Why Sex, Drugs, and Rock’Rock’ n Roll Doesn’t Work Anymore?

The rock ‘‘n roll lifestyle that musicians used to adopt as the standard for being cool is now uncool; here’s why.

In Fred William Sights’Sights’ biography, Sex, Womanizing, and…, we learn of his interest in music as a child and how it made him happy and, to a degree, achieve good things. As an adult, he went to a period of dark years and got involved in sex and drugs, until he hit rock bottom and gained redemption with the help of his faith and, perhaps, his music. With this narrative, a familiar image comes to mind that of celebrities and musicians living the so-called sex, drugs, and rock ‘‘n roll lifestyle or the rock’’ n roll lifestyle of women, drugs, and excesses. But, that kind of philosophy is a dying school of thought nowadays.

“When people talk about rock music, they have a vision in their head of a four- or five-piece band smoking cigarettes with leather jackets and ­tattoos… a band that comes from nowhere and takes over the culture. That’s ­unquestionably over.” – Critic Steven Hyden

Technology killed many Rockstars

Musical celebrities and rockstars are a sort of rare breed of talents. They are famed for their ability to create music and are geniuses with instruments. And for that, they are worshiped by fans. The fandom is what builds their ego, and in a way, we have glorified them no matter their lifestyle. But then technology came, and almost every kid in the neighborhood can now make music. There are even apps that edit voice records to make it sound as if they’re professional singers. Classical music instruments are now replaced with gadgets that mimic their sounds, taking away these elitist musicians’ mysticism and crowning glory. In short, they have become replaceable.

It’sIt’s not about being wild anymore

Yup, gone are the days of drunken buffoons disguised as poets and musical geniuses whose lifestyles include drugs, women, and promiscuity. Of course, there are still current celebrities who live a wild lifestyle amidst the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. But they do not have they save following compared to the days of the Rolling Stones, Guns’Guns’ n Roses, Metallica, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Notorious B.I.G., Bob Marley, and Tupac Shakur. That kind of lifestyle they had would not survive in today’s audience. They are now keen on the message and the quality of performance. Not being sober will take a toll on any artists not up to today’s entertainment standards.

Competition and being consistent

In today’s era where a kid or a group of kids with gadgets and apps can create their own music, competition is tough. They can even record and sell their own album without the help of recording studios and distribution companies. Because so many artists are vying for audiences’ attention, artists are more focused on their craft and strategy than their lavish, decadent lifestyle. There may be those who can afford to do so because they have a stable fandom and have struck record deals worth millions. But even these types of celebrities are careful not to gamble with the ‘‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘‘n roll lifestyle. It’sIt’s better to fade than get burned.

Viral superstardom and longevity

Since the past two or three decades, the music scene has changed dramatically. Save for few bands and talented musicians who have managed to stay long or produce quality music consistently over the decades; it seems that the latest trend is more of viral superstardom and not of longevity. A ‘‘one-hit-wonder’’ refers to a song or a musician who can produce commercially and critically successful music or performance before a steady decline or, worse, unheard after a brilliant performance of the artist or the song. There are no more rockstars anymore, only 1-week celebrities who managed to wow an audience long enough to replace another short-term phenom. Musicians have to work hard to carve their name permanently, and being a lazy, punk attitude artist just won’t cut it.

Morality of the Social Media Mob

With the digital age and the rise of social media platforms, many artists’ careers have begun and ended with the social media bandwagon. The social media community is harsh, ever watchful, and it only takes a minute to end one’s career with a simple post. That is why many of today’s celebrities and musicians are careful how they act publicly and even in their private moments. If social media existed during the hay days of rock n roll, rockstars would not last five years. The morality of social media has taken over today’s entertainment scene. And drug addicts, primadonnas, and attitude stars are not glorified by today’s righteous and judgemental armchair critics and keyboard warriors.