The Day the Guitar Heroes Died….
Oh the horror of that fateful day. I turned on the radio, waiting for Van Halen, Ac/DC, Scorpions or even some Warrant. Alas, it was not to be. There was a new sound, a mood and worst of all it all came wrapped in flannel. And it smelled, smelled like teen spirit.
For those of us from Generation X 1989 was a horrible year for music, and it continues today in 2008. Of course it took “Smells like Teen Spirit” till the fall of 1992 to reach #1 on the charts. However, the damage was done. Following Nirvanas release of their debut cod “Never mind” there followed quickly bands like Pearl Jam, XXXXX and XXXX. All referred to as “Grunge”.
Bans that were just on top of the charts: Ratt, Quiet Riot and Kix who were selling out Arenas and breaking records in sales suddenly found their albums in the barging bins.
The axe heroes that gave all the “guitar oriented rock” bands their signature sounds were suddenly thrust aside as fast as a David Lee Roth kung-fu kick. All of a sudden it did not matter how fast you could play a chord or if you were a wizard of the chromatic scale. All that mattered was how much angst and personal tragedy you poured into a song.
Classic guitar rock suffered as well. Classic Rock radio stations were dropping like flies.--
Bands like Led Zeppelin, ELO, Styx and Thin Lizzy saw the sale of their classic rock albums all but stop.
. Concerts suffered mightily. Gone were the million watt speaker systems, the elaborate light shows and pyrotechnics. Iron Maidens “Eddie” was shoved into a closet, becoming a thing of ridicule, ala Spinal Taps “Stone Hinge”.
What were red blooded American hard rockers to do?
We kept on rocking, When our vinyle bit the dust we played that cassette copy we made for the car and walk-man, no DRM (digital rights management) here. Of course that is a topic for another day. And eventually when all of the magnetic coating had worn off those cassettes we bought the CDs and marveled at how clear those guitar solos were and we swore we heard different licks than before.
And all along the guitar heros were being replaced by yet another new comer to the mucic scene…..Pop Punk, Boy Bands and……the bain to all, Gangsta Rap.