Rock And Rollin’ – Origins Of Rebellion In Music

Written by kay123
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Wikipedia describes rock and roll as a genre of music that originated in America in the 1950s and is played with a lead guitar, a rhythm guitar, a string bass and a drum kit…or is it?
Rock and roll proved to be much more than just music. It was the sound that truly shook conservative America for good, and eventually took pretty much the whole world by storm. It wasn’t just music, it was a provocation.

It was an affront to authority and the oh-so-propah world with its set rules, rules the youth was desperately trying to find a way to break away from. As rock critic Jim Miller put it, “the name itself was sexual, derived from black slang for copulation.” There was something about the music itself, which with it’s out of the world back- beat and amplified guitars broke all conventions, perhaps it was the crudeness and utter madness of it all. But can we really blame music for bringing a revolution in a quiet, conventional world? Well, the music then itself was pretty simple, with plain riffs and casual lyrics. However its origins were not. In fact, rock and roll was the result of more than a century of musi-cal cross-pollination between white and black, master and slave; a music born of miscegenation. It was a symbol of fighting back and breaking the chains of subordination and slavery. It thus went on to become one of the first signs of democracy and a true product of the consumer society. It was also its easy avail-ability which soon led to its rapid base growth followed by an ever increasing fan following. And this was only the beginning.

Then came the (in)famous 60s when it became official- the new mantra was that of ‘sex, drugs and rock n roll’ ( President John F. Kennedy being a notorious icon and consequently a victim of the age himself). This is when bands like The Beatles, The Doors and the Rolling Stones came into the mainstream with path breaking music defying conventional thoughts and gave their listeners a new zest, the freedom to question, to fight. At that point of time, any kid who could muster up the finances for a new guitar and find some like minded people could start a band of his own, and not surprisingly this is how many of the most famous bands came into existence. Thus this is where rebellion took its initial shape and was molded further. It definitely had its pros and cons, as this was followed by the hippie culture which was more subtled down yet deeply influenced nonetheless. And Elvis Presley, Queen and AC/DC et al prove it. The 70s will always be remembered for the revolution it brought which changed the way people thought around the world.

Forty years have passed since then but the impact remains deeply embedded in our beings, mostly passed on to us as legacy by our parents (I know mine have!) by having been contributors to the age themselves, the age of sheer rebellion, the age we feel we deserved to have been born in, the age that started it all…the age of rock n roll.


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