Hard Rock Daddy is proud to announce our newest regular feature, the “Inferno Of Rock Report.” This monthly column – written by Ian Liberman (creator of the Inferno Of Rock trivia game) – provides a unique look at the news surrounding all rock music genres, insights into industry trends and some serious rock trivia that will challenge even the most diehard fans.
A WORD FROM IAN LIBERMAN…
I would first like to acknowledge Adam Waldman (Publisher/Editor of Hard Rock Daddy) for including me in his fine online magazine. I’ve been a longtime fan of Hard Rock Daddy, and I am very excited to be part of his journalistic family.
INFERNO OF ROCK NEWS
It has been a difficult start to 2016 for rock music with all of the deaths of rock and roll icons. This trend began in December 2015 and has continued early on this year…
On December 3, 2015, Scott Weiland (the boisterous frontman of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver) was on tour with his solo band, The Wildabouts, when he died from what has now been confirmed as a drug overdose.
On December 28, 2015 (just a few days after his 70th birthday), Lemmy Kilmister succumbed to a recently-diagnosed cancer. Just like that…Motörhead ceased to exist.
On January 9, 2016 (while looking at new releases on Apple Music), I noticed that David Bowie had released “Blackstar” and “Lazarus,” and a wave of nostalgia hit me. I remembered my favorite songs from Aladdin Sane and Ziggy Stardust. I thought to myself…“Is this new thematic jazz-rock experiment going to thrill me? Probably not.” However, I spent the evening listening to the album, and loved it. This experience heightened the immense sadness that I felt the following day when I found out that Bowie had passed away, leaving behind the legacy of a musical genius at the age of 69…
On January 18, 2016 (at the age of 67), Glenn Frey passed away from a variety of illnesses. He was the major force behind the Eagles, and was a regular on Miami Vice (a popular TV show from the ‘80s).
Lastly, on January 28, 2016, Paul Kantner (lead guitarist of the popular ‘70s bands – Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship), died of a heart attack at the age of 74.
BACK TO THE FUTURE…VINYL STYLE
If you haven’t heard already, Columbia House is planning on hitting the market with vinyl records instead CDs or DVDs. They hope to model it after “Record of the Month” clubs, which provide the consumer with a selection of free records after meeting a required number of purchased records. This is one trend – probably brought on by hipsters – that I can definitely get behind. There’s nothing like the smell of a vinyl record in the morning!
VINYL…Beyond The Turntable
I had a chance to see the first episode of HBO’s Vinyl, which takes a look at rock music in the ‘70s, and features Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese as executive producers. Viewers get to look into the search for talent that took place in the corporate world of ‘70s rock and roll, and how drugs affected the industry. Get out your plasma globes guys, and prepare for a wild ride!
“SHOWTIME” for Metallica
Metallica has made its ubiquitous presence known all over the media scene lately, with current exposure in Showtime’s new show, Billions. In the show, the main character (Bobby Axelrod) takes a group of his friends to Quebec, Canada to meet Metallica, and we are treated to guest appearances and songs amidst stock deals.
In real life, Anheuser Busch’s Budweiser brand has created a special, limited edition brand of Metallica Beer in Quebec.
At a well-attended “CBS Radio’s The Night Before” event at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, almost 70,000 Super Bowl fans petitioned to have the band play the halftime show, but there is allegedly an unwritten rule about including metal and hard rock in the Super Bowl festivities.
Steven Tyler Goes Country???
Finally, why is Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler talking about creating a country album? It looks like I am not the only one puzzled about this new direction, because Joe Perry is apparently not sleeping at night either! Tyler will be working with Cary Barelow and Jaren Johnston. Is this a good career move? It’s a risky one, that’s for sure. Tyler’s solo career has not seen much success thus far.
TRENDS / OPINIONS
The Corporate Agenda
Every year, the question arises: why is rock, hard music and metal the ugly stepsister of the music industry when it generates most of the income according to Statista and Neilson? The answer is the same reason that award shows from the Oscars to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do not represent the artistic and creative abilities of their members: Corporate Economic Agenda.
Corporate strategies in the music industry are paralleled in the movie industry. The people who vote on movies represent those members of the studios who want specific movies (with specific target audiences) to win awards, so that those movies will be given more time in the theatres. Popular movies like Thor, Star Wars or movies that are cultural hits like Straight Outta Compton generate box office hits with straight ads or by word-of-mouth. They need no help from the Academy, and therefore, receive no awards. Then there is the issue of the politically incorrect and marginalized artists and genres. Straight Out of Compton is the antithesis of the Oscars, even with its overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Beyond The Corporate Agenda…
The upper echelon of the music and film industries despises pop culture, rap and metal themes. Ever wonder why metal and rap artists release a lot of music together? Groups like Cypress Hill and Slash, and Five Finger Death Punch with Tech N9ne both recently recorded together, and who can forget, the classic RUN-DMC /Aerosmith collaboration? They tolerate these artists because they are successful and they do not have to award them. Pop music must stay in profile in order to be on the chart, and if the artist is off the chart, good or bad publicity is necessary from the agent and the corporation to keep the artist’s profile in the public eye. Hip-hop, rock and metal fans are brand-loyal with no chart requirements, so the same publicity is not needed.
General statistics over the last twenty years have shown that rock and metal have consistently tripled pop music in album and vinyl sales every year. They are the driving machines for the music industry, but they are marginalized as artists in all award ceremonies, except of course, the Golden God Awards and the Contraband Rock Radio Awards.
Rock Music Gets the Rodney Dangerfield Treatment –
In the 2016 Grammy Awards, pop dominated the music platform all night, yet it only sells 10-13% per year. The rock category nominations were largely made up of non-rockers like Elle King and James Bay. Ghost won the Metal Nominations but if you watched the Grammys looking for them, you’d be hard-pressed to find their physical presence at the show. The band was awarded their Grammy at a location and time outside of the broadcast. Click here for a list of Grammy rock category award winners.
Rock and Roll Hall of
For years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been avoiding hard rock, rock and metal. They have delayed entry to classic bands and artists like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crüe, Ted Nugent, Motörhead, Kiss, Rush and Alice Cooper. As Corey Taylor of Slipknot stated when Madonna was inducted…“Please stop calling it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!”
How Rock Artists Can Get Their Just Due…
The only solution is to have artists of each genre organize their own awards. If this sounds discriminatory, isolationist and a blow to integration, it is, but it is also a sign of what happens when the majority rules with a different agenda than the actual music or cultural group it is supposed to represent. How long will it take rock and metal artists to either create their own awards show, or to pull out of the conventional ones and start some sort of reform? The Golden Gods Awards could be an amazing success with the right supporters. If rock artists joined with hip hop artists to finance and produce their own music awards show, they would actually represent over 80 percent of the music industry.
Next month, I will be taking a look at streaming and whether it will enhance or ruin the rock music industry. I will help the hard music and metal listener make the best choice in choosing which streaming company best suits their needs. I will also evaluate relevant companies and make recommendations, comment on piracy and its effect on the rock industry.
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
Finally, I’ll leave you with some trivia questions about your favorite rock bands. If trivia is up your alley, make sure to check out the Inferno of Rock Trivia Card Game available on Amazon or worldwide from Rock From Hell.
March-2016 Trivia Questions
- As a tribute to Lemmy Kilmister’s love for computer games, which 2009 video game character was based on him?
- What is Lemmium?
[a] A book of heavy metal philosophy.
[b] A strange type of bird.
[c] A new chemical element that a scientist named after Lemmy.
- Which Metallica album did David Bowie call “genius?”
- What was the name of David Bowie’s band that marked his entry into hard rock music with the son of comedian Soupy Sales?
- Which band is Metallica inducting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016?
NOTE: Answers to March trivia questions will appear in the April Inferno of Rock Report. If you think that you know the answers, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may just win something pretty cool!