1/01/2015

Retro Recycling

We recently found ourselves discussing the pitfalls of the current-day music business, when an acquaintance stated how, since the ‘90s, rock and roll has largely become stagnant by looking back instead of forward. Now, whether or not this is factual, it’s undeniable that rock and roll exists in a milieu that is uniquely rooted in the past as far as its immediate tools of the trade: vintage electric guitars—generally speaking, those that predate 1980 and have a significant market value—are quite expensive and their sales floor is at least $2000 and can reach house down payment figures; the most desired guitar amplifiers are tube powered, a technology that is utterly obsolete save for this particular exception; and the most sought after effects pedals are particularly designed to emulate sounds from 30+ years ago.

But it’s just not today’s established performers: how ‘bout the hobbyist? You know, the well-off doctor/lawyer/businessman who wants to recreate the sounds of his youth when he comes home from the office and/or on the weekend while downing a case of beer with some buddies, and for whom, in many cases, money is no object. You get a guy like Andy from Pro Guitar Shop emulating a classic Stones album track like “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’?” and that credit card is gonna come out of that wallet at blinding speed.

Bottom line: if you come up in an atmosphere where convenience is the dominant factor, you won't care about crappy sounding MP3s, financially compensating artists for their music, etc. And here's the thing: it's not a waste of time to preach these little nuggets to those who otherwise wouldn't know about 'em. Yeah, you might come across plenty of younger folks who will dismiss you as old crank, but you're likely to find people who will appreciate you turning them on to another way of approaching things.

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