ROCK and ROLL - The Music That Changed The World

Today's Date:

Are You Experienced?

Welcome to the music that changed the world, yet, it wasn't just the music - even though it was a major voice in the entire movement we cannot ever forget the very people who were brave enough to be different from any generation that had ever preceded them. Some referred to it all as the new renaissance by the time it reached the 60's and in many ways I would have to agree.

How many of us were putting the headlines and the stories together, not with just the bands or the music, but what they were all drawing from, what they were talking and singing about...the signs of the times? Everybody was hungry for a change from a screwed up world that based most of what it was doing on war. Something happened during WWII that would change the world in another way...The Bomb. This was probably mankind's biggest mistake of all time. We were in Korea before we left Japan and in Viet Nam before we left Korea. Too much war. Lines were drawn, Hawks against the Doves, and that was exactly what no one wanted. They wanted unity...they wanted people to wake up to the truth and the fact that society, the world and civilization could not continue this way. Those who were in a position to listen and make the necessary changes refused and those that tried to make a change were killed...some assassinated. Things were just getting nasty all over and the music became the CNN of a very disgruntled and threatened generation.

The first Rock 'n' Roll song to be recorded was called 'Rocket 88' in 1951. Alan Freed and his Moondog Coronation Ball is the one who coined the term "Rock 'n' Roll in 1952. The unique thing about any of this, the entire movement, was that it didn't happen overnight...it happened universally. It spread across all racial, ethnic, religious, political, social, educational and economical boundaries. None were untouched by its effects.

I could probably grab a line or two from nearly every song written during these times that would end up as the entire content of this brief overview...and it would magically make sense too. That within itself is a rather profound statement because everything that needed to be said was said and those who took the responsibility to adorn the robes of the minstrels and story tellers; those musical town criers; the messengers were loved and embraced by millions...and yes, they were afraid but they overcame it and held on to the goal...Awakening.

It was all considered a 'fad' - that it would pass as quickly as it began. Neither were so far from the truth.

Those who opposed this worldwide change became afraid because now they were exposed to the true and real beast plaguing their once free minds and spirits and bodies...it was them - and they blamed their very own children.

It would really be difficult to try and put together everything that has happened from the end of World War II up to now. Many of the people that were the forefathers of the entire movement are gone and yet many others still remain. Of these, those that are still with us, have managed somehow to stay the course of what it was all about and those who made up the body of the movement have split into separate groups as their lives have demanded - or as they were dictated to by the pressures of a corporate minded society. Once again, "paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep, it starts when you're always afraid, step out of line - the man comes and takes you away...you'd better stop, children, what's that sound?, everybody look what's goin' down." (Buffalo Springfield)

Personally, I fully enjoyed the 50's, 60's and 70's and learned a lot from them all. To this day I still live by and use what I learned. I did not walk away or turn my back on the purpose for the movement, music or otherwise. Some may say that there were too many causes, but to me there was only one and still is...to do what is right. Whatever the cause may be the top and the bottom line is always the same.

So where did everybody go? Where are all those bold and beautiful people that made it a point in their lives to be seen, to be heard, to be an active participant, that did not drop out but got involved, that did tune in and turn on? Did the technological-gadgetry overwhelm your sense or propriety? How many of you sold out?

What is going on today is madness, worse than it was during those days. It can in no way be blamed on the movement during those times for this result...but it can be blamed, if blame need be, on those who turned their backs and walked away. Apathy is just as much a deadly social disease as is AIDS. Then again, I'm not writing this to stage a rant on what went wrong or why - it did, and those responsible I'm sure are sitting idely by pondering why they didn't stay the course.

None-the-less, the movement continues, the music continues and those of us who have stayed the course...continue.

We've lost many along the way but they managed, against all odds, to leave us and generations to come a living legacy through their brief time with us, the poetry, the music, the art, the style, the innovation, the magic and the memories.

 There are many who have written better articles about this entire movement and the awakening and not just in America, but, the world. I have included links to their works on this site because of their depth and insight; their overall contribution and your need to either be reminded or to know in the first place. Much of this work reminded me of my own personal involvement of these times to the point of me realizing that I was wishing for them to all be here again...and yes, these memories brought a deep emotion to the surface that made me cry for this longing...I have never forgotten; I will never forget...they are as much a part of my life and my being as they are yours. I loved these times. It was Carmel by the Sea, Muscle Shoals, the Avalon Ballroom, the Fillmore West and East, Red Dog Saloon, God's Eye Theater, Monterrey, the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Pandora's Box, the Hollywood Bowl, Griffith Park, Candlestick Park, Woodstock, Haight/Ashbury, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Miami, Atlanta, Memphis, Denver, Boulder, England and thousands of music halls, high school auditoriums, parks, AM and FM radio stations, and a thousand other places with a thousand other names...with millions of people from everywhere. How could anyone ever forget this?

I play the music everyday as it is as much a part of me as the clothes I wear. I would feel naked without either. I think I could live without the clothes...never the music. I see the faces of all the people and the musicians just like it was right now. It was an experience. Are you experienced?

From the Rock and Roll Report web site: Click HERE for more.


Chet Helms
I was sorry to hear that the legendary rock and roll promoter Chet Helms, he of the Avalon Ballroom and the Family Dog passed away at age 62. Described as the "Father of the Summer of Love" Helms was a proud hippie through and through who actually lived the ideals that the '60s counterculture was supposed to espouse. Another rock and roll legend gone.
- End of Report -

The Bands were formed by creative, bold and innovative individuals who were not afraid to be different from all walks of life. They made such a difference that it will live on for eternity...or at least as long as there is a planet Earth.

One could say that music is the song of the soul and that song is heard by all the universe. Those that criticized the music of these times as being too loud; can't understand it or that it was a fad and would soon pass we can now find singing those very same songs and owning some rather impressive musical libraries...and I'll bet they can tell some stories too.

But it wasn't all Rock & Roll. Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Jazz, the Blues, Country Western, Folk and others were all effected by this tool of communication. Everyone stepped across the boundaries and learned each others music and styles. They mixed them together and pulled them apart and created something so different from anything before them that it set a new standard and opened new doors to new horizons.

(From The Rock and Roll Report)
Is "Rocket 88" the first rock and roll song?
Is "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brentson and his Delta Cats the very first rock and roll song? After all, Charlie Watts and Ian Stewart named their boogie woogie combo Rocket 88 after this exact song because they felt that it was in fact the first rock and roll song ever released. I have heard the argument before and they are quite convincing if you are into that kind of debate. Author Alex Martels makes his case in The Most Influential Song You Have Never Heard and at the very least it will want to make you track down a copy. I vote yes.

(From The Rock and Roll Report) The Legendary Hit Factory is closing its' doors
The legendary Hit Factory recording studio, home to such legends as John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder is closing its' doors due in no small part to the fact that musicians these days can pretty much get some of the same audio quality in their home studios as they can at these massively expensive recording complexes. This same fate closed the legendary Le Studio just North of Montreal which played host to everyone from Rush, The Police, Bee Gees and Celine Dion. The technology is there, now all people have to learn is the art of recording, a technique that isn't as easy to master as the software makes it seem.
- End of Report -

Concerts were the new galleries of creative interactivity and personal involvement. They belonged to everyone who attended them. After-all, it wasn't just the bands and the musicians that made a concert...it was the people who came to them. That was the event and each and every one of these concerts were one of a kind.

The music enabled people to be creatively freer than ever before. The art, the design, the fashion were also a new statement, a new stage in the theater of life. The posters, the magazines, the newspapers, the books, the light shows and the technology developed along the way laid the foundation for what was to come...and no one really knew, at that time, what was going to happen because of it.

Individuals like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, old college buddies and tripping friends, would create the very objects that enables you to read what is in front of you right now. And just think...Apple/Macintosh and MicroSoft are the products of some really good LSD or Acid. Nah...but, oh yeah! Yet, they were only a few who tripped out and brought something useful back as a result of their adventures.

Psychedelic! What's that? Well, if you don't know you were never there. It's way beyond words or any simple or single explanation. For the most part this too is an individual experience. It took everything we were used to seeing on one plain and warping it out of perspective and then bringing it back into focus with a better understanding of what it really was...then putting it in its proper place.
Are you experienced?

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"Beyond the Wall"



War Protest Songs of the 1960s
Just A Few Favorites

Universal Soldier
Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, 1966
Made popular by Donovan


He's five foot two and he's six feet four.
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of 31 and he's only 17...
... been a soldier for a thousand years.

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And, he knows he shouldn't kill.
And, he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend; and, me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada.
He's fighting for France.
He's fighting for the USA.
And, he's fighting for the Russians.
And he's fighting for Japan.
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy.
He's fighting for the Reds.
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide
who's to live and who's to die.
And, he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Le Val?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone.
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon of the war.
And without him all this killing can't go on!

He's the universal soldier and he
really is to blame.
His orders come from far away no more.
They come from here and there, and you, and me.
And, brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put the end to war?


Eve of Destruction
Written by P.F. Sloan
Performed by Barry McGuire


The eastern world, it is explodiní.
Violence flariní, bullets loadiní
Youíre old enough to kill, but not for votiní
You donít believe in war, but whatís that gun youíre totiní
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatiní

But you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you donít believe
Weíre on the eve
of destruction.

Donít you understand what Iím tryiní to say
Canít you feel the fears Iím feeliní today?
If the button is pushed, thereís no runniní away
Thereíll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
Take a look around you boy
Itís bound to scare you boy

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you donít believe
Weíre on the eve
of destruction.

Yeah, my bloodís so mad feels like coagulatiní
Iím sitting here just contemplatiní
You canít twist  the truth, it knows no regulation.
Handful of senators donít pass legislation
And marches alone canít bring integration
When human respect is disintegratiní
This whole crazy world is just too frustratiní

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you donít believe
Weíre on the eve
of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for 4 days in space
But when you return, itís the same old place
The poundiní of the drum, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but donít leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but donít forget to say grace

AndÖ tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You donít believe
Weíre on the eve
Of destruction
Mm, no no, you donít believe
Weíre on the eve
of destruction.

Note:
For those of you who are too young to know. During the Viet Nam Conflict, 18 year olds were not allowed to vote. But they could be drafted to go fight for their country. Many felt (including me) that this wasn't fair. They were not allowed to vote for the members of Congress who were sending them off to die? This is the reason for the one line in the song referencing they can't vote but they can die.
So Barry McGuire inserted his political statement in this song.
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart actually started a "LUV" campaign (LET US VOTE) and we finally did win!
In 1971 I believe 18 year olds won the right to vote.
In 1971, I was 21 and by that time, for me, it didn't matter.
But we fought for all future generations, which means YOU!

Where this song came from:
Phil Sloan remembers, ďThe media frenzy over the song tore me up and seemed to tear the country apart. I was an enemy of the people to some and a hero to others, but I was still only 20 years old and nobody really was looking. I have felt it was a love song and written as a prayer because, to cure an ill you need to know what is sick. In my youthful zeal I hadn't realized that this would be taken as an attack on The System!"
(Editors Insert: Phil, Barry, hey guys, only the system thought it was an attack on them, in a way it was, but, it was a big wake-up call [which they missed] and everyone else caught.)


Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag
(Next Stop Vietnam)
by Country Joe & the Fish

Come on all of you big strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
he's got himself in a terrible jam
way down yonder in Viet Nam so
put down your books and pick up a gun we're
gonna have a whole lotta fun
(CHORUS)
And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for
don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates
ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!

Come on generals, let's move fast
your big chance has come at last
now you can go out and get those reds
cos the only good commie is the one that's dead and
you know that peace can only be won when we've
blown 'em all to kingdom come

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!

Come on wall street don't be slow
why man this war is a go-go
there's plenty good money to be made by
supplying the army with the tools of its trade
let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
they drop it on the Viet Cong

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!

Come on mothers throughout the land
pack your boys off to Viet Nam
come on fathers don't hesitate
send your sons off before it's too late
and you can be the first ones on your block
to have your boy come home in a box

And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!



The Untold Story of Viet Nam


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