Will Classic Rock Ever Die?


Will Classic Rock Ever Die?

by Billy Meredith


The Beatles. Aerosmith. Fleetwood Mac. These are just a few iconic bands that have transformed the music world over the decades. Lately I’ve been wondering what the future holds for classic rock and if there will even be room for it. I certainly hope so.

My mom constantly reminds me of the time she rocked out with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry while being nine months pregnant with me. I guess you could say classic rock is in my blood. Having been raised on classic tunes such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Dream On,” it’s hard for me to imagine a world without classic rock; however, it appears that time isn’t too far away. Most classic rock musicians are well into their late 60s and 70s and certainly won’t be able to tour for much longer. But is it possible that some bands/songs will live on forever?

There once was a period where I didn’t appreciate the genre and rather labeled it as “my parents’ music,” but I was young and naïve. Somewhere in my teenage years, I realized the true value of classic rock and what makes it so timeless. It seems that a lot of music these days tends to lack the brilliant, passion-filled lyrics and head-banging guitar solos that were the norm in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Back then, a band was more than just a lead singer, and it wasn’t uncommon for a guitarist to rival the popularity of a front man. Today, it’s rare to find an iconic guitar riff that sends chills down your spine as soon as you press play, such as the intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of good music today, it just seems that it can be a lot harder to find, especially on the Top 40 stations. The main reason I listen to alternative music is to discover those “real” musicians with raw talent, rather than the doctored up, auto-tuned, cuss-filled crap that is overplayed and subconsciously gets stuck in my head. For instance, Gary Clark Jr. could be considered a modern Jimmy Hendrix, while Tame Impala’s songs contain echoes of Pink Floyd. These types of bands are the diamonds in the rough, the bands that you’ll never hear on mainstream radio.

While I don’t have any scientific facts on whether or not classic rock will ever die, I can give you my take: As long as I’m alive, there will always be room for a classic rock station preset in my car. I can also assure you that I’ll be playing Margaritaville on the way to the beach with my future children and grandchildren. The way I see it, I doubt “Sweet Home Alabama” will ever stop playing at Alabama football games, and hopefully ASU will continue to play “Don’t Stop Believing” at the end of the third quarter. Classic rock is a timeless genre that is meant to be played with the speakers cranked up and windows down, and certainty deserves to be immortal…unlike Justin Bieber.