16-17 is the ideal age for young lads and girls to be playing rock and roll.
This is the age of revolution, rebellion and angst.
The age when emotions are running fast through healthy veins. When bodies are taut, muscular and ready for anything. Ready to attack.
Rock should be lithe and sexual.
This music is about dancing, surfing, twisting and jitterbugging. It’s about bodies moving together. Sharing the heat.
And rock should provide teenagers with a sense of belonging. It should initiate new fashions and crazes.
Most importantly, rock should set out to be deliberately provocative.
And that’s why rock music creates cultural collision.
It is defiant. It’s about resistance. And fighting back. It’s about sabotaging what has gone before.
It’s about creating something new. Maybe, something that’s dangerous.
Rock is about sharing civil disobedience.
And that’s why the creep of the rich, powerful and influential – into the world of rock – is so pernicious.
The old do not offer any of that.
The old-time rock ‘n’ roll veterans have earned their reverence and respect. That’s true…
But now they are creeping back – taking over positions of power – that should be reserved for the young.
Taking up places that are not theirs for the taking. But we are letting them grab them…
Dolly Parton, Brian Ferry, Yoko Ono, Robert Plant,Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Blink-182, New Order, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon – they are all appearing in music festivals this year.
How much was spent on these acts? Who did they replace?
What innovative music, what revolutionary acts – did they supplant?
This veneration of the high-priests and priestesses is unhealthy for the music. It stymies the birth of true talent.
It blocks the way to the top. And it diverts money – and attention – from the fresh and the inspiring.
These ‘holy-cows’ are the personification of wealth. The living example of greed and power.
To allow these fat-cats to lord over us is purely idolatry. At it’s worst.
The young don’t want to fawn to authority. They shouldn’t have to ingratiate themselves to the powerful.
And the stars themselves should have the good grace to relinquish their power.
Yeah, the old folks can offer their opinions and advice. The young would be fools if they didn’t learn from the mistakes made by their elders.
But we should concede – as an audience – that the veterans have lost their legitimacy as arbiters of fashion, as leaders of revolution and as the creators of change.
When will the old surrender their sovereignty?
Well, no time soon, whilst there is still money to make….
@neilmach © 2014