• Image about return-of-rock---americanway

Rockers who came to fame in the ’70s are suddenly rising from dormancy.
Here’s a then-and-now look at five Watergate-era bands who’ve staged a comeback.

SOUNDThen: Risque blues-rockThen: Prog-rock for geeky dudes obsessed with Philosophy 101Then: Bawdy blues tunes sung in a faux old-man voiceThen: Southern rock for “tea” smokersThen: Three-chord heavy-metal singalongs
Now: No longer very risky blues-rockNow: Prog-rock for geeky dads obsessed with their 401ksNow: Bawdy blues tunes sung in an authentic old-man voiceNow: Southern rock for Tea Party votersNow: Four-chord heavy-metal singalongs
FASHIONThen: Scarves and blouses borrowed from their momsThen: White satin shirts and double-neck guitarsThen: Long blond beards and cowboy hatsThen: Harley riders packin’ blow dryersThen: Bizarre face-paint creates a sense of mystery.
Now: Hair-coloring products borrowed from their daughtersNow: Black cotton shirts and (substantially lighter) single-neck guitarsNow: Long gray beards and silly hatsNow: Harley riders packin’ Grecian FormulaNow: Bizarre face-paint hides Gene Simmons’ surgically altered visage.
FANS HOPE...Then: Joe Perry doesn’t go back to hard drugs.Then: Geddy Lee won’t ruin his larynx before he turns 30.Then: They don’t sell out by using drum machines and synthesizers.Then: Radio stations will start playing the long version of “Free Bird.”Then: Their parents won’t ground them for buying the new Kiss album.
Now: Steven Tyler doesn’t go back to hosting TV talent competitions.Now: Geddy Lee can still hit Tose high notes when he turns 60.Now: They don’t go back to using drum machines and synthesizers.Now: The band will end its concert version of “Free Bird” before their bedtime.Now: Their grandkids won’t mock them for buying the new Kiss album.
Music from Another Dimension (Columbia, $12)Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner Records, $12)La Futura (American Recordings, $12)Last of a Dyin’ Breed (Roadrunner Records/Loud & Proud Records, $11)Monster (UMe, $12)