Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Responds to Gene Simmons’ ‘Rock is Dead’ Claim
It seems like everyone is talking about Gene Simmons' recent claim that "rock is finally dead." Always one to make headlines with his words, Simmons spoke of the declining music industry, rise of illegal downloading, shortcuts to fame such as 'The X Factor' and much more. The latest rock legend to respond is Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, who respectfully offered his own retort to Simmons' claims.
Just a few days ago, Foo Fighters tweeted out a short reaction, 'Not so fast, Mr. God of Thunder…' to the KISS veteran's quote. Foo Fighters have been doing their part to keep rock breathing, creating a tremendous buzz for their upcoming studio album, 'Sonic Highways,' which was recorded in eight of the United States' most rock-rich cities. An HBO series named for the record will further place rock music in the spotlight once it debuts on Oct. 17. And let's not forget that Dave Grohl also released the phenomenal rock doc 'Sound City' in 2013.
As for Dee Snider, the Twisted Sister icon defended the good name of rock via Facebook:
POINT / COUNTER POINT: "ROCK 'N' ROLL AIN'T DEAD" by Dee Snider
Recently, my esteemed colleague, Gene Simmons of Kiss declared that "Rock 'n' Roll is finally dead". Really?
While I have nothing but respect for Gene, he couldn't be further off the mark. Yes, the rock 'n' roll "business model" that helped Kiss (and my band for that matter) achieve fame and fortune is most certainly long dead and buried, but rock 'n' roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock 'n' roll.
Spend some time seeing and listening to these incredible young bands and their rabid fans and you will know that rock 'n' roll couldn't be more alive. Yes, it's not the same as it was for the first 50 years of rock’s existence, but the fire definitely still burns.
And it wasn't some 15 year old kid in Saint Paul, Minnesota (to paraphrase Mr. Simmons) who killed the rock 'n' roll goose that laid the platinum egg...it was greedy, big city, record company moguls who made their own velvet noose to hang themselves with. It was they who took advantage of the consumer (and the artist for that matter) and drove them to use an alternative source of music presented to them.
For example, take the bill of goods the record industry sold the mainstream public when introducing the CD format. "We have to charge more for it, because it's a new technology and there's a cost to setting up the infrastructure to produce them." The consumer believed them--it made sense--so they paid a $18.98 list price for a product they had been paying $7.99 list for previously. After all "you can't break a CD with a hammer!" (Remember that?)
But when the infrastructure was in place and paid for in full, and the cost of producing a CD dropped to less than a dollar, did the record companies roll back the list price in kind? Not on your life. They weren't about to do the right thing and cut their increased revenue stream. Those fat cats were enjoying their ill-gotten gains way too much.
So when the general public finally realized they were being had, and the opportunity arose for them to stick it to the man, what did they do? The same thing their Woodstock Nation, baby boomer parents had done when they had their chance...they stuck it and they stuck it good. Does anyone remember Abbey Hoffman's "Steal this Book", the massive selling, early 70’s hippy guide “focused on ways to fight the government, and against corporations in any way possible.” Multiply that by a googolplex.
Is it hard to make it rock 'n' roll? You bet. Always was, always will be. Will rockers make as much money as they did "back in the day"? Probably not. But that won’t stop them, and they'll be motivated by a much more genuine love of the art, and great rock will continue to be produced, played and embraced by rock fans.
So in conclusion: Record company executives killed the old rock 'n' roll business model…and Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Dead!
What are your thoughts on Gene Simmons' claim that rock is dead? Let us know in the comments section below!
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