The Rockin’ Road of a Female Classic Rock Fan


Billy Joel Concert at Madison Square Garden on June 20

For as long as I can remember, classic rock has been my favorite genre of music. I was raised by parents who never skip a Bruce Springsteen song and  know every Pink Floyd lyric. But what really lead me to classic rock was my unbearable frustration with overplayed and autotuned pop music containing lyrics that lacked originality and purpose. The one thing that I never expected was the reaction that I would get from others regarding my music choice.

One of the reactions that I get way too often is immediate question and disbelief. You would be surprised at how many people have openly doubted my musical knowledge about classic rock, and most of the time it has to do with my gender.

“Funny because you think you know music. You’re a girl… I bet you can’t even name one classic rock artist.” an anonymous student said with a condescending smirk.

Because I am a girl, most people find it surprising I enjoy listening to a genre that is mostly dominated by male artists. Classic Rock is known for its heavy beats, loud instruments, and strong vocals. This creates stigmas that  because it is an older genre that contains such prominent and unique features that girls can’t enjoy listening to it.

“Stop pretending like you actually enjoy listening to rock. Girls only listen to gross love songs and Taylor Swift, so stop with this act.” a boy said laughing.

Other than my gender, I have also been questioned because of my age. It is pretty common for someone to doubt my love for classic rock based upon my age because of the stereotypes that younger people do not understand nor appreciate such a classic genre.

“You’re only 16. How can you love a genre you weren’t even around to hear? Doesn’t really make sense if you think about it.” an anonymous teacher said to me.

It is extremely frustrating as an honest fan of classic rock to be constantly interrogated about my music choice based solely upon my age, appearance, and gender.

Even though I do get a fair amount of questions, not all of the reactions I get are so demeaning and negative. There are plenty of people that appreciate classic rock enough to see past the stereotypes. Because they are extremely passionate about rock as a genre, instead of automatically assuming I’m not a fan, they talk to me about it on an equal level.

“No way! I’ve never met a girl who actually likes classic rock, that’s pretty cool actually. Who’s your favorite artist?” a close friend happily said to me.

It truly saddens me to see people that are so quick to judge based on things like age and gender, especially when talking about something as simple as music choice. But, I am relieved to see that there are still some individuals that can get past the stigmas.
Music is not meant to tear people apart, it should be a way for people to connect and come together.