Youngsters Seeking Oldies; Is Classic Rock Making A Comeback?

Published: 2004-03-31
The old phrase of "Dad, can I borrow the car" is being replaced with 'Dad, can I borrow your music?". Teens starved for real music – stripped down rock and roll that isn't watered down by costumes and fancy displays – are scouring the internet, record stores, and even their parents music collections for the real thing.

As rock bands of today try to emulate or play covers of their influences, teens take notice and go in search of the original source. Baby boomers and teens are bridging the generation gap through music. Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band says that at 56 he could be the grandfather to some of the fans in the audience at an Allman Brothers concerts. Members of Lynard Skynard notice that the kids in the audience aren't rookies either, they know the song lyrics and the band's history. And what's more is the teens don't mind that they are listening to the same music as their parents. Going to a rock concert with your parents is cool and they hear good music to boot.

In an effort to boost record sales the record companies have been repackaging the music of the 60s and 70s and targeting the baby boomer age for record sales. The strategy has worked and CDs are selling, but not where the record companies expected. More and more teens are buying the old time rock and roll. The teens are discovering that the music is more important than an image.

Elvis Presley, Peter Gabriel, Queen, and Sir Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" are the top songs being downloaded by kids searching for music on the internet. Jeffrey Logan, a 17 year old from Los Angeles, founded a Led Zepplin fan club. When he talks about sharing the same musical tastes as his Dad, he doesn't mind. "They're just very cool old people," he said. Logan adds that he wishes they were young so that he could experience them in their heyday.

For many teens today the music of today is wimpy and going downhill. "Classic rock" is filling a void in their musical lives.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



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