Is rock music obsolete?
I remember when I was a kid, there was quite a bit of controversy when one band released a song called “Punk Not Dead”.
The band, which was based out of England, was, of course, called The Exploited. The point that they were trying to raise really resonated with a lot of people.
You have to remember that whenever any kind of youth movement is launched, it’s only a matter of time until the mass media, as well as people who should otherwise know better, would start dismissing it. They would say that the youth movement somehow, someway, betrayed its ideals. Maybe the people who organized it in the first place became old, jaded, or somehow corrupted by the evil existing in the system.
And this plays out in American cultural life regardless of which youth movement you are talking about. This happened with the beatniks in the 1950s, the hippies in the 1960s, the mods, the punks, and the teddy boys in the 1970s, and Madonna wannabes in the 80’s. The whole idea is, of course, that the strange advent tide of youth cultural movements and planned obsolescence.
Well, if any of this sounds familiar, it should be because planned obsolescence is an All-American concept. Prior to General Motors’ Alfred Sloane’s idea of planned obsolescence, cars in the United States basically looked the same year after year. In fact, Henry Ford said that you can buy a Ford as long as it is black and would look the same year after year.
Well, planned obsolescence became the new mantra of Detroit and really changed all that. Basically, the whole point here is that each and every year must be different. It must bury the past. This way of thinking really revolutionized the automotive industry and definitely pushed people to buy new cars after every few years even though their old cars were perfectly fine.
This created a self-regenerating demand system for the automotive industry. It also created a very healthy market for second-hand cars. Now, what does any of this has to do with rock music being obsolete?
Well, it really all boils down to the whole obsolescence mindset. If you’re really big into a particular type of music like the Jackson Taylor band, you may run into an issue sooner or later basically when you say that there is really no way you can stick to one band because the whole point of consuming music and the media, in general, is to go from item to item, act to act, and song to song.
In other words, it’s all about planned obsolescence but in the musical context. This really is too bad because let me tell you, great music will always remain great. Regardless of what year it is, regardless of where people are listening to it, it will always speak to people’s soul. It will always transport people to a different reality and will always produce value.
This is definitely our attitude when it comes to the Jackson Taylor band.