My teenage years were smack dab in the middle of the eighties. It was a decade of excess. With the advent of MTV it became much more about image than music. Artists were imitating their rock heroes from the sixties and seventies but taking it to the next level. Does that mean that rock and roll from the eighties was bad? No. Well, mostly not.

Every decade has its stinkers, but to this day people make fun of eighties bands because of the clown costumes and makeup. It was a bit ridiculous, but then again so were Alice Cooper, KISS and David Bowie. Enter the grunge movement and we realize that it is possible to be a rock star and leave the mascara behind. The nineties gave us Pearl Jam, Nirvana and more. These were bands that simply made great music.

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In 2000 we entered a void. New bands that were gaining traction were imitating their heroes from the eighties and nineties and it was being sold back to us. Still, there was nothing fresh and new. We still have our Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi and Radiohead but now, in the era of the iPod, rock stars now grow on trees. They are a dime a dozen and we don’t call them rock stars anymore. They make money on the road and because of the way the industry is they actually have to work for a living. That’s a good thing.

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Nostalgia is a funny thing. I can hear a song from the eighties and remember what it felt like to pick up the album at an actual record store, take it home and listen to it all the way through. Sure, I probably put the artist up on some sort of pedestal but what harm did it do? They were a rock star and I looked up to them. It’s almost a catch 22 for me. I think it’s a great thing that with modern technology, artists today have a level playing field. There are too many bands. I get lost. I don’t know what I like and don’t like anymore because it all sounds the same. Am I complaining? Maybe. Probably. Yes. Step it up.

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