Back in the early days of Rock and Roll, many of us resorted to the six week old “news” of our favorite artists and their upcoming releases, who were “currently” in the studio, and pictures and such, all found in favorite Rock publications like Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy!, Trouser Press, Creem, Circus, Hit Parader, and the seemingly endless stream of varied Rock magazines that proliferated then. Of course, most of them went bye-bye eventually, due to what ever reasons that ate their guts out. These days, any of the left standing rock and roll print magazines have also disappeared, leaving precious few to resort to.
I bring this up because I had a thought. What if there was internet back in the infancy of Rock and Roll? We all know the results of internet on Rock and Roll in our current time. It can be considered a boon by some, and a killer by others. Many of today’s bands that could have been huge Rock stars, usually aren’t as well off as they might have been given the propensity of the fans to use the internet to acquire their music freely rather than in carefully thought out purchases.
But, I wonder what the state of Rock and Roll might have been back in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s had the internet been as widely available as it is today? Of course, we all know that Trouser Press, Crawdaddy!, Creem, etc would likely not have gotten off the ground. But more interesting is where bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead (whom I think might have thrived better in an internet-powered world, if it had existed freely back then), T. Rex, Mott The Hoople, The Band, Bad Company, and, of course, a whole lot more than these, might have ended up. Would they have become as popular? Would we still speak about them in the same measure of awe as we do now?
Now, I’ve never been one to think that any of the artists made any REAL money off their million-seller release, much less the lower selling bands. In that, I think little is changed there.
I don’t propose to solve the business of a changing Rock and Roll world. I don’t know what happened. I got into doing MusicTAP largely to build my own music magazine-like structure. I wanted to know what was coming out when, a desire that drove me incessantly in those Billboard-ruled years. Even now, that sought after info is becoming a moot point, driving a lot of us to rethink the time allotments needed to keep such info timely. Who really cares these days anyway? Not many, I wager.
Still, I wonder just how impacted our business models, the bands and their upcoming popularity, and all the adored albums that they made, might be had the internet been as widespread available as it is now.