Kirk Baird, a pop culture reporter for the Toledo Blade, had an interesting piece in Sunday's edition of the paper on the appeal of classic rock. Here's the gist of the report, from R.E.O. Speedwagon vocalist Kevin Cronin,
It’s certainly not of New York or L.A. It really is of the heartland. That’s where our biggest concerts draws are, that’s where most of our fans are. I think the music does represent the music of the Midwest. It just kind of happened that way.
I don't understand what that means. What does it mean to say “represent the music of the Midwest?”
Classic rock is kind of meat and potatoes rock. It’s not fancy, it’s not intellectual, it’s not trendy — it’s really of the people. There’s a tradition to it, there’s a relateability to it. I’m a Midwest guy; any music that I write it comes from that sensibility.
Notwithstanding the fact that he probably hasn't written any worthwhile music in more than 20 years, the statement above is pretty damning of classic rock fans out there. You're not fancy. You're not intellectual. You're just old. Just lIke yesterday's meatloaf.
Certainly we all yearn for the past every now and then. I do find myself switching on some Zeppelin or Queen from time to time. The classics are the classics after all. But is Nuge and Styx and REO really classic?
How many times can a person listen to “Wang Dang” without it growing at least a little stale? How many times are you going to ring your local classic rock station and request “Train Kept a Rollin',” “Come Sail Away” or “Ridin' the Storm Out?”
Instead of meat and potatoes, I think the better metaphor is old clothes. Nothing in your wardrobe fits as comfortably as that worn out pair of jeans, am I right? But a person can't wear comfy old clothes every day, can he? He's got to try on something new once in a while, doesn't he?
Does including this video make me into a hypocrite? Oh well…..
Is Nuge or Styx or REO even in the RRHOF?