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"First they took our popular music, so we invented rock music! Then they took our rock music, so we invented punk, hip hop, techno, metal...now they've taken all our music. Well it ain't that kind of party!"

The rallying cry of the bitter, 'real music'-loving music lover. It was an insult to music everywhere when the record companies took our much-loved pop riffs and feelgood anthems and resampled and destroyed them all in the name of a few sales for the latest clean-shaven, girl-friendly boy band. But at least we still had our 'real music'. Real songwriters wrote real songs and performed them on real instruments. They were our musicians and we were superior to the hoi polloi who were fooled by that inferior volume-selling pop pap.

But all that changed. Because in the towers of the great record companies, minds immeasurably superior to our own viewed our music with envious eyes. And we stood, horrified, as the multinationals exhumed the corpses of Hendrix, Lennon, Morrison and Cobain and, by inventing chart-friendly soft rock, nu-metal and pop punk, they bent our heroes' cadavres over their glass-topped desks and buttfucked them in front of us, laughing till their money-grabbing eyes watered.

Oh come on. Are we really so embittered and poe-faced that we can't accept that straight, pre-pubescent kids and middle of the road housewives now think our music is cool? Are we really all so pompous and self-important that we can't see the merit in an era where some of the best rock songs in history have been released? Just because Linkin Park are unconventionally good-looking they have no merit as artists? Just because Avril Lavigne is 17 and is dressed to look skatepunk she doesn't perform great songs? Just because Fred Durst fucks Britney Spears and hangs out with Puff Daddy he isn't a natural frontman in the same bracket as Axl Rose or Steven Tyler? Jesus, Busted may be a boy band who have had guitars foisted on them and told to act 'rock', but What I Go To School For kicks the shit out of a lot of 'real' rock bands best days.

Go outside and people-watch for a while. Everywhere you see well-adjusted kids with skateboards and hoodies, amazingly cute girls with black eye-shadow and Korn t-shirts, salesmen in sensible cars rocking out to Michelle Branch. Right now, the 'alternative' has become the mainstream, and rock chic is the new cool scene. Even as one of the bitter, old rockers who grew up rebelling properly to real alternative music, I can accept and even rejoice in it. For one thing, a whole generation of kids are now embracing the music that I love, and maybe, just maybe one or two of them will check out Ministry, Guns 'N' Roses or even The Jam and see in those bands the true genius that inspired The Offspring, Sum 41 or Puddle Of Mudd. Get over yourself and give in to that niggling need to nod along when you hear that manufactured, watered-down crap on the radio. You might just open the floodgates to self-awareness at last.

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