Drugs And Rock And Roll Essay

916 words - 4 pages

Drugs and Rock and Roll

Beginning with the late 1960’s counterculture in San Francisco, music and drugs will forever be inter-linked. Hippie bands such as the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and Phish are associated with marijuana, mushrooms, and LSD. Modern electronic “rave” , or club music is associated with MDMA or Ecstasy. When one thinks of rock and roll, sex and drugs immediately come to mind. While the use of drugs is not essential for the creation or performance of all new music, it was certainly in important factor for the counterculture music of the late 1960’s. While some of the most important and influential music was made with the help of psychoactive drugs, it was often to the detriment of the artist. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and countless other tremendously talented artists had their lives cut short due to drug use. Drugs were most often good for the music, but deadly for the music makers.
The general mindset of the 1960’s San Francisco scene is well summarized by Reebee Garafalo in his book Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA when he states: “For the counterculture, the focus on mind-expanding drugs seemed to offer the possibility of greater self-awareness and consciousness, which would in turn lead to a world without war, competition, or regimentation.” The concept of expanding the mind in order to achieve a peaceful, utopian world naturally lends itself to the consumption of drugs. The image of half naked, marijuana smoking hippies dancing around in the park comes to mind when one thinks of the late 60’s Haight-Ashbury scene. Drugs help tremendously in creating an altered state, making one oblivious to the outside world. A great deal of the music was preaching peace, love, and harmony. Drugs made it feel real. When on drugs, everything feels and seems peaceful and utopian, so naturally drugs were incorporated into the experience.
Psychedelics, and drugs in general became such an important part of life during the 60’s that it’s influence was inescapable. Nowhere can this fact be seen more clearly than in the music of the time. The most obvious influence drugs had on music can bee seen in the lyrics. Drug references abound, be it Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” of marijuana smoke, or the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, obviously referring to LSD. Even the names of the bands were drug inspired, as Garofalo points out in reference to the Doors: “The group took it’s name from Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, a book about the liberating aspects of drug...

Find Another Essay On Drugs and Rock and Roll

Rock And Roll Essay

1802 words - 8 pages Rock and roll is a style of music that has roots traced all the way back to the 1800s. It is made up of jazz, blues, folk, country, and rhythm and blues. The rhythm and blues contribution to rock originated from the African American culture (??). Performers like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and Little Richard aided in the formation of rock and roll music. The generation that was highly impacted by this new sound was the baby booming population that

Rock and Roll Essay

1418 words - 6 pages The emergence of Rock and Roll was one of the most pivotal moments of our nation’s history. The impact that this genre of music made is still evident in our culture. However, before this genre was able to gain momentum, it faced many cultural conflicts. The book, All Shook Up: How Rock ‘N’ Roll Changed America by Glenn C. Altschuler analyzes the impact that rock and roll music has made on American culture. It explores how the Rock and Roll

Rock And Roll

716 words - 3 pages History of Rock and Roll           Punk rock developed in the United States out of the raw and energetic music adored and played by garage bands of the mid-sixties. Many of these garage bands were started by kids in their teens who hardly knew how to play simple chords on a guitar or bang away at drums or cymbals in their own garages. The music was often played at a high volume as well. &nbsp

Fundamentalism and Rock and Roll

1309 words - 6 pages rock music. As commented by the Fundamentalist preacher Fletcher Brothers summarizes in his book The Rock Report, “Sex and drugs equals rock and roll. Rebellion, Satan equals rock and roll. Homosexuality, incest equals rock and roll. Sado-masochism, mutilation equals rock and roll. Suicide, alchol equals rock and roll. Hopelessness, anti-godliness equals rock and roll. Murder, occultism equals rock and roll. The list goes on and on.” With such

History of Rock and Roll

2541 words - 11 pages another genre of rock but not one really appreciated in today’s world. It was all the rage during the 60’s and most of the 70’s. Unfortunately, this was a time period in which drug use was very popular, and music influenced the use of drugs. Pink Floyd was a band who used this to their advantage, and Led Zeppelin might fall under this category as well. Psychedelic rock is still one of the most famous types of rock and roll in history. Loud

History of rock and roll

1230 words - 5 pages music was carried on radioand popular with the disc jockeys.In the mid 50's, Chuck Berry and Little Richard were popular and changed theface of music, which was named rock and roll by the D.J.'s.page 21956-1962At age 21, in 1956, Elvis Presley was introduced to the public with his rockabillystyle of music. His first record, 'Heartbreak Hotel' was recorded. It was the first of aconsecutive 14 records to sell over one million copies.He inspired

1960s and Rock 'N' Roll

681 words - 3 pages What emerged after the explosion of rock and roll in the 1950s abandoned the roll and has now come to be known just as classic rock. This rock that was created following the decade of The King became a completely unique and different sound that changed the musical landscape and what was once a single, unified genre gave way for multitudes of variation in its sounds. These new sounds, that came mostly from abroad, had been notably influenced by

Rock and Roll in Texas

571 words - 2 pages from the alternative rock genre in any obvious way.The music of Blue October is certainly most similar to the rock & roll examples recently covered in class. It shares considerably less with most of the other Texas musical styles that we have discussed. It is faster and targeted at a narrower, younger audience, but lacks themes pertaining to a particular race or class. Many of their songs might be considered ballads, so they might share this similarity with corridos. On the other hand, they lack call and response or 12-bar blues characteristics, and have very little in common with cowboy or progressive country music.

Rock and Roll Research Project

1196 words - 5 pages INTRODUCTION On May 7th, 1965, a Rolling Stones band member, Keith Richards, woke up in the middle of the night and played a few chords on his guitar in his sleep. Immediately after, Keith fell back asleep. (Hutchinson) Those chords and Mick Jagger’s lyrics would be part of one of their number one hits: “(I Can’t) Get No Satisfaction”. This song will not only make the Rolling Stones famous, but also shape the future of rock and roll and make

Rock and Roll: The Beatles

1248 words - 5 pages Rock and Roll was one of the most influential music of the 1960’s. People that have listened to 60’s music and/or grew up in that era say it was the genre to listen to. People say that The Beatles were as good or better as Elvis Presley. The Beatles are one of the most listened to band since the 60’s. The way they took over the world is unforgettable and amazing; but as we get older we soon will forget our past and focus on our future but we

Profound, Poetic Rock and Roll

1041 words - 5 pages While it is widely rumored that many of Bob Dylan’s songs were written while he was under the influence of various drugs, I’m not so sure that those rumors are accurate. Following a 1991 interview conducted by Paul Zollo with Bob Dylan, Zollo stated that “There’s an unmistakable elegance in Dylan’s words, an almost biblical beauty” and that “Dylan’s answers give you a lot to think about while not necessarily revealing much about the man

Similar Essays

Sex, Drugs, And Rock N’ Roll

894 words - 4 pages called The 1st American Tour. The British invasion helped influence pop culture and rock music. Rock n’ roll was revolutionary in the sense that it was a fusion of American music genres. Rock music broke down color barriers, and gave adolescents their own form of expression that was unique. Rock music led adolescents to disregard conformity, and start a new age of freedom. The greatest rock bands of all time brought about this change to pop culture and the youth population by incorporating drugs, alcohol, British roots, and sex into their music. The greatest rock bands of all time will forever be remembered as the rock gods that they are

Little Sex, Drugs, And Rock And Roll Movement

1506 words - 6 pages rock and roll could do for society. But Elvis couldn’t have done this new and controversial movement alone. He needed help. He needed music and that music was the song “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.” This song progressed what live entertainment meant. Parents through up their arms in a rage, and teens jumped to their feet to see every “vulgar” movement. This song left a never-ending impact on society and is still used today throughout the

Music: Rock And Roll Essay

1005 words - 5 pages Rock and roll also called simply “rock” is a form of popular music. Rock has had a social impact on society more than any other type of music. Rock is also one of the most famous music genres not only in the United States but also in the whole world. It began in the late 1940s and early 1950s when blacks and whites were are at the height of segregation. The elements of rock and roll can also be seen in rhythm and blues as far

Rock And Roll Essay

1436 words - 6 pages United States society."(Gilmore 61) The development of these technologies allowed music to reach beyond regional boundaries. The most influential form of music spread across the nation is rock and roll. Rock is defined as "a genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of Black rhythm-and-blues with White country-and-western; "rock is a generic term for the range of styles that evolved out of rock'n'roll."(Webster) Rock and roll is the