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Hippies- Counterculture of the 60's

The Music Scene

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The Beatles

The 60s brought a new change to the sound of popular music, turning it from pop music to psychedelic and blues inspired art. Many of the greatest bands of our time came out in the 1960s, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. They all changed the sound of rock and roll, from pop music to psychedelic rock.   
The music scene in the 60s was different back then as it is now, and many rock bands thought of themselves as a part of the community, a part of street culture. In the early days, it seemed that rock and roll was the people's music and some felt that it was going to change the world.
The Beatles were the most influential rock group of this time, and their music helped shape the sounds of many other rock groups that were formed in the 60s. Their influence is apparent in many of the later groups sounds and looks, and many say that The Beatles were responsible for the transformation of music from being just ordinary pop music, to entertaining real life art.

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The Rolling Stones

In 1965, the Rolling Stones had their first American tour, and they played at the Civic Auditorium in San Jose. There was a feeling of community between the band and the people, and after the show, people gathered in the basement music room. Janis Joplin was there, and so were memebers of the Charlatans, the Albin Brothers, and David Freiberg and Gary Duncan of the Quicksilver Messenger Service. After the Stones concert, a band came together known as the Warlocks, that was later to become the Grateful Dead, with a line up of Jerry Garcia, Pig Pen, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, and Phil Lesh. They played their first gig in San Mateo in June 1965, and in the beginning they played mostly R&B music.
 

The Byrds were formed in 1964 after they watched the Beatles "A Hard Days Night", and were inspired to become musicians themselves. they were the first group to make a successful synthesis of LA country rock, acoustic, and English Invasion group sound. On January 20, 1965, they recorded their first hit single, "Mr. Tamborine Man", and it went straight to #1.
Love was another band that their music was a mixture of the English sound, mixed with LA folk rock, drawing from The Rolling Stones and the Byrds, but their music had a dark and sinister edge to it.
 

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The Doors

In spring of 1965 a man named Rick Manzarek was studying film at UCLA and lived in Venice, the beatnik section of LA. In July, he ran into fello student Jim Morrison, and Morrison played him some of his songs. They started talking, and decided to get a band together. In September, they recorded six of Morrison's songs. They took their name from Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception, and shortened it to just The Doors, and started rehearsing. They were supported by student friends from UCLA and they soon developed a following, but club owners found their music too strange and soon began to get turned down for gigs. They kept improving their act however, and it was only a matter of time before they were discovered.
 

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Janis Joplin

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Jimi Hendrix

The Velvet Underground first got together in New York in 1965 and they were probably the most influential 60s band under the Beatles, and they were vital to the underground scene in New York. They dressed entriely in black with sunglasses.
The Fugs emerged from the literary protest scene of New York in. They described themselves as a protest rock'n'roll peace-sex-psychedelic singing group, and they played their music with literary themes and sang many sexually explicit numbers. Though they originally got together in 1965, it was in 1966 that they became an underground cult group.
Janis Joplin exploded on the scene from the Monterey Internation Pop Festival 1967, and she was determined to make a name for herself with her performance and she pulled out all the stops to give a great show. Joplin became a solo artist in 1969, and like Jefferson Airplane, she liked to fire up the crowd, to get them to get up out of their seats and dance, defying the cops whom she herself insulted from onstage.
Jimi Hendrix's American premier was also at the Montery Festival, where he surprised the crowd by lighting his guitar on fire during his set. He became the greatest new sound in London.

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Pink Floyd

In the summer of 1964, lead vocalist and guitarist Syd Barrett moved to London to attend Camberwell Art College. While in London, he met up with a school friend named Roger Waters. Roger and Syd played together briefly in a band called Geoff Mott and the Mottoes. Roger also played with fellow schoolmates Nick Mason and Rick Wright, along with several others to form a group known as Sigma-6, the Megadeaths, the Abdabs, and the Screaming Abdabs. Syd soon shared a room with Waters and soon the early Pink Floyd was formed with Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Bob Close, joined a few months later by Rick Wright. In the fall of '64, Barrett came up with the name Pink Floyd by combining the names of bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. At the time, they just played for fun, and never considered making a career out of Pink Floyd. In their early shows, movies were projected directly on the group while they played and the lights pulsated in time to the music. This helped to develop something that Pink Floyd would later became famous for. They became the first British band to develop their own light show, playing movies and dancing lights while the band played their music. This marked the beginning of Pink Floyd's famous light shows.

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Led Zeppelin

In 1968, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones hired a 20 year old high pitched singer named Robert Plant, who recommended a 20 years old drummer named John Bonham to join the group, and they called themselves Led Zeppelin. By the end of the year, they had toured the US and were a huge success.

Kristy Kaczmarek