History Repeating?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Riffmaster227, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    I think the past 10-15 years have just seen a vintage/retro inspired “cool” aesthetic. Much like how the hipsters were all wearing Buddy Holly glasses and Paul Bunion beards, and so it became mainstream, so too with small retro styled amps and vintage vibe guitars. Part of it may also be a bit of wishful nostalgia. Guitar music is a dying breed, so let’s all wistfully reflect on its heyday. Another thing I’ve noticed is that mid-century modern design has really come back in popularity, which may in turn be part of what’s fueling the rave around 50’s-60’s guitar and amp aesthetics. It’s being recycled and adapted into the zeitgeist of the current time.

    As for the return of singles? Well, why sell an album with only one big release date, when you can sell each song individually with release dates all year long? These days attention spans are short, and you need to stay relevant or else you fade into obscurity. Few people will sit through an entire album, but a 3-4 minute song is more manageable. Getting that 15 minutes of fame is getting harder and harder because people will only pay attention for 30 seconds.

    As for the pay injustice, the music industry is just that, an industry. The ultimate goal isn’t to put out quality art, it’s to make money. Not money for the artist, though they may incidentally get some, but money for the big businesses with stakeholders watching their bottom line.
     
    radiotech and Angry Possum like this.
  2. DougMen

    DougMen Dr. Squier

    Age:
    67
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    As far as the discussion about large amps, don't forget that in many clubs, and even small halls, in the 60s and even early 70s, only vocals (and I assume drums) went through the PA, and amps had to be big enough to fill the room with sound. I can't recall ever seeing amps mic'd at the Fillmore West, or even the karger Winterland hall, although I imagine they must have been at Winterland, 'cause it was big enough to hold about 5,000 (Fillmore West was much smaller, with a capacity of around 1,500). I wish I had saved a few albums, only those that I loved and were rare and never released on CD.
    Ok, I beleive I was wrong. I've been watching concert footage from Winterland on YouTube, and I see mics on the drums, but I see none on the amps.
     
    grizzlewulf, RoyalWe and Angry Possum like this.
  3. Mr Bob

    Mr Bob Squier-holic

    Nov 11, 2011
    Bedfordshire
    Just my opinion, but unless it exists on 7" black vinyl with a B-Side it isnt a single - it is just a track.
     
    ScoobySnacker likes this.
  4. OOMTOM

    OOMTOM Squier-Nut

    Age:
    76
    852
    Jun 19, 2021
    Johannesburg South Africa
    In 1965 I was 20 years old. Now another 56 years have flowed under the bridge. Will History please repeat itself in the guise of my Body. If not does ST have a clothing section :):);)
     
    duceditor, Twostratsfornow and beagle like this.
  5. wildelectric

    wildelectric Squier-Nut

    982
    Sep 23, 2016
    Western Illinois
    My current set up includes a 300 Watt Randall Warhead amp through a Marshall 4x12.

    A hole has been drilled in the living room floor to run a long guitar cable to accommodate playing upstairs, as being in the basement with the amp while playing causes my ears to ring afterward.

    If there's something to be said for moving "backward," this is one individual who shall retain the muteness of a late 20th Century sweet spot.
     
    grizzlewulf likes this.
  6. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-Axpert

    Apr 23, 2014
    Freedonia
    Carrying a Peavey
    Mark III bass head (50-ish pounds), and homemade 15” reflex cab (2 x 4 feet) up 23 stairs every weekend for nearly six months at 19 seemed a relatively worth while chore then for the 100W… but now…. I easily say: “never again”.

    Every rig (acoustic or electric) I have now can be made in one, or two easy-to-carry trips. I just sold my big bass rig (even that was light), and now it’s just my Rumble Studio 40, so bass is one trip too should that happen again.
    I need a third trip if I use my full PA w/multiple mics (if I don’t have a cart), but when I’ve used it it’s with other players, so there’s been help.
    300W PA that you can load on one small cart… priceless.
     
    RoyalWe and grizzlewulf like this.
  7. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    75
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    What I see constantly in your posts, radiotech, is The Power of Positive Experience. I.e., you actually do. You follow no fads or trends. And thus you ask yourself (are forced to ask yourself?) "what works?" "What do I actually need?"

    And that seems to have made all the difference. :)

    -don
     
    radiotech likes this.
  8. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    I've been hearing this for 20 years. I see no actual evidence of it when I listen to new music, or when I look at record setting guitar sales every year
     
    Riffmaster227 likes this.
  9. wildelectric

    wildelectric Squier-Nut

    982
    Sep 23, 2016
    Western Illinois
    A genuinely true statement. Since the nadir of the last financial nosedive, guitar market sales have only increased in both wholesale and retail segments.

    (Sweetwater's CEO, for instance, has stated that they're now selling 1000 guitars. Per day.)

    Guitar market retail sales in the United States from 2005 to 2020

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/440131/us-guitar-market-retail-sales/

    Its... sort of history repeating the guitar sales boom of the 50s and 60s, if we replace "want to play modern style music/ be free from tradition/ tap into cultural fascination with technology" with "stuck at home with more money we should be saving and investing."
     
    grizzlewulf likes this.
  10. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-Axpert

    Apr 23, 2014
    Freedonia
    Thanks Don,

    It’s funny/ironic that when posting these kind of opinions on TalkBass back when I was still a member, I’d be showered with a couple encouraging comments, but many more things like:
    “Nothing you can buy today can beat the tone of an Ampeg SVT, with 8x10 cab!”

    Don’t get me wrong… I loved how my Ampeg PF800 sounded with my Peavey Tour 115 cab (less than 1/5 the weight/size of a SVT/810e), but can the average person tell the difference between my 20lb Rumble’s modeled PF, or SVT, and it (other than volume)?
    Probably not.

    Back in 2005, my goal was to get to the playing level I was back in the day. In 2010, it was to play all the songs I wanted to learn in the years between. In 2016, it was to get more proficient at playing and singing, so I could solo OR group perform. In 2018, it was to start performing again. I’m very happy with how it’s all went (barring the pandemic performance lockdowns). And as you likely know, it snowballs… the more you do, the more you get to do. Right now my “real” job is becoming a time/energy suck into performing. It’s great work, but my late 50’s body is often spent after work. If I do perform, I’m crashed the next day (especially when I’ve had a three set night).
    I have boundless energy playing (especially when a performance goes well), but where I’d be ready to go the next day at 20, I’m chillin the day after now.
    I really liked when my youngest would come out to perform with me, as then I could just play/sing backup while she wowed them with her voice. It really had that “being part of something bigger” feeling like in my band days.

    I’d like to get back to a group/band situation at some point, I’d just like it to be low maintenance (not an official goal at this point, but if a good opportunity knocks…).

    Speaking of history repeating itself… venues are finally starting to pay again, unfortunately just not much more than they did back in the day.
     
    RoyalWe and duceditor like this.
  11. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    If you look at the most popular artists, and top earning earning musicians, you’ll see it clearer. If you look at this list, https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/musician-us-money-makers-highest-paid-2020-9602078/amp/, for instance, you can see that guitar based music is far from the dominant behemoth that it used to be. There’s still a few rock bands on there, but you’ll notice none of them are new or up and coming acts. In fact they’re all quite old, and their audience is aging with them. In a sense, the popularity of rock bands is literally dying.

    Now, all this isn’t to say that guitars aren’t going to be around for a long time yet. There’s plenty of good rock bands out there, and more forming each year. They just don’t get on into the pop consciousness that they once did, because guitar music has been replaced in that role by more modern genres that use computer based sounds. As you stated, there’s been record high sale for guitars since Covid, but the difference seems that the reasoning behind picking up guitar has changed. I think it’s more about personal fulfillment now. Similarly, in the 50’s-60’s it was popular to take up accordion, but we didn’t see (thankfully) accordion music take over the pop charts.
     
  12. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    75
    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    Interesting! And (thankfully) true. ;)

    But even in the pre-Beatles sixties guitars weren't generally purchased for their money making potential. My guitar bud and I went money-maker very quickly -- I cannot say just why. And the lack of competition was for us, then newbies, a blessing.

    I'd say that at least half of our work was for adult audiences. Rock tunes were relatively few and interspersed with waltzes, polkas and "standards." I.e, American Songbook/"fakebook" stuff.

    Then came the instrumental guitar phase. Ventures type stuff (which, I think many here might be surprised to know was far from only rock and roll. See "The Colorful Ventures")

    Then came surf. And then the BIG changeover -- the Beatles appearing on Ed Sullivan.

    Suddenly everyone wanted a cool, singing, guitar band. And my bud and I were perfectly placed to go for the brass ring.

    Today? I have no idea. I lost interest in 'teen' music and teen culture years and years ago.

    And yes, that is the stuff that these days many 30 and 40 year olds seem to be chasing.

    As for "hip hop" and such, well the less I say the better. :D

    -don


     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
    grizzlewulf likes this.
  13. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I have not delved into streaming. I convert my music to Apple lossless and listen that way, usually full albums in track order.

    Streaming platforms seem to be the new way to peddle the "exposure" myth. Thanks to us you can now reach new audiences, which won't really benefit you because we're only paying you $0.003 / play.

    They aren't really a path to popularity for too many, more a way to monetize popularity for those that already are.
     
  14. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    To me, this is more about the accessibility of music and the diversification of listeners than about the popularity of guitar-based music. Most music is pretty much entirely niche these days. I know the stuff I listen to is less on the mainstream radar than the music I listened to in, say, the early 90's. And I think that's true of most rock music fans, we're not driven by the radio anymore, we're out on our own picking out our own favorite things. We've diversified, so there's more artists getting smaller pieces of the pie, and fewer behemoths. And that's mostly a good thing, I think.

    The fact that the charts are dominated by pop acts is just because the last really big niche is the teen-driven pop market. Teens listen to what their friends are listening to, and they tend to binge play their favorite artists and songs in the mode of adolescent hero worship, as they have for generations. And grownups listen to whatever they want, and they cast a wider net and listen to more diverse things than ever, thanks to the internet.

    And even if hip hop and electronic music are gaining popularity, I don't think that's necessarily at the expense of guitar music. It's not a zero sum game, people like all of it. Kids who grew up on Beyonce and Adele are now fueling a big Nirvana revival, and then that leads to discovering other rock groups and starting their own bands. Guitar music is a long way from "dying," even if it's a little less dominant.

    And not for nothing, but #1 and #2 on that list both play guitar. I know it's not what they're primarily known for, but Taylor and Post Malone are each pretty darn adept when they pick up a six string.
     
    RoyalWe likes this.