Why Eric Clapton Considered The Guitar Is Over
The music industry consists of different parts such as musicians, bands, instruments, albums, and other projects. In addition to them, music has always been deeply connected to the entertainment industry. While the music’s strong presence in different areas of entertainment and life helped it preserve popularity and commercial success, some things changed inevitably over time.
People’s interest in some genres such as heavy metal, hair metal, or funk declined over the years while pop, alternative rock, and rap became more and more popular. The change in the mainstream genre also affected music lovers’ decision to buy an instrument, resulting in Eric Clapton‘s questioning the existence and necessity of the guitar in the contemporary world.
Why Did Eric Clapton Say ‘Guitar Is Over?’
A few years ago, Washington Post reported a striking fact about the guitar industry and the companies went through over a decade. According to the article, one of the largest music retailer chains, Guitar Center, was $1.6 billion in debt, while Gibson has fallen from $2.1 billion to $1.7 billion. Fender also joined them with $675 million in revenue to $545 million. They show that they couldn’t sell as many guitars as they did for years.
Many of them cut the staff and started to produce less qualified, cheaper instruments to draw more customers. According to many people who worked in these companies, there was another reason for these low sales other than financial struggle. The lack of new guitar heroes like Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Jimmy Page that influenced people to buy and learn how to play the instrument affected the possible buyers.
As one of the most influential guitar players, Clapton admitted that he didn’t realize that the guitar was over because he was always into rock music, and his kids were too. He stated that he ‘brainwashed’ his kids to listen to the songs from this genre so that they could understand the importance of the guitar sounds. However, he thought that probably not every child’s parent recommended them to listen to and play rock music.
Clapton shared his ideas, saying:
“I didn’t realize it was that bad. I’m out of touch. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know where it’s going to go either. I think anything with a natural process will end up where it’s supposed to be. My kids listen to classic rock, but that may only be because of me because that’s what I’ve played to them.
From the time of their conception, they’ve been listening to music through the womb. I played them playlists, just brainwashed my kids, and at the back of it was always the guitar or some solo instrument or a singer. My belief in music is that it’s all good. It’s all good. Even stuff that doesn’t appear to be so, it’s all good. I don’t know. Maybe the guitar is over. Good question, though.”
Therefore, it’s not surprising that the broader audience became more and more interested in pop, hip hop, and rap. Those who wanted to pursue a career as professional musicians became singers or used different instruments than the guitar. This decision inevitably affected the guitar industry, making Clapton question the situation and youth’s perspective toward music. Also, there are fewer guitar players who become inspirations for the young generations.