Dear Duff: Do You Think the Technology Age Will Hurt Future Generations of Rockers?

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Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. This week, he's answering a few reader questions. Notes and queries can be sent to
Hey Duff: Do you think that the Technology Age will hurt future generations of rock musicians? I read so many stories of guys like Kurt Cobain who had their guitar and little other worldly possessions, and it's no wonder to me how they became such accomplished players when they devoted most of their waking hours to their craft. But now that almost every kid has a computer with an Internet connection, if not a gaming console (or three), there are so many more outlets for time consumption than there were when you were coming up.

-- Kerry Frye, Seattle

Duff: Yeah, I've thought the exact same thing before. That is, until I heard my nephew's band recently (I'm not trying to pimp his band or embarrass him, so I won't name which nephew or what the name of the band is).

Here is a kid that seemed to be the epitome of what the rest of us grown-ups would think to be a technology-drained youth. He grew up with a computer and video games always at his fingertips. A good kid to be sure, but a REAL guitar player? I thought it couldn't be possible.

Rumor in our family was that he was indeed in the basement, playing his guitar "ALL of the time." Right, I thought to myself . . . between his video-gaming, web-browsing, and YouTubing, this kid didn't stand a chance.

A couple of months ago, I was in a situation where my nephew had a captive audience to play his new band's CD for. I gripped for what I surely thought was going to be sub-par. I mean, right? These kids didn't SUFFER for their craft like we of my generation did. Oh, I was really wrong. ALL of the kids in his band are top-notch players. The songs were REALLY good. I felt like such a heel.

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