The Next Rock Generation Lives
5/1/2013 2:36:00 PM
As I was cutting through the usual side streets of Barrington this morning on my way into the train station I saw something that gave me hope for a new generation of rockers. Dressed in a very cute summer sun dress and climbing out of her Mom’s silver Mercedes SUV in front of Hough Street Elementary School was a very young girl with an electric guitar. She couldn’t have been more than 9 years old. I loved it.
Far too often I hear people comment, “This generation doesn’t this, or doesn’t that, blah blah blah”. I get it; my parents said the same damn things. It must be a symptom of spending years watching the next generation of idiots making the same mistakes you did, except with a different playlist and sense of fashion.
I guess it would be easy to assume that new musicians might not even pick up a REAL instrument anymore. With today’s technology they can simply draw the notes and rhythms into their favorite piece of software much the way Skrillex does with his dub step style productions. Why bother learning a scale, or practice your instrument, or rehearse with a band when you can simply spend a little money and read the help menu?
But here she was, in all her glory, walking tall across the same tree covered small town street I use to walk down on my way to Hough Street School when I was the same age, carrying a cool electric guitar case in her one hand and a sack lunch in the other. Offers from her mother to help with the load-in seemed to go unnoticed. She was doing this on her own. Her head held high, her walk with a purpose. This is what rock and roll looks like at the beginning; sweet, cocky, obvious, rebellious… potential. I stopped to let them cross the street. Her mother returned my smile.
I wondered what music she was learning to play on that sweet electric guitar. Of course I ran through my old school thoughts of Heart, Pat Benetar, or Joan Jett. No, that can’t be correct. She probably doesn’t even know those old trailblazers. Was she going to be the next Lizzy Hale, or Lacey Mosley of Flyleaf, or Haley Williams of Paramore? Perhaps she’ll go deeper into the instrument and aspire to be the next Orianthi. Cool.
Ah, whatever path she’s choosing it has to be a good one. She could have picked the flute and bored herself through her school years playing Grand Ol Flag in the marching band. She could have chosen the usual acoustic starter guitar. This girl picked the electric guitar as her instrument. That says everything to me.
Every day, in every town, new rockers are born into this crazy ass world. You might not recognize them as easily as you once did. Let’s face it; the calibration on your radar hasn’t been updated in a very long time. But they are with us, in all age groups, ready to break some rules and cause some unrest in the population. You might see some of the obvious ones wearing AWOLNATION t-shirts and converse shoes, or borrowing the timeless nerd rocker look from Buddy Holly. Some others might look like they all go to the same hairdresser as Billy Idols guitarist Steve Stevens did back in 1983. (They don’t really think that the black shoe polish spiky hair with the odd flat swoops is new, do they?)
Yes my friend, the next generations of cool rockers are alive and well. It’s just that some of them have chosen to wear a beautiful flower print sundress on their way into grammar school this morning. Camouflage. Brilliant.