Rock Stars: Then Vs Now (Or Why Music Totally Sucks Today)

There used to be a really awesome thing called ROCK STARS and they don’t seem to exist anymore. It sucks. This is nothing that hasn’t been said before a zillion times, but it really hit me this year when once again I realized that the Grammys don’t even give out the awards for Best Rock Album on television anymore. I found out The Black Keys won the Grammy for “El Camino” via Twitter.

I don’t want to keep up with what the kids are into because what the kids are into these days SUUUUUUUUUCKS. It just straight up sucks. I don’t need to make a more articulate argument.

Chris Brown. Case closed.

I actually went to iTunes to check out with the top 10 rock albums were.

1) Some Garbage Band I’ve Never Heard Of – Their Awful Album
2) John Mayer – Some Friggin’ John Mayer Album
3) AC/DC – Back In Black
4) Some Boring Band Doing A Shitty Version Of Thin Lizzy But It Sounds More Like That Band Jet – Who Cares
5) Journey – Greatest Hits
6) The Avett Brothers – We’re The Shitty Eagles
7) Guns N Roses – Greatest Hits
8) Rodriguez – Searching For Sugar Man
9) Led Zeppelin – Mothership (Greatest Hits)
10) Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

I was very confused that HALF of the chart was made up of the greatest hits of bands 20+ years old. Oh, and a goddamn John Mayer record. The fact that such classic rock artists were still selling so well both warmed my heart and left me totally puzzled.

That’s when I realized, I was actually looking at the WRONG chart.

New rock music on iTunes is placed into the “Alternative” category. That’s because Rock music was officially branded “Alternative” in 1992 by a meeting of the programmers at KROQ that was held at the Pentagon. Bill Clinton was there and he played his saxophone the entire meeting. It was actually pretty charming!

Anyway, get a load of the “Alternative” chart:

1) The Lumineers – Zzz zzz zzz sorry I fell asleep writing this.
2) Mumford & Sons – Babel zzz zzz zzz oops I fell asleep again
3) fun. – Some Nights (that dog. did lower case with a period in the 90’s!)
4) Imagine Dragons – We Have The Most Whimsical Stupid Band Name In The World
5) Mumford & Sons – Another Awful Mumford & Sons Record
6) Mumford & Sons – Holy Shit, You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me
7) Alabama Shakes – Whatever, I’m Tired Of Typing This Garbage
8) The Black Keys – El Camino
9) Of Monsters & Men – YAWN: THE ALBUM
10) Mumford & Sons – Babel zzz zzz zzz oops I fell asleep again (Deluxe Edition)

That’s right. FOUR of the spots in the top 10 alternative chart belongs to Mumford & Sons.

Winners of seven Golden Banjos at the 2012 Boring Awards, Mumford & Sons are the biggest rock band in the country right now. I HOPE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT.

Sorry, but Mumford & Sons do not meet my definition of a rock star. I’m sure those nerds could build a helluva barn for you, but rock stars they are not. Seriously, Bruno Mars is a bigger rock star than Mumford & Sons. If you’re gonna wear a stupid fedora, at least put on a show while you’re doing it.

Clearly the concept of a rock star has changed since the 1970’s and quite frankly, it’s unacceptable. I’ve put together a list of the differences between rock stars in the ’70s Vs. how rockstars today. Hopefully you will find it infuriating.

Rock Stars in the ’70s

If you were a rock star in the ’70s, you’d travel in a big ass jet plane with your band’s logo on the side of it. You’d put out a concert film that featured fantasy sequences where you rode around on horseback and it would NOT be pretentious, it would be AWESOME. There’d be legendary stories about hotel rooms being trashed and one infamous incident involving a groupie and a mud shark that is so notorious, it has its own wikipedia entry.

Rock Stars Now

Today if you want to be a rock star, you buy some sweaters I guess.

Rock Stars in the ’70s

Rock stars in the ’70s were so huge, they could create completely different personas and their alter-egos would become rock stars too. They were so damn good at writing true rock anthems, they could give one to Mott the Hoople like it was no big deal. People would wonder about your sexuality: Are they straight? Are they gay? It didn’t matter, YOU WOULD TOTALLY SLEEP WITH THEM WHATEVER THE HELL WAS GOING ON.

Rock Stars Now

Rock stars today live in the woods so they can practice quietly harmonizing everyone in to a coma. They purposely make their band names unpronounceable. Certainly don’t assume their band name sounds like it’s spelled — it’s NOT. Also they seem to have no shame about finger-picking a guitar.

Rock Stars in the ’70s

If you were a rock star in the ’70s, you’d yell at their crowd if they were acting like idiots. Your audiences stupidity would enrage you so much, you’d literally build a WALL on stage to keep the mouth breathing suburban burnouts away from you. This would force a nation of shitheads to smarten up and pay attention, making the world a better place for it.

Rock Stars Now

If you’re a rock star today, you tweet this.

Rock Stars in the ’70s

All you needed to be a rock star in the 70’s was four leather jackets, four pairs of jeans and four words in your song… which only uses three chords.

Rock Stars Now

Fuck you.

Am I an angry out of touch jerk, or are things in rock music GENUINELY not as cool as they used to be? Totally rhetorical question, I don’t want your answer.

I get it. Rock music doesn’t sell any more. I’m a bitter, out-of-touch old dude who is essentially blogging, “GET OFF MY LAWN.”

Yup, and it feels great!

Follow @JakeFogelnest and check out his site, too. He says other stuff in both those places.