Do Classic Rock Fans Care About New Material?

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According to Kansas guitarist Rich Williams, “Only a handful of Kansas die-hards would be into new material by us. The bitter reality is that nobody cares if we come up with anything new. The days of the epic Kansas albums are probably over."

Granted, Williams’ comments focus mainly on his perception that most Kansas fans really don’t expect or want a new album, but he does mention a couple of other classic acts as well. “Does anyone care about a new Yes album or a new Genesis album?,” he asks.

Rich Williams of Kansas Well, I guess it may well depend on the energy and creativity that any given classic rock group has left in them. For Kansas, it seems that it’s over. Something that does not seem to bother Williams all that much. It would be interesting to hear how Chris Squire of Yes might react to that statement.

Speaking strictly for myself, I’d have to go along with Williams as far as Kansas is concerned, but I think he may be painting with too broad a brush if he thinks all classic rock acts are tapped out these days. Today’s Kansas is not the Kansas I remember. Gone are Kerry Livgren, Robby Steinhardt and Dave Hope who were – at the time – fully half of the group that we knew as Kansas. Livgren was a major creative force within the group at the time.

On the other hand, considering a group like Aerosmith or Rush, whose original lineup remains in place, I have to say that I do care about whether or not they continue to produce new music. Despite my suburban Boston upbringing, I was never a big Aerosmith fan, but as a longtime Rush fan, I eagerly look forward to every new album they begin working on. Myself, and many other fans believe that they still have what it takes.

Just yesterday we noted the chart-topping success of Bob Dylan’s latest album. I think that pretty well proves there are a lot of fans out there who want to see new material from their old favorites. Williams may be right about Kansas, but he’s straying a bit too far into fantasy land if he believes that most classic rock fans don’t give a hoot if they ever see another new album from their classic favorites.

The full story and all of Rich Williams comments can be seen at