By Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor
Most children fall asleep to lullabies. As a child, I fell asleep to the sounds of guitar riffs and drum solos.
My mom is an avid listener of classic rock bands, and having a child didn’t change that. She was such a rock fan, she named me after the classic rock song “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers Band. She raised me to love classic rock. Even today, we can be found singing (rather poorly) songs from Tom Petty, The Cars and just about every classic rock band from the ’60s to the ’80s.
Obviously, this is not a genre of music many Millennials enjoy, and I often hear “That’s so old, why’re you listening to that?” I hear this same statement about bands and artists that came to fruition in my lifetime and maybe have not been making new music in the past few years. I don’t understand why music from decades, or a few years ago, becomes “old,” and people turn their nose up at it. Yes, I’ve listened to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac thousands of times, but it never gets “old” to me. I am always sure to turn it up when it comes on my Spotify.
Besides loving the guitar and music in classic rock songs, I love that many classic rock bands used their platforms to write and perform protest songs about things they were passionate about. Rock and roll changed society, fashion, attitudes and language –– something few other genres have done.
Bruce Springsteen sticks out in my mind when I think of politically charged songs by rock and roll artists. Springsteen wrote and recorded “Born in the U.S.A,” which is one of the most misunderstood rock songs to date. The name sounds like it’s a patriotic song about loving your country, when in reality it is a song about being angry at how America turned their backs on Vietnam war veterans when they came home from the war. I have a lot of respect for people, especially musicians, who stand up and speak out about issues they’re passionate about and bring them to the public’s attention.
I love music that has meaning and tells a story, rather than today’s popular music trends of repeating the same thing over and over or covering an older song with the artist’s own special twist (the latter of which generally makes me want to gag).
Besides leaving their marks on history through speaking out about social issues, many rock and roll artists changed the way music was played. Jimi Hendrix, for example, brought electric guitar to the attention of everyone in the music world and popularized it. He changed the way it was played and made it part of mainstream music. Electric guitar, before Hendrix, was thought to just be a louder version of the acoustic guitar. Hendrix took the electric guitar and showed the world its uniqueness and the world started to appreciate it.
I encourage everyone before they change the station because “that song is so old,” stop and give it a listen. Really soak up the lyrics and maybe even do some research as to how the artist impacted music or why they wrote that song.