Posted On: Tuesday - January 7th 2020 8:46PM MST
In Topics:   Music
"Classic Rock" became the term for the genre of "all of the good music" around the end of the 1980s, by my recollection, or by my record-collection. The reason the music on Peak Stupidity is 75-85% from the 1970s is not some sort of favoritism, it's just that we cover the time period during which music did not often suck. One can't say that for the recent years, especially the last 2 decades.
Being a rock star during that era had to be a great life. The country was a whole lot more free then, in general, and the concerts were a whole nother level of that... with Grateful Dead shows being an order-of-magnitude beyond that.
What do they do nowadays, those people that call themselves "musical artists"? Do they count up your LIKE's each night, and tweet out to their Facebook fan/friends what they and their band had for dinner? What do they throw out of hotel room windows anymore, if anything at all? Flat-screen TVs just don't explode on the sidewalk like those old 25" CRTs. Do they have to worry about getting #MeToo'd (pronounced "pound me too") by the groupies? About the only thing I'd give the new generation credit for is not smashing up their own perfectly good guitars. Do they know how to play those? Would it matter if they smashed them?
I don't care how much money they make at the stadium concerts with the big-screen TVs for fans to watch them on, for the artists, the music scene has got to be just a shell of its former self. Some of the stories of the classic rock era from on the road from town to town were something else (one was about a band member who stole a single engine plane from a nearby airport, buzzed the tour bus and crashed).
Jackson Brown's Running on Empty album was one of those "concept albums" Peak Stupidity discussed way back. It was specifically about his band being on the road, with some music actually recorded on the bus. There was a slight big of complaining, as with Another Town along the Road, but Mr. Browne thanked his roadies in a song (The Load Out) and didn't seem to be having too bad a time.
Then, there was Willie Nelson with his very upbeat song On the Road Again singing "The life I love is making music with my friends." Skynryd sang What's your name? about fun with girl groupies, starting with "It's 8 O'clock in Boise, Idaho. I'll find my limo driver. Mister, take us to the show. I done made some plans for later on tonight. I'll find a little queen, and I know I can treat her right." See, no complaints there. Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty sang "737 comin' out of the sky. Oh, won't you take me down to Memphis on a midnight ride?" in their song about playing in a Traveling Band.
Then, well, now, I like lots of music by Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, but his one song,Turn the Page, is just one long complaint about the life of such a traveling band. Maybe it's that I've heard the song, from his 1973 album Back in '72 but more known from Live Bullet, too many times and I'm just sick of it in general. The lyrics, though, always made me want to ask Mr. Seger to just please quit bitching. There were millions of other guys who'd have loved to have taken his place in that time and place. I don't want to hear that whining from a rock star - it's unbecoming.
At one point in the song, Mr. Seger complains about being laughed at at a truck stop due to his long hair. (This was 1973, you understand.) I wanna' say "hey, get a haircut and get a real job". Take a hiatus, find yourself, whatever, just don't complain about being a rock star.
Now, since I don't like the Bob Seger song, and like to feature the best music I can, I'll put here some other songs from these same bands that I think are maybe just slightly better.
From Jackson Browne, off the same concept album about touring, Running on Empty - the title song is excellent too, but I like You Love the Thunder:
From Willie Nelson, here's the classic Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain:
From CCR, with the best voice ever in Rock & Roll, I'd rather hear Green River:
and, lastly, from Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, with absolutely no complaints about his being a Rock Star, here's Rock and Roll Never Forgets:
PS: Maybe Mr. Seger was a family man at the time, as that could explain his distaste for the long tours. Based on the wiki page for the song and the description of his personal life on his wiki page, he wasn't married at the time with any kids, just in a long-term relationship.