What just exactly is Classic Rock?

Rock, Rock, Rock, OK…Let’s talk rock.

Let me think about this for a minute. The Beatles and The Who are classic rock bands. They formed in the 60s.

And then there’s Aerosmith and AC/DC are classic rock. They formed in the 70s. That’s two generations.

Get into the late 70s and early 80s and you’re talking about Def Leppard, Van Halen and Motley Crue.

I think we can all agree that this was the next generation of Classic Rock, 80s rock & metal is definitely classic rock – wow, 1980 was 30 years ago!

I feel old…

Classic Rock

I think that every classic rock station in the world regularly plays Scorpions, Van Halen, Ratt, GnR (Guns n Roses – for you normal people), Aerosmith, Metallica, Motley, Iron Maiden and Ozzy. And then they will scatter in songs by Poison, Tesla, Dokken and Cinderella; did I miss any of the big names? Forgive me…I’m a closet rocker.

For me, I think classic rock is the classic 90s bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Korn, Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Hmmmm. But I guess that will be a way off. Much of the 90s rock scene is still “owned” by fans of alternative music, and it will take a bit of time for them to fully move into being classified as plain ol’ rock.

I’m a lover of music, torn about all this. I mean, I definitely want my beloved music to be recognised as important – historic even. I’m just not sure I’m ready for it to be blasted on commercial radio under just the “classic rock” banner. That just seems to scare kids and immediately turn them off…the word “Classic.”


The older the better

Not that I was that way. Ohhhh no, I was the opposite. In some cases, the older the music the better I thought it was.

I was too young to have money of my own to buy records or CD’s. I would just tape the songs from my little bedside radio cassette player – all of it, from Kansas to Guns n’ Roses. At that time I was so young and stupid I didn’t know critics hacked music apart into genres to make their own lives easier.

I just figured that if the DJ’s thought it was good enough to play, it must rock. (Clearly I was a kid at the time, having no clue how the fickle broadcasting industry worked).

So anyway, I am chill in a local nightclub a few weeks ago and all of a sudden I heard the DJ pumping a techno pimped out versions of U2 and Journey.

I flipped and laughed “a classic rewind” for 20 year old kids. Turns out all the people in the club knew the words… ”Don’t Stop Believing.” Then it dawned on me: both those bands formed in the 70s. Just like Aerosmith and Def Leppard. Now that’s classic. Rock live, all the time.

Do you think this is a bad thing? Oh my.

Here’s the final scary thought: if Motley Crue and Poison are already classic rock…then who the heck is next? I can’t imagine Creed getting a ton of airplay 15 years from now on a radio station, but you never know where “Classic” music will go. I guess this is the way of the world.