1830 • Composer Hector Berlioz has just completed his Symphony Fantastique. • One of the main themes - Young people and drugs. • In Early Europe, there is a permissive attitude toward morals and drug-taking. • Some people had enough money to buy what they pleased.
San Francisco – Mid 1960’s • Argument was that getting stoned was somehow good for you. • The invention of LSD was seen by some as a beginning of a new age of peace and love. • Haight-Ashbury district is widely associated with this time. Many clubs turned to this new psychedelic atmosphere.
Tom Donahue was a prominent San Francisco disk jockey. • He tried LSD and started an FM station which focused on local bands. • Donahue found groups that preferred the laid-back hippie aesthetic. • Groups leaned toward traditional rock and roll and folk group covers.
Early Sound • Style became known as the San Francisco Sound • Lyrics repeated over and over about the mystical, spaced-out psychotic glories of being stoned. • Style of music was folksy with acoustic instruments and lots of open jamming.
Changes to the Style • Acid Rock developed on the heels of protest groups (civil rights, Vietnam War, etc.) and the questioning of traditional customs and values. • By the mid 60's, acid bands were regular features at clubs and dance halls. • Sound of the bands had changed to an electric sound with high volume levels.
Distortion was introduced by inducing feedback or even ripping speaker cones. • Long improvised solos became drawn out jam sections. • Some groups added strobe lights to increase the psychedelic effect. • The idea was to represent musically what it was like to be on LSD.
Groups and Musicians • The Grateful Dead Truckin’ – 1970 In 1997, Truckin’ was recognized as a national treasure • Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit - 1967
Steve Miller Band The Joker - 1973 • Many groups tightened up their performances as their proficiency improved.
Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana created a psychedelic-Latin sound. • Janis Joplin's tortured personality made her vulnerable to the acid rock lifestyle. • She died in 1970 of a heroin overdose. • Only a month before, Jimi Hendrix had also died of an overdose.
Jimi Hendrix • Gained recognition in England and rocketed to fame in the States. • He taught this generation new ways to play the guitar. • Is remembered for some of his showing off - playing behind his back or with his teeth. • Explored the use of distortion possible with the guitar. Purple Haze - 1967
As the 70's began, acid rock began to fade. • Some groups held on (Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Band) while many disappeared.