Jun 122016

It’s been a long time, long enough that I actually feel like a significantly different, evolved person. One of the prices of evolution is that the things that meant so much to us even 5 years ago don’t—I won’t say “mean as much,” because that’s not the case—resonate the same way. Like Frank’s voice (so they say)…it remained his voice alone, but what he lost in pitch had to be addressed by gains in tone. Or some crap rationale that we say about the aging ones we can’t help but love.

Do you still love Rock Town Hall? I hope so. I hope you always will. I hope you’ve found a way to rationalize the gains in tone that only those of us who’ve loved and lost can turn to their advantage. We’ve done the Lord’s work here, at least some rock-loving Lord’s work. I’ve executed a handful of great ideas in my life, concepts that successfully bring group thought and input to life. This place, with the help of you, you, you, and you, is one of them. We coulda been a contendah, I’ve been known to mutter in my characteristically pissy moods. We were in a league of our own. I’ll do my best to resist getting too high on what we did, but trust me, I could.


Fucking Facebook did us in as much as anyone’s personal evolution. I like Facebook. I have fun on it. But it’s so faux-egalitarian. I try to come off as a Man of the People, but that’s bullshit. I’m more of an instigator of engagement. Rock Town Hall was a place to collect the best and brightest rock nerds and see who could come out as Top Dog. Sure, anyone who spent too much time here is a mutt, but mutts make the best pets. They’re typically lower maintenance, more flexible, more agreeable. We’ve duked it out here for years, and rarely has anyone left the playing field with a black eye or a busted jaw. People talked. People listened. People had fun with it. People made friends with each other. For all my quiet grumblings over Facebook opening up the playing field to all qualifiers, making it too easy for people to carve up little discussion groups of their own, it is nice seeing how many people who clearly met here in the Halls of Rock who now keep in touch on Facebook, sometimes even sharing thoughts and best wishes without the conduit of nerdy rock stuff.

I’ve got to finish the book I’ve been picking away at. Please hold me to that. It’s the next step in my personal RTH evolution. After that, I hope to keep in touch. I hope to be part of another great idea that will pull our incredible rock powers into some shared medium. Nothing will change here overnight, so keep the chatter going if you think of some amazing idea of how to put a bow on this place. Thank you.


  24 Responses to “The End Is Near”

  1. Well. I can’t say I don’t understand—my own blog has been almost entirely dormant since Bowie died, and that’s not at all a coincidence—but I will say I’m very sad. This was one of my favorite music sites left, and I’m sorry to see you go. So I’ll just say: thanks for all the good stuff. You made the internets a cooler place.

  2. BigSteve

    Yeah, blogs are kind of out of gas. What were we before the blog, a Yahoogroup? So RTH went through one evolutionary leap. Could we post thoughts to the RTH Facebook page? I guess they’d have to be shorter, but at least they can be more than 140 characters. That was the great thing about the blog, the ability to stretch out, but maybe that was also RTH’s downfall. TLDR, as the kids say.

  3. Scott (the other one), thanks for the nice thoughts. I don’t know if you’re Facebook user, but if so, feel free to keep in touch through there until whatever next follows.

    Continuing to post through the Facebook page could be a good carryover option. Not all are on Facebook (eg, geo), but it may keep the flame burning. I do hope to keep what we’ve developed active. Honestly, I’ll share one of my wildest fantasies that might require me to sleep less than I already do: I’d love to find a way to get the long piece that I’ve been working on over the years published and then launch some other series of enduring pieces from you (plural, but definitely including you, BigSteve). One of my motivations in stirring the pot here is not just to get my opinions out there but to see what other cool ideas bubble to the surface. I guess I’d love to find a way to take what we’ve done and turn it into some rock literary circle. I want to read 200 pages of music-themed topics from so many of you.

  4. This shouldn’t be the shock it is; it’s been, what, at least a year since things have been more or less moribund (how long has the Steve Miller / Doobie Brothers poll been up?). But it is a shock nonetheless.

    RTH has had many achievements. Truly deep thoughts about topics both deep and ephemeral. Some of the funniest lines this side of, I don’t know, Henny Youngman. Great, great music. But the greatest achievement of RTH surely is that its heart & soul has clearly been Mr. Mod and yet he could drag us all along and make us a part of it. And as his attention waned in the recent past not enough has been left except wistfulness.

    And, Mr. Mod, I’m not giving you the slightest bit of a hard time for that. I go back to the very early days of RTH 1.0 and have drafted on the energies you poured into both versions. I got a huge ROI.

    Facebook has killed off/put on life support every other music group I’ve followed and that still hasn’t gotten me onto Facebook so I doubt this will.

    In the meantime, will this be an ending where the plot lines all get tied up? Or will things be left dangling? Will the ghosts of Rock Town Hall past drop in to pay their respects?

    Thanks for it all Mr. Mod!

  5. misterioso

    I can’t believe you’re doing this at a time when we are poised to finally Lou Reed’s music as it was meant to sound: http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/lou-reeds-archive-revealed-theres-million-things-76976

    Or when my adolescent loathing for Bon Jovi has been rekindled by those stupid Direct TV ads, and, well, people need to hear me complain about it.

  6. I was shocked enough by those Bon Jovi commercials that I actually wondered for a second if it was a lookalike. wtf. Never liked the guy’s music, although he seemed like an okay guy, but those commercials…

  7. cliff sovinsanity

    Thanks for providing a gladiator style forum where an amateur hack like me could duke it out with other informed and knowledgeable writers, blogger and commenters. Every new post brought it’s own round of challengers, instigators and defenders accompanied by thumbs up and down and high fives. I’m going to miss it, but I understand the raison for it’s passing.
    I like the idea of the Facebook page/group even though I’m growing weary of it. It may the link which sustains the group until the next iteration of social media.
    If any other RTH people want to pad their friend list, I do post about music, among other things at –
    Until we meet again,

  8. In the meantime, this will be a relatively slow wind down. Sammymaudlin and I have a couple of ideas for how we’d like to leave the place. I need to create some digital Edward G. Robinson, circa Soylent Green, to get future blog archivists tuned in when they excavate us. Feel free to add your thoughts regarding how to put a bow on this place and what might be next. New content can continue while we’re fully open. I’ll let you steer the themes and tone.

  9. alexmagic

    Mod, if you think you can close this place without delivering on your long-promised (we’re talking at least six years here) “Satanic Beach Boys” expose, I’ll sue you for not only control of the Rock Town Hall Brand and web site but also to get the poll changed so that the Doobies are beating Steve Miller.

    My lawyers will be in touch.

  10. Now that’s a good goal, magicman! Others can feel free to remind me of the promised teachings I have yet to deliver.

  11. 2000 Man

    It’s weird how music message boards and blogs fade away. I swear they got from 100 mph to 15 mph overnight, and they can’t pick that speed back up. It seems like it’s just the way the Internet works. It’s still a shame when a good site reaches the end.

    And RTH is a really good site! I know the core of posters here know each other from before RTH, and I’m one of those people that just stumbled upon it (probably with an unlikely Google search like, “why aren’t people getting sick of the Beatles yet?” But ever since the first time I posted here, everyone has been more than friendly to me and encouraged me to either keep looking for new music, or just give up and listen to music recorded before 1982 exclusively, sometimes in the same post. It’s not often a good sized group of people can discuss music without someone getting upset at a slight made against one of their favorites, but people here seem to understand that some jokes are just funnier than others and there’s no reason to take offense just because a comment misses the mark.

    So I’ll really miss RTH (though I haven’t been around much, either). It’s like a really good bar closing, and I hope I see a lot of you at the next one I find to hang out at.

  12. Ah, crap. I’ve been kind of waiting for this. Such a drag. Inevitable but a drag nonetheless.

    Funny how you can feel like you really know a group of people that you’ve never met just by virtue of the fact that you are intimately aware of their intense love and/or hatred of ELP or pointy headstock guitars or stereo Beatles mixes, etc.

    It was great while it lasted. Thanks to the Mod for providing us with a forum to blurt stuff out that we knew was important/funny but that we also know would only be met with indifference by those less enlightened members of our respective social circles.

    I’m on Facebook as Chris David if there is some pressing rock-related grievance that you need to get off your chest.

  13. mockcarr

    I never realized how much Axl Rose sounds like him. And yes, that is an insult.
    Doubtless, he’s waiting for Angus to call after AC/DC’s pact with the pretend devil goes to shite.

  14. mockcarr

    Now where am I not going to post enough?

  15. 2K, you’re one of my many heroes here. If there’s one thing people who’ve known me for a long time figure out (I would think), it’s that I’m pretty obsessive about rolling up all the greats in this world and, if nothing else, keeping my own life entertaining through amazing dugout chatter. One of the good things, I hope, about this slow wind down, is that it will give me, sammy, and I hope a good deal of us regulars a chance to get even the slightest vision of where we’ll open our shop next. It’s just that this format seems to have “lost.” I was complaining to my wife the other day that I feel like I’m always on the losing side, but even if that’s the case, what a lovable bunch of losers get compiled. I’ll be in touch with you offline.

  16. misterioso

    Hey, that reminds me of a song! Neil Young, “The Losing End (When You’re On).” See you in Last Man Standing.

  17. 2000 Man

    I feel like I’m always on the losing side,

    You know you just said that to a guy from Cleveland. Well, close enough that Cleveland’s pain seeps out into the suburbs, believe me. But I know exactly how you feel!

  18. diskojoe

    I got into RTH via your interview w/Martin Newell & it was great to read the opinions & insights of everyone here & to add my own on occasion. It’s too bad that RTH has to wind down, but it was a good run while it lasted

  19. I dropped in to commend Mr Mod and this whole crew on this thing here they willed into being. It was a unique thing at one time, it is still a vestige of that thing and what’s left but to take a bow and exit. Thanks all Townsmen and women.

  20. ladymisskirroyale

    I like the idea of a RTH Facebook page. I often read peoples’ posts, but rarely have had time to come up with the witty, insightful responses that characterize this site. Perhaps a different format would at least allow us some witty banter?

  21. ladymisskirroyale

    RTH, I’m going to miss you.

    I haven’t been very active in the last few months: a horrendous work schedule got to me so that the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was look at a computer screen, and I wasn’t able to sneak in time during the work day. Regardless, I continuously thought about you all as I was listening to or reading about music. Sample thoughts that never got turned in to posts:
    – Is there a definitive 80’s sound? In other words, can you hear a piece of music you haven’t heard before and know with strong certainty that it was recorded in the 80’s?
    – Did anyone else read Bob Stanley’s “Yeah Yeah Yeah” and if so, what did you think of his history of music?
    – How do you feel when you get to know “the man behind the music” of a favorite band of yours? Does it demystify it to the degree that you lose some of the love?
    – Countless more posts about musical heroes of old who continue to record new music.

    I’ve really enjoyed being part of this site. Initially, I enjoyed learning about bands and songs that I hadn’t know about – you all broadened my (sonic) horizons. Then I started to really enjoy the witticisms and personalities of those involved. I tried very hard to keep up with you all, and eagerly waited for comments on my posts. Finally, some of you I now follow through FB and have even met in person. Thanks, guys! You’ve made the musical inner workings of my little brain a whole lot more complex.

    There’s got to be some other way of keeping these musical conversations alive, other than FB posts. That doesn’t seem to allow the depth that this site has encouraged. I’m going to be optimistic for Phase II.

    And BTW, Mod, I particularly LOVED the Saturday Night Shut-Ins. Thanks for those.

  22. saturnismine

    Don’t go, RTH, don’t go!

    I promise to do more here! I’ll even go back to my mid 00’s abandonment of the shift key if that will raise the ire of enough of you to generate more comments!

    “We’ve been in our public blog form since January 2007; we existed as a private Yahoo Group listserv for a few years prior to that.”

    And don’t forget, before *that,* we were just an email recipient’s list. I remember standing in the University of Delaware Library ca. 2000 – 01, using the most primitive email format you can imagine, and crafting emails arguing with a recipients list of about 10 future rocktownhallers about Satanic Majesty’s Request in a thread started by Mr. Mod.

    But seriously…Mr. Mod, my various hiatuses from RTH have enabled dissertation completion, the publication of several articles of about 20k words each, and a book. Two more are under contract. So I *totally* get the need to put this thing down in order to close out those projects.

    I hope that on one of my returns back to Philly, we can share the same space and have a conversation!

  23. Maybe sometime in the fall we should have a funeral for the Hall. We can all get together in the same room and raise a glass or 3. I’ll bet Fergie would let us set up some music in the upstairs bar.

  24. I would do my best to get down to such a wake and be the New England representative,

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