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1960s Music

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Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll, this saying goes along with the music industry like peas in a pod, but never has it had more of a literal meaning than it did in the free loving 1960s. Many of the greatest rock bands and rock artists in history were forged out of the 60s, which culminated in 1969 with a festival of peace, love and happiness in a time of war.

Rock and Roll was a release from war tension in the 1960s. Many “Hippies” protested the Vietnam War. Many of these protests were met with hostile means of breaking up by our government, as was evident at Kent State in May 1970, so therefore music was one of the best ways for those in protest of the conflict to get their message across. They also wore colorful tye-dye clothing and one of the biggest symbols to come out of the 1960s, the peace sign. Women also broke away from the conservative look of the 1950s by starting to wear mini skirts, more revealing tops, leather boots and fake eyelashes. Men wore paisley shirts, velvet trousers, “Regency Jackets” and they began to wear their hair long.

The 1960s was a decade of “Experimentation.” Many people began to experiment with drugs. While Marijuana was generally the drug of choice, it is not called the “gateway” drug for nothing. Cocaine and heroin also became very popular and for hippies who wanted to have mind altering experiences, they turned to mushrooms and acid for trips. Also free love became a symbol of the 1960s. Lots of people were having promiscuous, unprotected sex, which I think no one will argue can be somewhat attributed to the large drug use.

The most popular music genres of the 1960s were Psychedelic rock, Folk Rock, Pop and some Motown and Soul. The Supremes became on of the biggest Pop groups of the 1960s. The Supremes had twelve number one hits in all. The Temptations became one of the most popular Motown bands when they recorded their first hit single in Detroit in 1961. The “King of Pop” also sprung up in the 1960s with his brothers in a band called the Jackson 5.

Psychedelic rock had long instrument solos and weird and crazy electronic effects. Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead are two of the most well known Psychedelic rock bands to come out of the 1960s. Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead are still very popular bands today. The Grateful Dead is called by many “The ultimate cult band.” Pink Floyd was formed in London by Syd Barret and crew. The Grateful Dead were started by Jerry Garcia and his fellow band mates in San Francisco. The Doors was started by Jim Morrison and crew at UCLA. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix also came onto the rock scene in the 1960s.

A group of Los Angeles surfers, The Beach Boys came onto the rock scene in 1961 with their first hit “Surfin.” Over the years the Beach Boys have won 32 RIAA Platinum and Gold Record awards. The Beach Boys was one of the most popular American bands of the decade.

Pink Floyd was not the only popular British band to come out of the 1960s. The Rolling Stones and The Who also became two of the most popular

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