The glorious histories of classic bands. BBC4 and Sky Arts are goldmines for these sorts of things. The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Nirvana, Prince, The Sex Pistols, The Beatles, Depeche Mode to name a few. They all leave me with the same kind of momentary after-thought. "FUCK YEAH, I'M GONNA BE A ROCK N ROLL STAR"
But thinking back on all these sort of shows the only solid fact I can take away from them is that nothing will ever be like that again. Never ever. The old rock n' roll fairytale is dead. Maybe there is a new version being formed today, a new dream for the children of the future. But as it stands, it is pretty safe to say that we are in the transitional period, we can only look forward, as everything that has happened before is irrelevant. Obviously the music still stands up, people will quite rightly look at The Beatles or Joy Division or Dylan for musical inspiration. But inspiration is all it can be, there is no point trying to map out a musical path in the style of any band that came before the turn of the century. This is maybe why so many bands get frustrated and fail. Trying to follow the old route in a completely new world. The internet has been the most influential thing on music since ol' Robert Jonson sold his soul at the crossroads.
Many of the great rock n' roll stories tended to involve sending demo tapes to labels, getting some sort of gun-toting maverick manager, playing a few auditions in record company offices, maybe having a few false starts, then after a few years and a couple of dull albums they would hit the big time with some massive hit single and never look back. Five hundred date tours around America and a whole host of celebrity divorces would follow. Before rehab, comeback albums and the ill-advised techno period. I certainly think we need to keep hold of some of the wild parts of this tale, we still need rock n' roll stars. Just because the means of getting music out has become rather dull and plastic doesn't mean that the people making it need to be. But hell, it's hard to imagine how a young Bowie would have got on with Twitter. Or how an Ian Curtis blog would take off. Perhaps this level of openness would have killed the mystery a little. But that is the world in which we now live and try to succeed in. We have sent out countless CDs and emails to record companies, managers etc, and one of the only responses we have ever had was that we needed to improve our "online presence". A very modern short-coming. We've recently been told by another influencial industry voice that we had great songs and were amazing live, but that seemingly wasn't enough to gain any sort of investment. I don't think anyone really knows how the music industry is going play out in the coming years, as much as it seems a little bit shit, the fact that it is new and uncharted territory rather excites me.
The idea of living in uncharted times also applies in many factors of our lives. There are a generation being born right now that are having their first picture uploaded to Facebook whilst they are still in the womb. Scan pictures are followed by the blinking, moist, one day old pictures, then on to the first steps and beyond. What sort of social and psychological effect will this have on these people by the time they reach their 21st birthday? At what age will they themselves get a social network profile? Growing up in a world where "likes" and a"releationship status" are common things. I have no idea how it will all play out. I have the minor joy of being old as fuck. I left school when I was 16, just before Myspace and Bebo erupted into world. I only really knew the people at my school. This will seem almost unfathomable to people that are only a couple years younger than me. It is nice to have known the two worlds, pre and post socail network. Where it goes next I really do not know. As long as we remember we are human and continue to share the amazing pleasures of community and keep on touching each other then I'm sure we'll be alright.