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Is Rock Dead?

In an interview conducted by his son Nick Simmons for Esquire Magazine, “KISS” front man Gene Simmons stated that rock and roll is finally dead.

“The death of rock was not a natural death,” Simmons said. “Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered.”

The murder of rock music has been collectively committed by individuals who can no longer comprehend or treasure it’s true brilliance , Simmons said.

“I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to ten, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did,” Simmons said. “He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably. There is no industry for that anymore. … And the real culprit is that kid’s 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his. Maybe even one of the bandmates he’s jamming with. The tragedy is that they seem to have no idea that they just killed their own opportunity — they killed the artists they would have loved. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed, and now it won’t, because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it.”

Simmons would not even want to be an aspiring musician in this era of entertainment.    

“It’s very sad for new bands,” Simmons said. “My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible. You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators?”

However, Simmons offers advice to young musicians and songwriters, stating “don’t quit your day job,” because the days of creative solace have vanished. 


What do you think? Has true creativity been replaced with an artificial “X factor”? Is the next Bob Dylan hiding behind the shadows of another wayward reality icon? Or is Neil Young right?


Tori Shaw is a student at Franklin & Marshall College majoring in Cognitive Science and Creative Writing. She aspires to be an intellectual property lawyer and poet someday, and is currently the Co-Campus Correspondent for F&M's Her Campus chapter.
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