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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Used By Our Illusions

Rolling Stone reported Tuesday that FBI agents contacted the California blogger who posted songs from Guns N' Roses mythical Chinese Democracy last week. The blogger, Kevin Skwerl , is prepared to face the music wherever it may lead. But this post won't focus on copyright issues.

Why is this news? In 2008, why are we still fascinated with Axl Rose and a defunct band that has not released an album of new material in SEVENTEEN years!

I am as much to blame as any other member of my generation. Monday found me wearing my GNR hat, and I proudly wear GNR buttons on other clothing. Yet, they are nowhere near my favorite band.

I believe Guns N Roses fascinates Gen Y because of what has happened to the music industry since our teenage days. The great bands of our generation either no longer exist (Nirvana), have outgrown their niche (Beastie Boys), or have irrevocably damaged their reputation amongst their former fans (Metallica, R.E.M., U2).

Guns N' Roses never formally called it quits. They continue to tantalize us with the same exact unprofessionalism we all found appealing in the first place. What is amazing is how long they have managed to pull it off. I routinely call out the Grateful Dead for being overrated, but didn't they achieve much more than GNR ever has? How can I slag the Dead for abusing their fan base, when I know full well that if GNR manages to release something I will buy it.

GNR is Gen Y's nostalgia band. Except instead of a non-stop tour, they are earning attention by doing nothing. Maybe Axl is not as crazy and out of touch as I believe.

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