Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Passing Of The Elder Generation...

Former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has expressed concern that music games like Rock Band stop young people from practising real musical instruments.
In much the same way, I presume, that ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Need For Speed’ has stopped young people from learning to drive…?
His words were echoed by Pink Floyd star Nick Mason who described music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero as "interesting new developments".

But he added: "It irritates me having watched my kids do it - if they spent as much time practising the guitar as learning how to press the buttons they'd be damn good by now."
Yes, but then, that’s kids today.

It’s a novelty, rather than hard work, and they are much more au fait with technology and interactive gaming than with musical instruments.

So, why were these dinosaurs of rock weighing in on the decline of the younger generation, anyway?

Simple – they were flogging it to them:
The rock legends were speaking just ahead of the launch of The Beatles: Rock Band game which features 45 re-mastered songs from the Beatles' back catalogue.
And a little bit of ‘Kids today…’ controversy helps the publicity along…
Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems, which created the Rock Band series, refuted the musicians' claims.

"Most people try to learn an instrument at some point in their lives, and almost all of them quit after a few months or a year or two," he told the BBC.

"This, I think, is because the earliest years of learning an instrument are the least gratifying.

"When people play Rock Band, however, they very quickly get a glimpse of the rewards that lie on the other side of the wall.

"We're constantly hearing from fans who were inspired by Rock Band to start studying a real instrument."
Probably the same percentage of people who would have done it anyway, mind you, regardless of the quick fix of a computer game.

I’m currently hooked on online game ‘The Hunter’, for example, but I can’t say I’d want to spend an actual day stuck up a tree stand, smelling of cordite and artificial deer wee, and blowing a lure to alleviate the tedious boredom of watching a field. I can buy venison in Tesco, after all…

So, will the rockers be resisting the lure of that damned newfangled technology in the future?

Err, no. Not if there’s moolah to be had:
Mason said that Pink Floyd has not ruled out working on a Rock Band or Guitar Hero-style game in the future.
"I think we'd consider it," he told the BBC. "I think everyone's looking at new ways of selling the music because the business of selling records has almost disappeared.

"I'm of the old guard who are really sad about that, because I always liked the concept of the album - rather than just cherry-picking tracks - and also the business of the art work that went with it."
But the fans prefer not to buy a whole album of crap for the one or two good tracks, granddad.

And their iPods have picture capability now, too, the better to display that album artwork.

Your time is up…

6 comments:

Obsidian said...

Bill Wyman really ought to be advising Gary Glitter on how to have sexual relations with 13 year olds and get feted rather than condemned for it...

As for Rock Band, well I'm equally as inept at that as I am with real guitars!

Tomrat said...

Having been an avid guitarist for over a decade and having given up the Rock and Roll lifestyle of gigging for the subdued Life of family and mortgage it was brilliant to get the first guitar hero and feel like I was playing live again; been hooked since.

If you can find it you should watch the southpark episode that lampoons the guitar hero phenomenon; Stan and Kyle get scouted by an agent after doing really well on one track, get invited to cocaine fuelled parties, eventually breaking up over artistic differences only for Stan to start playing "Heroin Hero" with all the pressure...brilliance.

Mac the Knife said...

"...but I can’t say I’d want to spend an actual day stuck up a tree stand, smelling of cordite and artificial deer wee..."

Then you're plainly not the woman I thought you were...

JuliaM said...

"Bill Wyman really ought to be advising Gary Glitter on how to have sexual relations with 13 year olds and get feted rather than condemned for it..."

Heh! Bet that won't be in 'Rock Band'.

Unless that's what Alex Rigopulos meant by 'the rewards that lie on the other side of the wall'..?

"If you can find it you should watch the southpark episode that lampoons the guitar hero phenomenon.."

Oh, I will. 'South Park' is brilliant, and I've not seen that one yet.

"Then you're plainly not the woman I thought you were..."

Heh! ;)

Mike said...

Strumming a guitar, pressing buttons, spinning discs or banging my head on the desk. Music and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. Who cares how it is produced as long as it is good. If it isn't then its just noise. I happen to think that some modern classical music played on 'authentic' instruments sounds like that cats making love in my garden at night but then that’s just my opinion, lol.

Mike said...

WTF is a real musical instrument anywho?