Originally Posted by greenwichjetfan
Maybe it's the snow making me pensive, but I subscribe to the fact that its just a study in scarcity.
From what I understand, back then, music was new to everyone. If you weren't listening to it live, for all intents and purposes, you really weren't listening to music.
It was different and made you feel good. It was a social experience where you went out for drinks and smokes (and other stuff) with a ****-ton of people, and got lost in sounds you didn't know existed.
From a playing standpoint, you actually had to have talent/skill/passion for it, because you weren't going to get rich from it or get the girl or win fame. It was something you did because you loved creating something unique to the world.
Now, every 7 year old walks around with headphones on silently listening to his own music, completely desensitized to what it even means to have music. This is because every wannabe who can pick up a guitar or make two sentences rhyme or has access to a mic or computer is on YouTube and or the radio, or DJibg for his highschool and friends. Music has become spaced out and expanded dry. There's like 10 genres now for each 1 genre there was back then. There are 4 genre-subsets to encompass literally a series of noises laced through a computer with someone backing it with his or her off-pitch vocals (dubstep/chillstep/brostep/glitchstep)...not that I don't enjoy it; bro step is funky at clubs, and chillstep is awesome to study to....its just that it's not music, yet there are four different legions of fans who subscribe to why each is better than the others.
And with all of this constant influx of music, we become desensitized. If you asked anyone from my generation who their favorite act is, they'd rattle off at least 5 artists comprising probably three or more genres.
Back then, it was easy to be the kings of music cuz there was no real competition as the artist, and because it was so new and cool and inaccessible, the public flocked to it. I don't know that music today is so much different or worse than back then. The qualities are still similar... Lots of it is to rebel against parents/culture/mainstream, and lots of it is simply to feel good. Parents still think their kids music is 'just noise' as they did back when Zep was tearing it up...it's just a matter of scarcity.
Very well thought out post, greenwich. IMO, the monumental shift occurred when Chuck Berry took rudiments of blues, swing, and jazz; then played them his unique way. What we now call "rock & roll". It was truly rock's first "golden age", whose riffs and chord patterns still dominate rock/pop/country music today.
Plus, Berry had two relatively new weapons in his arsenal, the electric guitar and amplification. Until Les Paul created the electric version, the acoustic guitar was almost a rhythm instrument, as even with a resonator, it was not easily heard over big bands or orchestras. Now, a visionary like Berry could be heard, and seen, front and center, which turned on tons of future artists like Page, Beck, Lennon, Scotty Moore, Elvis, Richards, to name just a few.