Originally Posted by Raspberry Leper
Well, is "classic rock" a genre or does it refer to music that is a certain amount of years old?
Labeling music is always something that leaves me confused, but to me "classic rock" is rock(ish) music from, say, '62 to maybe '78 or so. Most bands/artists born after that will never be classic rock in my opinion, no matter how much time passes (by that I mean, in High school in the late 80's/early 90's if I turned on the classic radio station it was possible to hear a song that was 12 years old like early Petty and the Heartbreakers stuff- I couldn't imagine turning on a "classic rock" station today and hearing, say, Fell in Love with a Girl).
Classic Rock is whatever the station needs it to be....one would think that if it were a "time period" you couldn't/wouldn't play the new album by a Petty/Springsteen/Neil Young/etc, but they do.
If it were a genre, then they could/would play new bands that fit the "classic rock" mold (like Pearl Jam at their most straight-up) but as a general rule, they don't.
In the 80s/early 90s, most stations didn't really focus on the "classic" part, since rock was rock, and most guitar-based bands came pretty much from the 70s arena rock template anyway - Motley Crue fits right in the playlist next to Thin Lizzy and The Who, when you get down to it. I think the major schism came when the 90s "alt" boom hit - suddenly you had weird, off-kilter acts that were in some weird in-between realm, where a Clapton/Stones fan would like, or at least tolerate, "18 and Life" or "Up All Night" you stand a chance of losing them if you play REM's "Drive" or Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" - so it had to be codified into being "of an era" even though "classic rock" artists are still putting out albums.
Growing up in the middle of nowhere, we had ONE decent rock station, but it was pretty good - played "classic" stuff, but also played new artists and kept up with the times - sure, they were playing Ted Nugent, Floyd (INCLUDING stuff from Animals which you NEVER hear on the radio anymore), old Scorpions, etc but they played the new glam rock and rolled with the grunge/alternative era when that hit.