Calling All Rock Stars

1984 was a great year for music. I don’t know if George Orwell’s predictions of a dystopia had anything to do with it, but 1984, to me, stands out as a year when every heavy metal band would reach it’s pinnacle in creating the optimum LPs all captured on glorious vinyl. This year would be a climax of two decades or so, of previous hard rock and heavy metal glory.

Yes, I’m talking about the Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, and even you Motley Crue. The glorious rock stars of yesteryear.


Now let’s take a step forward and look at the state of music today. Where are all those heavy metal gods, the true rock stars.  Where are the larger than life bulges in the pants, the boys that look like girls and girls that look like boys? Sure I understand that all of this belongs to an error that has since died out. But what have we replaced it with? Sappy banjo playing preppies, mediocre PC nerds, pseudo disco hipsters, ultra sensitive emo kids with weird hair, or, if we’re lucky, bratty second rate punk bands. It’s no wonder that our children are still wearing our rock shirts and listening to our records, now so smartly available in CD format and apparently all over the internet.


Now back to the past. The year is 1985. Tipper Gore leads the PMRC, a committee of repressed housewives, dedicated to taking all the fun out of rock n’ roll. At the time, I did not see the PMRC as a huge threat, but rather an opportunity for rockers to unite and show how intelligent they truly were, while simultaneously proving the stupidity of said bored housewives who’s biggest victory seemed to be putting an easily ignorable label on albums warning of explicit lyrics and, ultimately, wanting us to buy the album EVEN MORE!!


But now, looking back on things, did Tipper Gore win? Surely more raunchy rock stars emerged since then, producing bawdy lyrics and hip grinds. But it seems it was all with a neatly packaged, glossy sheen, that has since disappeared completely to be replaced by a piece of metal, shrink rapped and presented, as if to say, “Here, buy me. This is what you should be listening to. You don’t need to think about anything at all.”

Indeed I feel sorry for young girls whose best wet dreams will prominently feature a Jonas Brother. And while Radiohead is hardly the worst band in the world, and while I understand the feelings of social inadequacy, probably better than anyone else, nobody is more of a creepy weirdo than Alice Cooper. And it’s highly unlikely that “Symptom of the Universe” had anything remotely to do with recycling.


So I conclude with an urgent plea to rockers of the world to put down your coffee cups, unite and rise with a thundering voice. To paraphrase Nora Roberts, “Rock n’ roll is restless, rude, defiant and daring. Once in a while, someone comes along who truly understands, who has the gift to transfer all those needs and emotions into music.”  Where is this person?  Banished to a bar band career because the record company is too afraid to unleash the raw emotions that constitute a rock star? Who will be our savior to deliver us from the corporate grindstone that rock n’ roll has now become?


7 thoughts on “Calling All Rock Stars

  1. 1984 was also the year Spinal Tap arrived to make the end of this golden age official. I go with file sharing and hip hop as the two biggest things to take the glitter away.

  2. It is disappointing to see what passes as music. As I mentioned in my blog, technology has made it possible to correct the mistakes to the point where musical talent is not required. Rihanna vs, Aretha Franklin? Lady Gaga vs. Janis Joplin? Unfortunately, we have done it to ourselves. The talent is out there, it’s just that people are buying packaged musical crap. If we did not buy it, they would not make it.

  3. As a lead singer of an original hard rock band myself, the state of the music industry is disgusting. I’m lucky enough to live near a bar that books original bands and although the scene is small, we refuse to give up and keep on writing, recording and playing just because we love it….I was on a hiatus for nearly 2 years (hurricane ate our house, very time consuming to get it back) and how funny I stumbled on your blog the same day we’re having our first rehearsal tonight and a gig in a few weeks; I’m so happy I found you! ❤ xox

    • Same here, just read your interview with Maryanne Christiano and absolutely loved it. Sorry to hear about your house but best of luck with your band. Don’t know if you are still on the East Coast (I’m in L.A.) but feel free to solicit promotions this way.

  4. prince was the poster child of tipper gore’s outrage and now he is a practicing jehovah witness, he still plays,etc.. however alot of him has changed. i think the lines were blurred back then with a quiet riot, twisted sister and def lepoard. def leopard were as pop as Michael Jackson and for a while they went head to head on the charts. and over time acts blended so much. the industry stripped down acts doing their thing once record sales were at a all time high. i mean Metallica was selling what MJ,garth brooks,R.kelly and Snoop Dogg were selling in the 90’s. same with Kid rock and then linki park. lines got blurred and these labels gobbled up indy labels. Nirvana and seattle were the last of that vibe and Green day got the pass from it all. so that time 30 years back while golden, also allowed itself to embrace MTV and other aspects. i mean Van Halen was the biggest band in the world back then and we remember eddie doing the beat it solo and Van Halen added synths to their music and then you get a 2nd tier act like Bon Jovi amongest others and you fast forward to a Maroon 5 of today. some of the dots connect. technilogy flipped the game forever and everybody who is a beat maker is now called a producer. IMO i don’t think down loading and file sharing did as much damage as the fact that the record companies tripped over their own feet in being greedy and it ain’t done that much damage since they still get new acts on 365 deals and also youtube and other outlets to control and pimp. we need rebels where it doesn’t allow the industry to dictate everything and that is why american idol, the voice, etc.. are happening as a means to control the voices and not just make it happen. truth is mainstream pop acts are hurting from having to share the same writers and producers with everyone else. its a sorry state of affairs in all styles. country is still live however have you heard what goes for modern country? same with rap. jazz got watered down as well. suits stay controling.

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