Myth Of Rock Essay

1014 words - 4 pages

Everyone has a different concept of what reality is. It would seem on the surface that this should not be the case since, by definition, reality would be an absolute constant in any situation. Good on paper but not in fact. As always, the truth is never so simple. Everyone has their own take on what is real and what is not. Those who have a sense of reality most similar to our own are those we eventually think of as friends or compatriots. We tend to avoid those who disagree with us, while anyone whose perspective is radically different is usually institutionalized, ostracized, or (at least) moved out of the mainstream of the society/culture they live in until - or unless - they can prove to the status quo the validity of their point of view. You could probably put anyone from Leonardo da Vinci to the Wright Brothers to Thelonius Monk in the latter category. The way we acquire our information combined with the veracity of that information affects our subjective sense of reality. It is the reason why propaganda was such a useful weapon during the Cold War years. The ability to create doubt in the minds of society causes that society to question its own sense of cultural/societal/governmental reality. In his book 1984, George Orwell created a society in which the ministry of information controlled the masses by controlling the information they received. The government even went so far as to rewrite history by changing old newspaper and film files to support the ideological goals of the current regime. They created a world very far removed from the truth but also gave the public a unified, single, consistent vision (however untrue). The mythology of rock is very firmly rooted. Many of us grew up believing that if we learned to play well we would find success, or even more specifically, success would just naturally come looking for us. Just because you can shred or write amazing songs does not mean you will see your name in lights. In the late 80's and early 90's, guitar magazines helped propagate the myth that looks + chops = fame and fortune. This is obviously not true. When was the last time you bought a record by a shred dude? (And if they have put an album out recently, they are one of the lucky ones "successful" ones.)

        Reeves Garbles, David Bowie's recording and touring guitarist, solo artist on Upstart Records, and author of The Myth of Rock speaks about several misconceived views of musicians and the music industry. In the first chapter he writes about what he calls the "misfortune of getting a record deal." The misconception here is that record deals make you an immediate fortune. For example, you just got a record deal with a major label. It is a five-album, one million dollar deal. He clarifies, "What this means is the record company has the right to expect...

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