Guitars Are Back, Baby!
Painted by some as a boomer relic just years ago, the guitar is seeing a revival that may just extend past the stress-purchase quarantine bounce.
Not so long ago, things didn’t look so great for the guitar, that global symbol of youthful freedom and rebellion for 70 years running.
With hip-hop and Beyoncé-style spectacle pop supposedly owning the hearts and wallets of millennials and Generation Z — and so many 20th-century guitar deities either dead (Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain) or soloing into their 70s (Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page) — electric guitar sales had skidded by about one-third in the decade since 2007, according to Music Trades, a research organization that tracks industry data.
All of this was enough for The Washington Post to declare the “slow, secret death of the six-string electric” in 2017. That same year, even Mr. Clapton himself, known simply as “God” to devotees more than half a century ago, sounded ready to spread the ashes. “Maybe,” he mused at a 2017 news conference for the documentary “Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars,” “the guitar is over.”