Why Does Rock n Roll Suck?

Wolfgang's Vault

While watching Iron Butterfly perform “Inna Gadda Davida” on my TV streamed down from Netflix via my TIVO box, I ran upon a rare, interesting article on CNN about why the rock music of today sucks. I think most every rock fan can agree that Iron Butterfly is one of the great rock bands and “Inna Gadda Davida” is a rock song that inspired generations. It seems fitting that this song was pumping in my heart as I read this article. The subject of the article was why rock n roll sucks and the writer used evidence from Steven Van Zandt (the long time Bruce Springsteen guitar player).

To sum up the perspective of the article: People buy fewer and fewer records/CD these days for many reasons. A contributing factor is that rock music isn’t that compelling. Once records from Elvis Presley to Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd flew off the shelves. Yes, that music was just that good. Today’s rock music is mired in mediocrity. Musicians barely being able to play their instruments, lack of any sense of history or where rock music came from and with a plethora of technology to make even unskilled and untalented musicians seem ok without ever having to work for it.

Today’s bands have a tough time playing covers. Is it because their artistry is above that or is it because they just can’t play it. Think about this: When the Beatles formed and started playing, did they up and write “Let it Be”? No. They played the club scene in Germany and worked their asses off. The played covers and played until their fingers bled. By the time they cut their first record, they were veterans. It didn’t stop there for the Beatles. Most fans will agree that they got better as they learned their craft. George Harrison wasn’t the most talented song writer in the band or the best guitar player in the world. By the time the Beatles broke up and he went solo, some believe that he was the song writing equal to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Not to mention, that his guitar playing became stylized and he played with ease with the best in rock n roll.

My advice to all you up and coming bands. Learn a few covers and work on your musicianship and songwriting with the guidance of Masters who have already proven themselves. If you are a cookie monster band learn a few Slayer songs, throw in a W.A.S.P song for good measure. If you are really ambitious, you might want to learn some Iron Maiden or Blue Oyster Cult. If you are a little more laid back, try out some Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. If you are an aspiring jam band try out some of those Grateful Dead tunes, or maybe a slice of some old Motown. Whatever kind of rock you are trying to play, learn a few blues standards. Put your own spin on it if you have to, but play some covers. Just learn from paths already trodden. You will appreciate it and your audience will too. Who knows one day you might sell a few records and rock n roll won’t suck anymore.

17 Comments

  1. Theres always going to be terrible bands out there, but that only allows the brillaint ones to shine all the more brightly. While we may not like some bands, the ones that achieve some form of success must be doing something right along the way.

    Covers are alaways a good way for any band to cut their teeth playing live, but the hardest part i’ve found is getting four or five members to agree on what song to do.

  2. Maybe modern rock bands are rubbish because all the good stuff has already been done. I agree with you that they should cut their teeth on covers but not that they haven’t a sense of history of the past. I think they have studied it too closely which is why they want all the adoration and trappings before they bother to work on their talents. Good article.
    .-= Music news views and opinions´s last blog ..Little Willie John gives me fever =-.

  3. Good point! Who is the next Beatles? Led Zeppelin? Rolling Stones? Metallica? Guns n Roses? Elvis?

  4. Innovation of music is the future. However I totally agree with what you’re saying. I alway insisted my old bands learn a few covers to hone us and for a bit of novelty in the performance.

  5. I agree that a lot of bands today are only writing music for the here and now and are not fans of the the “classics”. Music in general is hard to sell but people will always love a great rock show. I play in a new young band (mid twenties) but we totally appreciate “true rock” from every generation. People need to not only dance but they need to rock. Hopefully we bring back good old fashioned hard rock. Peace

  6. I love you. Rock and roll is dead. Yes, that’s right. Rock and roll is a corpse. Jerry Lee Lewis is the greatest rock and roller of all times. These “times” I speak of lasted from Bill Haley in 1954 to Bruce Springsteen in 1984. And don’t give me that crap about Appetite for Destruction! Yes, there are exceptions. But the exceptions prove the rule. Rock and roll is dead. I love you.

  7. Yes, that’s right. Rock and roll is dead. No melody. No mongralization [sic?] of Gilbert and Sullivan and Chopin with a beat. I’m going to fly my kite now.

  8. The holocaust of the Jews ruins everything. We can’t be free having to be so falsely meditative towards Jewish phoniness. Let’s get back to the gentile basics of taking a bite out of bread. Enjoying the streams in Nevada and the parched cleanliness.

    I took pains to spell correctly. I wasn’t raised by those that love.

  9. The Strokes, Is This It. Scaruffi is straining to fulfill his . . . .

    Supposed masterpiece. It is bland. Every noise track sounds the same. No tonal diversity. I wish Jesus was around in my heart so I could show these pharisees a thing or two.

    I, again, took pains to spell correctly.

  10. I believe rock music is more more spread than ever.Just think how many young artists have been influeced by rock.

  11. Rock n roll is one of the greatest things in music
    .-= Magnet download´s last blog ..[Movies] The Men Who Stare at Goats [ 2009] DVDRip XviD – STG =-.

  12. Inna Gadda Davida is my favourite song by the ron Butterfly.

  13. Wow, this is so so true. The music today just seems to be missing that genuine part of the soul that was once felt with the “rock legends”. There seems to be to much marketing influence in the music. This is seen with some current”rock bands that have the same basic melody but with different words. Find one song that works and then copy it to make the most money. BOOOOO!

  14. There’s more soul in an old Ramones song than all the poop out there today. Now that says a lot.

  15. There definitely seems to be fewer high quality rock bands these days. I wonder how much is due to the recording industry only wanting to promote bands with a mainstream sound that will be commercially successful? Would Led Zeppelin still be a huge success if they were on the scene today?
    .-= Easy Piano Lessons 4U´s last blog ..Easy Piano Lessons with Rocket Piano =-.

  16. Classic rock are great but IMHO, I think rock songs nowadays are also awesome! There are great rock band out there like Evanesence and Paramore.
    .-= Regina @ TV stands furniture´s last blog ..The best LCD TV Stands updated Sat Jul 24 2010 12-02 am CDT =-.

  17. @ amplifier

    I totally agree with you saying “terrible bands out there, but that only allows the brillaint ones to shine all the more brightly”
    It is just like, black and white, spoon and fork, coffee and cream. They are inseparable and always go together.

    My last blog: Kim Kardashian Credits Her Fame to Raj J

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