Infotainment

Tip for Reading List: A eulogy for classic rock

“For as long as I can remember”, American music critic Steven Hyden writes in his second book, “Classic rock has been there for me. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Beatles, the Stones, Dylan, Springsteen, Neil Young, the Who, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, David Bowie – the fixtures of my classic-rock youth. But like all precious minerals, classic rock is a finite resource.” Hyden’s Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the end of Classic Rock deals with “how the true believer reacts when he realises that his faith in the immortality of classic-rock gods is diminished”. After the initial stages of denial and bargaining, what is left, he says, is acceptance and mourning.
An interview that Hyden gave to The New York Times pointed out that by the end of this year, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards will be a combined 150 years old, and “while it might be foolish to bet against the Rolling Stones touring in, say, 2025, there’s little doubt that the genre of classic rock – its practitioners, its fans, its clout – is in steep decline”. The reason why he wrote his eulogy to his gods, Hyden said in the interview, was that despite there being “a million books written about classic rock”, none had been written “from the perspective of Generation X, as if they were an archaeologist digging up bones”. Which didn’t make much sense because, don’t forget, “There’s a lot of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, baby.”

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