Rock ain't dead

Song for the mood: For those about to rock (We salute you) - AC/DC

I remember my first listen into real rock . It was the song Elevation by U2. Although I must say at the time I was more impressed by the video and by Angelina Jolie … I am still a big fan of both :-)

Yeah, I am all for rock music. The rock n' roll, the edgy hard rock, psychedelic, progressive etc you name it. If it has a groove and it feels good to the ears then I will like it. Rock wasn't always the same to me though.

When I was in school, Backstreet Boys were the biggest stars in the world, as far as I was concerned. They were the only band. It was the time when I held the garbage dished out, by Britney and Christina, in very high regard. Theirs were the only songs on TV. For those few years, even Enrique was a rock-star. I sincerely believe, now, it was destiny's way of telling me, "Here boy, listen carefully. This is the kind of music you shouldn't be hearing".

Then one summer, Summer of 69 fell on ears. Bryan Adams became the man! I still think he is good. But that was a different time, about 8 years back. It was my first taste of music that resembles rock in some form. Bryan Adams' soft rock tunes were a big relief from all the nonsense N Sync with their stupid hair-cuts was dishing out on TV.

The day came, when 'Elevation' finally happened. I saw these 4 guys, with instruments, in a video! Playing instruments? Only one guy singing? Impossible! Plus I could actually feel myself headbanging every time I heard the singer go, "Eh... lah... va… tionn!". Mind blowing! My whole world of music came crashing down that very moment! U2, my gods, finally had come to my rescue.

I heard the album Joshua Tree not too long after that. The first song: Where The Streets Have No Name, the moment The Edge started playing the riff which I personally believe is the greatest riff in rock history… I felt a punch… like somebody put his fist in my stomach. When Bono started singing over Larry's drums it was like getting my face smashed on a brick wall. I couldn't believe there was music of this sort! Rebellious. Chaotic. Powerful. It was an instant connection!

"I wanna run… I want to hide

I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside
I wanna reach out, and touch the flame

Where the streets have no name…"

God! And compare that to the stuff I was listening to! Take the case of a standard video/song; "I wanna do thisssss, I wanna do thaaaaat" every last word was pulled for no reason. The singer would be standing with face in the camera, to show how clean his or her nose is, and then trying to add facial expressions – lowered eyes, slowly nodding neck, curling up the lips etc Every time they didn't know what to sing, they would add a 'Yeah!' or 'Oooh!' as a filler. With all their efforts, the most they managed to look was constipated. And the song would be about nothing most of the time...

And here was this song! I didn't care what the singer looked like. It wasn't their song, it was everybody's song. It didn't matter who you were, you heard the song and you knew this was about you. It was what you wanted to shout out for so long. You could be standing with you hands in your pocket, you could be just nodding your head to the tune, maybe doing a little jig, even throwing your hands wildly in the air every time the song tempo changed, it didn't matter! It didn't matter if anyone was watching you when you were dancing to the powerful beat. In your mind you were running fiercely, chasing the wind, pulling the clouds down, grabbing a storm by its tail, breaking a mountain with your bare feet … it was all that and yet very real.

Soon other rockers followed. Everyone has their own style. Pink Floyd does it with rich big-band music – Gilmour's guitar and Water's lyrics can make you feel nauseas and crazily happy at the same time. Aerosmith is all out wild! AC/DC keep it so simple that you just can't comprehend it. But you'll dance to that music till you drop on the floor, and still be waving your hands and feet. Led Zeppelin is mystical – they aren't playing in a studio or on stage – it is a forest with demons and ghosts, and they are all dancing to Led Zeppelin's songs. Red Hot Chili Peppers are an enigma; you never know what they are trying to tell you in a song. Radiohead and Coldplay make me go dizzy! The Police are the strangest; you listen to the same song three times in a row and you'll understand three different things. Deep Purple, The Who, The Eagles … I can go on and on. There are so many more!

But there is one thing common to all; they are not singing for you and me, but it is still our song. It's been four or five years since I got pulled into this world or rock. And I am only enjoying it more and more everyday. Rock is not dead. It is still alive in all of us … it is not about the song it never was. It is about the passion … the rebellion … the happiness within you. It just needs a song to make us feel all that…