaks to generations / movements. Rock music always seems to be right there when a movement begins, or it inspires a movement such as Punk Rock or a youth explosion of the 1950’s. Each generation has needed music to help personify its ideals and puts it on stage for all to see. It certainly seems in the past 25 years there has been little to no massive movements such as Punk or the hippie movement against the US government in Vietnam. Rock music will always be remembered as part of something bigger and not just a fleeting moment, it was a soundtrack to the important parts of the latter 20th century.
So looking back, Rock music may have had its time in the spotlight and taken up retirement yet some remain to carry the banner and keeps rock bubbling under the surface. Whether it will return to prominence is hard to say but certainly it is easy to say its impact on modern culture has been tremendous whether you view this good or bad.
Rock will live on in those that want something different from the top 40 and it will live on in the new ways to listen or experience the best music ever.