Let There be Rock and Roll (Reprised)
Recently I attended a concert from the Bon Jovi Because We Can: The Tour. Let me start off by saying it was the very definition of epic! The band had amazing stage presence and sounded incredible.
But what I immediately noticed was how old the audience was. I saw very few people under the age of 25; in fact most of the people I saw were probably 25-50 years old. That’s really awful to think that very few younger people like/know Bon Jovi. If they don’t know a famous rock band like Bon Jovi, what rock do they know? Do most people even listen to older rock anymore? My older brother mentioned to a friend how I was going to this concert, and his friend replied with, “Who’s Bon Jovi?” That is really concerning how some people don’t even listen to great bands from the past.
I recently read an article on slate.com about the whole Kanye-Jimmy Kimmel feud, and the writer, Forrest Wickman, states,
“Rap is the new rock and roll — or rather, it’s considerably bigger and more influential now than rock is.”
Well part of me wants to deny it because I don’t like rap and had started listening to rock at a tender, single digit age, but I know rap is huge now. I know so many people who listen to rappers like Kanye West and Drake and Jay Z considerably more than bands like Aerosmith or AC/DC or Bon Jovi. I am not saying people are wrong in liking hip hop. You are completely entitled to liking it, but to think that in 10, 15, 25 years most of the older fans who’ve listened to Bon Jovi (or any older rock band for that matter) will probably not attend the concerts. And then what will happen? Do you think they can fill arena seats if everyone is busy listening to Yeezus? Maybe. I know there is a younger fan base, but nevertheless, the numbers will dwindle.
So I thought of a, for lack of a better word, solution to this current frustration of mine. We spread rock. Just like how earnest radio callers beg for rap and the latest teeny-bopper idol, we ask for rock. Not just to rock channels, either, but also to mainstream ones, too. When our friends tell us of how awesome P!nk or Demi Lovato is as a female artist, we suggest Joan Jett or Alanis Morissette right back to them. I know some of you must be embracing this rap movement, and quite probably have for a fair few years, but rock is the holy historic genre. This birthed the very foundation of our culture.