You wouldn't know it by listening to the radio, watching music videos, or checking sales charts, but rock isn't dead yet.
While the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Shakira and Chamillionaire are dominating your attention, some veteran rockers are plotting an alternative future.
So, get ready for new albums, reunions, tours and even a memoir.
Late summer will see the release of new albums from our favorite Bobs.
It has been an interminable 11 years since Bob Seger graced us with new product, but Capitol Records has scheduled "Face the Promise" for Sept. 12. A single, "Wait for Me," (yeah, we've been doing that) should precede the new disc, which will also include a duet with Kid Rock on "Real Mean Bottle," a Vince Gill tune. Will he tour? Nobody's saying.
Bob Dylan's album, meanwhile, is slated to hit retail on Aug. 29. The prolific Dylan has titled his 44th album, "Modern Times." The Columbia Records disc features 10 songs and follows "Love and Theft," his Grammy-winning 2001 effort. Dylan might even play tracks from the new release on his XM radio show.
Eric Clapton, on the other hand, doesn't have a new album, but he will be touring North America, and writing a book. The guitar god's tour will kick-off Sept. 16 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, with bluesman Robert Cray as the opening act. Clapton, who sold out shows last year as part of a Cream reunion, may add Derek and the Dominos tunes to the coming shows.
Conceivably, Eric will recall his days in Cream, the Dominos and Yardbirds in his new autobiography. Hopefully, he'll be able remember enough details for the book, considering his bouts of addiction all those years ago.
It isn't known if the Cream reunion made Ray Davies think about his brother Dave, but the Kinks' frontman is talking about new recordings with his sibling. The brothers have been famously fighting since, well, forever. But, as Dave recovers from a stroke suffered two years ago, they plan to write new songs together and see what happens. Ray, meanwhile, will play Detroit on July 1 and Milwaukee's Summerfest the next day, in support of his "Other People's Lives" album.
There has also been a meeting of the minds in the Beach Boys camp, if only temporarily. The legendary Brian Wilson, cousin Mike Love and Al Jardine made their first public appearance in a decade recently on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the equally-legendary "Pet Sounds" album. Lawsuits flew for years between Wilson and Love, but the animosity seems to have diminished as the years have passed. Capitol is planning another Beach Boys hits package, to be called "Warmth of the Sun."
With several different configurations of the Beach Boys having toured in recent years, the Rolling Stones will venture out again July 11, after a bump or two. The tour had been delayed due to guitarist Keith Richards' shadowy south Pacific mishap and subsequent surgery. Fellow guitar picker Ron Wood has since checked into a rehab clinic to dry out before the tour resumes in Italy. He'll have to wait till later to party, apparently.
Fellow Britisher Ringo Starr has also started another tour, his 9th as a solo artist. This time around, Starr tackles "What Goes On" for the first time. He wrote the tune years ago with some old bandmates named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Ringo scheduled a Las Vegas concert date so he could see the new Cirque du Soleil show which features new takes on Beatles songs, as produced George Martin and his son Giles.
The Who, meanwhile, put on a show of their own at Leeds University to mark the 36th anniversary of the group's landmark live album. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey duplicated their long ago performance, belieing their advanced ages with vocal and guitar showcases rivaling the originals. While drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle have gone to rock 'n' roll heaven, it hasn't stopped this band.
Somebody warn the Dixie Chicks, Shakira and Chamillionaire.
Rock isn't dead, yet.