The History of Rock and Roll Essay

2144 Words May 12th, 2005 9 Pages
Rock and roll has developed a long way throughout the years from a dance craze in the 1950's to a political and cultural landscape that is recognized worldwide. Rock and roll has come to define the roots of teenage rebellion, people who don't follow the norms, and have disrespect for authority. The style of rock and roll itself is a melting pot of music, a combination of sounds that include jazz, country, blues, ragtime, gospel, swing, classical, and ethnic music. It can be a simple variation of three chords to a complex chromatic scale combination. It can convey emotions such as love, hate, fear, lust, sadness, joy, disillusion, or a strong sense of reality. Many things can be said about rock but the fact is that it is the most widely …show more content…
The Grateful Dead fused country, blues, jazz, and bluegrass on electric instruments and held "acid tests" where LSD was given to thousands of people and a concert was held all day. Janis Joplin was also a major part of the psychedelic era. Blues also heavily influenced Janis, who greatly admired the female blues singer Odetta (Kallen 65). Janis is most remembered for her heavily emotional voice in songs such as "Piece of My Heart" and "Ball and Chain" where she sang with her face contorted, sometimes stamping her feet, clutching the microphone with one hand, and a whiskey bottle with the other. Of all the artists of the psychedelic era, Jimi Hendrix was the most influential. Jimi took inspiration from the soulful guitar of blues players and developed his own style from it. Jimi was left-handed and played his Stratocaster guitar upside down while creating unearthly sounds that humbled other guitarists of the time. Hendrix was unknown until playing at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 where he played an amazing array of songs and then lit his guitar on fire at the end of the show (DeCurtis 133). Although Jimi seemed like a very wild and unpredictable person on stage he was actually a focused musician, that part of Jimi's personality is explained in this quote by Ernie Isley: "The best musicians are very observant. They hold their arms wide, willing to embrace suggestions; they study their craft, and Jimi certainly did all that." (Lanham 102) But as