Classic rock is a radio format that caters to humans who have decided that the music mainstream rock radio was playing on February 21, 1983, or some other random date in the early 1980s, is precisely what they want to hear for the rest of their lives. They have thrown in the towel on curiosity and a sense of discovery, and just said: “fuck it, play ‘Barracuda’ again.”
If challenged on this decision, all classic rock fans will state, in a hero’s tone, that no worthy music has been recorded during the past 30 to 40 years. So, they’ve embraced stagnation and a lack of adventure and figured out a way to be all haughty and superior about it. Humans are very good at such things.
The particular era being preserved within the classic rock format might seem arbitrary to outsiders (no offense), but it’s music that was popular during the high school years of many of the so-called Baby Boomers: children born as a result of the post-World War II rutting frenzy. There were a large glut o’ babies that came of age when the music was originally released, and all humans believe the greatest songs of all time were the ones that were popular when they were at their personal horniest.
In addition to playing the same 50 songs over and over again for decades, classic rock radio also features an abundance of puns and alliteration. Things like “Twos for Tuesday,” “Thirsty Thursday,” “Mandatory Metallica,” “Rocktober,” “Zeptember,” “George Thoroughly-Good,” etc. It’s almost like Sesame Street for people with salt ‘n’ pepper pubes.
Classic rock radio is also the home of the undisputed worst song ever recorded in the history of humankind: “Dude Looks Like a Lady.”
It’s worth noting that one of the easiest and most stress-free jobs on Earth must surely be program director at a classic rock radio station. This reporter has no direct knowledge of these specific humans and their work situations but imagines them calling meetings every Monday and saying, “Yeah, just keep playing the same shit we’ve been playing since 1978. Maybe up the Floyd a little this week? It doesn’t really matter. …I’m going to lunch.”
The current versions of many classic rock bands are still active on the summer concert circuit and generally tour in clumps. In many cases over half of the original band members are deceased or have allowed dignity to intrude on their rock ‘n roll dreams. But it makes no difference, not really. A high percentage of the audience is so clueless or blasted out of their minds on $13 Miller Lites, that five portly Ukrainian men could take the stage, call themselves Journey, and nobody would give a shit as long as they played “Lovin’, Touchin’. Squeezin’.”
I hope this report has proven to be helpful. As always, I will be standing in the open field behind Dollar General Store every Thursday between midnight and 2 a.m., if you should have any follow-up questions.
This concludes today’s broadcast.