Future Sounds

In keeping with the theme of this issue, we set out to get some musical predictions and/or hopes for the world some 24 years hence. The following people were among those who responded coherently to the Question. "What do you think music will be like in the year 2002?"

Phil Everly–the Everly Brothers: "I don’t think that things will change that radically. There will be alot more collecting of older music, because music has really only been collectible for the last 30 years or so, and I think the interest in preserving music will increase. Also, with the techno-logical changes, you’ll be able to master and mix your own records at home, just like we do in the studio now. That is, you'll be able to put on Elton John, but you'll be able to take the voice track out or bring the violins up ... That's the most fun really, hearing music back and being able to control all of the elements."

Harvey Kubernik–head of West Coast A&R, MCA Records: "With the advent of Betamax and other home video units, there will be a dropping off in concert going. We'll all be watching tapes of Bruce Spring-steen and Todd Rundgren concerts from 1979 and 1980. Hopefully, "human being music"-that is, music made by people who aren't products of gimmickry or media campaigns-will withstand any time test. These are the people who will be able to deliver at age 20, or 60. Also, all the great rock 'n’roll people who are around should be the halftime intermission acts at sports events since we won't be able to afford to buy tickets to Rams games anymore. My final hope would be that there will be more musical participants as opposed to musical observers."

Chris Darrow–multi-instrumentalist; former member of The Kaleidoscope, Linda Ronstadt Band, John Stewart Band and Leonard Cohen Band: "Let's all hope that George Jones is still playing the Palomino in 2002."

Abe Daseyhill–a crank and sometime record reviewer who sits around all day, writing letters to magazines: "Music will be based purely on the sound of the universe, which is just static. That would seem to be in keeping with the trend of pop music today anyhow. So by then, people will just sit around listening to static. Also, if things keep going like they are now, people will buy records with nothing on them, and they’ll all sit around saying.’Oh, wow. . .’ "

Steve Diamond– staff writer at Warner Bros. Music: "I think that the 4/4 time signature will predominate, in all areas of music"

Gregg Turner–lyricist and singer for The Angry Samoans; sometime rock critic: "There are a couple of trends that I see. One is the trend of kids getting stupider and stupider and less aesthetically involved with music. The other trend, is that record industry A&R executives and all their buddies in publicity and promotion will be equally stupid and uninvolved. What that will dictate is that artist involvement, as such, will cease to exist as we know it today. All that will matter is what the industry people consider to be viable product. Musicians and writers won’t be needed. All that will be needed is a worthy factory to reproduce what's been successful.

"On the more optimistic side, what I would hope for is that there might be some sort of resurgence in music that would manifest itself in a backlash similar to what the punk movement has done, Not that it would be punk, but perhaps it would be sort of the same thing that the Velvet Underground did when they first appeared.

As to what the actual music would be like maybe instead of the usual I, IV, V progressions there would be more suspended chords or something. I don't. know, y’ know?"

Steven Bishop's answering machine: "Merry Bishmas to you, Merry Bishmas, to you…"

Emmett Chapman–stick player: "I believe there are classical styles and then there are trendy ones. I look for the things that correspond to what human nature is all about."

"Musicians and the public will become more and more conversant with these values. People will behaving conversations in music, with quickly arranged pieces. In the future, music will be the domain of everybody."

"Computerized music will be important but will be kept in its proper place. The performer becomes even more valuable as technology increases. Anything that produces music has some value for people listening to it. That includes synthesizers."

John Kurnick–guitarist in-the Tommy Tedesco band. (For you non-jazz buffs, Tedesco is the slightly overweight guitarist who you occasionally glimpse in Happy Kyne's band on America 2-Night. Kurnick is thinner, and an equally adept guitarist.): "I don't have any definite ideas but I have a feeling that I can only get at by describing this low budget Italian movie that I saw on TV the other night. It was real weird. There are these two be bop horn players out there blowing in this completely deserted field, and one guy, is lying on his, back and the other guy is standing on his head.

"Then, while they are playing, these spys wearing bubble sunglasses, come running in and start shooting each other, but the two horn players just keep right on playing, and finally everybody kills each other and these guys are still out there and they're playing this stuff that sounds sort of like roller derby music and then the movie just ends. Real nuts. Anyway, that's sort of how I feel about music in 2002."

Brantley Kearns–fiddle player extraordinare, formerly, with the David Bromberg band, presently with Jim Stafford and Bobby Gentry: "By then, all songs will sound alike. Regardless of whether it's 'St. Louis Blues' or 'You Light Up My Life,' it's all gonna be one big metallic song."

Minnie Ripperton–singer: "Everything's going to be pretty much the same."

Lee Quarnstrom–porn writer and a self-proclaimed music hater: "First of all, I hate all music except for Larry Hosford and Mary McAslin. What I really think is that by then music will just be people with weirder and weirder names playing the same stuff that the Grateful Dead played in 1964."

Tom Johnson–aka Tommy Rock, who has two chart records in England and over 500 rejection slips on the wall of his Hollywood apartment: "Society today is pretty psychopathic. People aren't able to feel anymore and that's why punk and disco are so popular. 'Possibly a war or an economic crisis will force people to go back to feeling and if that happens, hopefully music will become an emotional medium once again."

Joel Tepp–harmonica Player and slide guitarist for the Ian Matthews Band: "I would hope for personal and community participation in the playing of music; that is, a desire to play on a more basic level. Something that I like about New Wave is that you can learn to play it in about three months. Also, I suspect that music will develop to the point to where we're not dependent on the traditional scale. That, in turn would lead to something that is really interesting, namely the understanding in the relationship between musical vibrations and inner body rhythms-the body-harmonic relationship. Once we understand that, there will be the possibility of modulating the emotions through the use of sound."

Sol Cooperson–a pseudo intellectual: "There will be computers at that time which will read waves emitted from your brain. Music will be pure thought patterns recorded through computers directly from the brain. So, the music that someone else plays for you will be transmitted directly from their brain to yours. Then, music will be more than just sound-it will be a total experience."

Kim Fowley–the missing link between Chuck Berry and Orson Welles, and the self-proclaimed Dorian Gray of rock 'n' roll: "I believe that jazz was ruined by criticism on a Downbeat magazine level, and that Rolling Stone and Creem magazine are ruining rock ‘n’ roll on the same level. Music today is designed for white, inferior people. So, because the population of the Western world refuses to grow up and the consciousness of human beings is so low, the prospects aren’t very bright.

"Assuming there is a 2002 at all, whatever music exists will be an extreme from Randy Newman cops of Irving Berlin shit all the way to Kraftwerk. But the basic fact is that music is no longer sociologic-ally valid in this decade and it won’t mean anything then either. We should all find other things to do with our time because, ah... baseball and wrestling aren’t what they used to be and neither is music."

Richard "Balloondick" Bowden-former lead guitarist with Linda Ronstadt, Roger McGuinn and Dan Fogelberg: "Shit, by then I think that everybody will be a musician. Let’s just hope that they’re all good."

Eric Anderson–a hungry but optimis-tic songwriter who is not the "other" Eric Anderson: "If stuff keeps going like it is now, Muzak Corporation will own all the record companies. Then for sure I’ll never get my song, "Way Down Yonder In the Enema Patch," recorded."

Art Fein–"jump" music fanatic: "I think, sadly, that rock ‘n’ roll will vanish."

Rodney Bingenheimer–slightly grown-older "King of the Sunset Strip": "Music will be more or less punk-disco, that is, non-negro disco. People like Leif Garrett will be very popular. Also, all the rock and roll people will be in the movies."

David Leaf–author of the recently published book The Beach Boys and The California Myth: "I just hope that we can all afford to have private concerts in our homes. I’ve always enjoyed seeing music up close and it's hard to get good seats. On a more serious note, I hope that music is not replaced by video. I really don’t believe that live music can be captured in any way on film or by video. Set let’s hope there are still concerts. I just hope I don’t have to sleep overnight at the Roxy, is all."

Richey Furay–country-rock singer: "One thing is for sure–I won’t be here then."


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