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Who Killed the Fun?

Why isn't rock n' roll fun anymore? The answer, I think, is because there's no longer such a thing as rock n' roll.

In the heyday of glam, musicians knew how to party and have a good time. Their lifestyles carried right over into their lyrics. Unfortunately, that's no longer the case.

Modern artists that fall under the broad category of rock tend to write songs that just whine, talking about depression, other mental illnesses or hating their families. What's rock about that? Rock music - loud music - is supposed to be an escape from everyday life.

The music of the 90s was the anti-glam. Lyrics were serious;  suddenly it wasn't cool  to go to a stadium concert and dance. Music videos had to have a plot, and for prominent grunge acts this meant a full blown5 act play.

Take, for example, Nirvana's video for "Heart Shaped Box." The video is said to represent terminally ill children, and the strained marriage of Courtney Love and Curt Kobain.

Give me a break.

The video was over the top to sell albums.  It cost more than million dollars to produce and received heavy rotation on MTV.

80s glam bands didn't spend that much cash on videos, and some acts like Warrant, Def Leppard and Poison were successful enough that it WAS an option.

Their videos, full of party images, fire, blazing guitar solos and women - yes women - were an extension of their lyrics. The party didn't stop when the album was pressed.

That train kept right on a'rollin through every stadium tour in America. Just as it should be.


Reader Comments (11)

I hate Nirvana, I hate all the grunge, I hate all the alternative.... ROCK
April 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRockfighter
im glad your "rock n roll glam" is dead!!!
August 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLucy
To hell with glam rock.I hope it never returns.Kurt is a god and changed the face of rock for the better.
October 31, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermike
wow you people suck. you look up to someone who killed himslef. just for say that, why don't you just go die like him? Glam rocks ass!!! it will return and kurt cobain is not a god. he didn't even want anything he had. he had no idea how lucky he was. metal will always kick grunge ass!!!
December 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChey
Kurt Cobain can suck my dick.
December 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
Cobain is a god, huh? Well I thought gods couldn't die! And they sure as hell aren't such pussies as to take their own lives!

Getting back to the subject, why would anyone want to listen to the depressing crap that is grunge? Cobain probably listened to one of his own songs before killing himself. It's that depressing. I'll take the fun and games of glam rock anytime!
December 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSixx6Sixx
I say, why hate either?

Now, glam IS my favorite and I will always like it more than the whole alternative scene, but Nirvana was a good band. They had some good songs, just like glam artists did. A few other grunge/alternative/whatever you want to call it bands are good too. Alice in Chains has great melodies, and some very good songs. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots are all good as well. I mean, Scott Weiland went on to form Velvet Revolver with hair metal gods from Guns N' Roses. OH, and the drummer of Nirvana went on to form Foo Fighters, they're good as well. Sure, some of the songs are depressing, but aren't some of glam's biggest hits about heartbreaks? Isn't that depressing as well?

And just to straighten the facts, acording the "Seven Ages of Rock" show on VH1 classic, Kurt didn't listen to his own song before he died; R.E.M. was found in his cd player.
December 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMakel
"grunge/alternative" came along because there was too many shitty bands jumping on the 'glam' bandwagon, diluting the talent field. It became a simple cash grab for a record label to find some good looking bands, doll them up and try to push an inferior album.

The same thing had happened to 'alternative' music by the mid-90s. The talent pool was diluted because there were so many shitty bands jumping on the flannel, depressing bandwagon. The record labels jumped at the chance to sign anyone who knew how to ape the pixies loud/quiet dynamic.

Everything is cause and effect. "Glam" needed to die when it did. So did "grunge". The bands that were actually good perservered anyways.
March 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbrendan leflaneur
I agree with Brendan. However, I'm a Nirvana fan and would never badmouth Kurt Cobain. He IS a god, and had no idea that by starting a band like Nirvana he would take the life out of rock'n'roll and make it a dull, colorless corpse of a music genre, which is what we're seeing today, almost 20 years after the first Nirvana album.
Brendan is just quoting Dee Snider when he says that Glam needed to die, but that's true. Glam wasn't the same in 1988 as it was in 1981. There were exceptions in the late 80's, like Skid Row, GNR, and Poison, but for the most part all these glam bands forgot what glam was all about. Though it wasn't always shown in the videos, glam had a very dark, ugly side. The classic hair metal bands from the early 80's like Motley Crue, W.A.S.P. and Quiet Riot would all confirm what I'm saying here. Ask Nikki Sixx about glam's dark side. Ask Blackie Lawless if glam had a dark twisted, and sometimes even satanic side to it. Ask them if they had any dirty, sometimes even demented thoughts in their heads when they wrote songs like "Animal (F*ck Like A Beast)" and "Wild Side". "I've got pictures of naked ladies/ Down on their beds", this first line in Animal was what got it banned in the US and most of Europe for years. Wait until they read the rest of the lyrics. Whether you want to ignore it or acknowledge it, we all know that that early Glam Metal was all about Sex, Drugs, and the Occult. The thing about glam metal, grunge, new wave, and many other genres is that they're all derived from one big genre: punk rock. Punk will always be the reject, the awkward stepchild. The rebellious teen who doesn't give a fuck and will destroy because he likes how it feels. I love it, but the thing about it is that once it became too popular, it burnt out. It was meant to be an outcast music genre, for people who felt different from the Duran Duran fans. Once the Duran Duran fans started listening to the Ramones, punk called the quits. It lost its essence. Luckily punk rock was passed on to Glam Metal with its soul and mentality still intact: destroy or be destroyed. I doubt Ratt or Motley Crue ever planned on being the next Led Zeppelin, but they rocked out anyway with three words in mind: Louder than hell. They were loud, ugly, musically inexperienced, but attracted crowds by the hundreds to small shows in Pasadena, because they had a fire and a charisma to them that was unexplainable. It was this mystique that eventually got them moved to the elite clubs of the Sunset Strip, and later on, the world. I think that somewhere down the line of Teslas, Warrants and no-name pretty boys the genre lost its essence, its meaning. I highly doubt Bret Michaels or Jani Lane had that dark side to them. Glam became this huge, pathetic entity that needed to be put to death. However, after weeding out the dolls and wanna-bes that disgraced the Class of '86, glam's elite carried on its journey. It reached many hard times, but its music, its message that always stayed true prevailed over the test of time. So yes, glam did need to be put to death. So did grunge. And here's to hoping that whatever today's "rock" genre is calling itself will be sent to the gallows soon as well. Honestly, we've been listening to Blink-82 and that pop punk crap for over a decade... it's way overdue
November 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
I bet the majority of you people aren't even musically oriented or inclined, so what the fuck would you stool pigeons know about Rock & Roll anyway. It's all Rock & Roll. All you people who label this and label that don't know your ass from your elbow so please do Rock & Roll a BIG favor and FUCK OFF! thank you :)
November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTNT
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Nice article. I'm so glad to find them on your page. THX a lot.
August 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermonicaugg

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