Rock n Roll…good for your 10 year old.
Every August, North Carolinians are gifted with a weekend when all back-to-school purchases are voided of sales tax. Year after year, the tax breaks have been effective in bringing out hoards of shoppers and non-shoppers alike to buy clothes, books, and other goods—and I was one of the masses who took part in the extravaganza.
My plan was to pick up a few new outfits for next year and save a couple bucks…but as I walked through the isles, I got distracted by one recurring theme-Rockstars. They’re everywhere.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to inform you that after years of being overwhelmed by hiphop, R&B, and gangsta rap, down-and-dirty Rock & Roll is back on the shelves.
I am not kidding when I tell you that just about everything had ties to rock-n-roll “culture” ( culture is a kind of funny word to use here…but it works). There were intricate patterns on the back of jackets that reminded me of pieces from Nikki Sixx’s Royal Underground collection. There are T-shirts printed with band names, such as Aerosmith and AC/DC. I even spied a downright hilarious T-shirt that depicted Hello Kitty playing a guitar, with the words “Rokken” printed over her…which looks suspiciously like the Dokken logo. I snapped a photo of that one, I’ll have to share it when I get a chance. Stores have big signs in their windows, advertising “Rockstar clothes now sold here”, and there is even a “RockStar” brandname, printed on the tags in a couple shirts I looked at in WalMart.
I, for one, cannot wait to see some silly pre-teen girl, who probably has never picked up a guitar or drumsticks, who has never heard of the band Dokken-heck, she’s probably never heard of Steven Tyler-walking down the street in a Rokken Hello Kitty shirt. That will make my day.
I have a feeling this “Rockstar” business is somehow tied to the popularity of guitar-playing girls such as Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift. But Whatever. I don’t really care what started it, I just want to know how these bands’ hard rockin’, overdosin’, sex-all-day-all-night, party animal ways are suddenly acceptable for JCPenney’s juniors section, while at the same time every teen magazine is harping on the Jonas Brothers’ purity rings and “Why Ashley says she doesn’t need a Boyfriend” and “too bad cutie Zac Efron didn’t show for the AMAs”.
- Parents and Preteens obviously have no idea who these bands are and what they’re about, OR
- they’ve never bothered to read song lyrics, OR
- They’re just fans of the sappy ballads that get played on the radio, oblivious that “Home Sweet Home” really isn’t a full representation of Motley Crue in 1985, OR
- they just want to look “cool”, regardless of which rock star they’re endorsing and the attitude behind it. Since it’s currently stylish to be into 80’s music and fashion, they’ve begun to wear ’80’s bands on their T-shirts, regardless of the fact they’ve never bought the band’s album or know any of the members.
I vote for #4.
Ridiculous, yes. There’s always hope that once these kids outgrow High School Musical, they’ll actually buy a true Aerosmith Record and stop selling out to the watered-down versions of rock music, and we’ll witness a full-on Rock & Roll revival. But I’m not holding my breath for that. It seems more likely that the great rock bands of the 1970’s and 1980’s have been reduced to nothing but a fashion statement. Ironic, no? Those who were once symbols of rebellion and going against the grain are suddenly mainstream and completely acceptable to young kids and their parents. Its not like the kids are buying these clothes as a representation of their tastes and attitudes, their parents are buying these clothes for them to help them sculpt an image for themselves that happens to look exactly like everyone else. But then, in our materialistic, egocentric culture, who’s really surprised….
Ps- To be completely honest, I should tell you I bought an AC/DC shirt. It’s a pretty awesome shirt, too. but I also actually know who Angus Young is, and I know their songs, and I knew these things long before Rock n Roll hit the clothing department shelves. I’m also not between the ages of 11 and 18 and a fan of the Disney Channel. So I consider myself an exception to the statements I made above. 🙂