Friday, June 15, 2012

Rock Star

Having grown up in the rock-and-roll era of the 70s and 80s, I have a particular fondness for certain rock artists.  I enjoy all forms of music, mind you, but growing up rock was everywhere.  I also feel that the era has largely ended and that modern music is not "rock." But I digress. 
Growing up in the "rock era" it was not difficult to perceive a degree of outward disgust from those interested in, what has been termed, "fine arts" music.  The classical folks certainly distanced themselves from the rock folks.  In fact, I've detected a general snootiness regarding anything related to "that" generation.
So I find it very, very funny when the "fine arts" crowd apply Rock Star status to anyone or anything even remotely associated with popular culture.  Pianst Lang Lang, who recently appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (I was there), has been dubbed the "rock star" of classical music!  My music appreciation teacher in school told me Mozart was the "rock star" of his era.  Recently protesters appeared at the Cincinnati Art Museum lamenting the departure of curator Benedict Leca, the "rock star" of the art world. Do a google search...Iestyn Davies is apparently the "rock star" of opera, Dr. Eric Topol is the "rock star" of science and there are "rock stars" of politics, economics and ballet.  Heck, Bo Xilai has even been dubbed the "rock star" of Chinese politics!   The only thing we don't seem to have anymore are rock stars of (real) rock music!
And what did they call people before we had rock-and-roll music?  Was Ernest Hemmingway the "jazz star" of his age?  Or maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald was the "vaudeville star" or the "impressionist star"...   And what will they call the popular culture celebrities 50-years from now?  One can only wonder.