This article was written by Al Hall, a GIGsoup contributor
The transition from 2015 to 2016 has been a bruising one for rock ‘n’ roll fans. The losses of Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Lemmy, and the end of Mötley Crüe’s life on the road has left the genre’s landscape bereft of some of its biggest and most consistent icons.
Quite rightly, when such huge stars pass away, the media invites the public to reflect on the careers of these artists, invariably concluding that “We will never see his like again”. Whilst there is no questioning the contributions of the musicians mentioned above, there seems to be a culture within rock ‘n’ roll fandom that the glory days are gone, and that we will never again see true ‘stars’ as we have in the past.
This does not need to be the case. The only limiting factor on the future of rock music is us, the fans. If we sit back, listen to the same old albums and go and see the same old bands, before too long we will find ourselves left with very little at all. The sad fact is that many of our beloved rock stars are now getting to the age where anything could happen, especially considering the extravagant way in which some of them have lived their lives, and they will not be around forever. Whilst there are a number of newer rock bands coming through, the likes of Vintage Trouble, Blackberry Smoke and The Temperance Movement, the numbers are depressingly small, meaning the current future of the genre is limited.
The answer is simple, get behind your local bands. Yes, we may never see another Frey, Bowie or Lemmy, but nor should we want to. Music is about novelty and creativity, not about churning out the same thing over and over again. One thing you can guarantee, however, is that neither of these fallen rockers would want to see the genre to which they gave slowly stutter to a halt with the passing of its pioneers. So, of course, pay homage to these giants of the genre, and keep listening to their music, but also spare a thought for the unsigned bands where you live. The great rock artists all started where these bands are now, and the only way to replace those we have lost is to support those continuing their legacy in pubs and clubs today.