Psychedelic Rock

Jimi Hendrix
The short and easy answer is that psychedelic rock music came out of psychotropic drug use. While it’s true that acid and psychedelic rock together were as close to hearing color and smelling sound as o­ne is ever likely to get, psychedelic music has a much more complex history than that. It actually has its roots with beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg whose interest in the blues got them interested in the drugs many of the blues musicians were taking. The beat generation in the late 1950’s with their blues and poetry and experiments with “tea” as marijuana was sometimes referred to, evolved into the hippies in the 1960’s, with their folk rock, explorations into eastern religion, even more experimentation with “grass”, and new experiments with a little something called “acid”.

Blues music unplugged to become folk music, and then folk music plugged partially back in to become psychedelic rock music. At the same time the religions of the east began to influence the musicians, the instruments of the east began to influence the music. The drugs began to influence the musicians as well. Musicians like the Beatles, whilst heretofore primarily a pop band, now sought to use their music to evoke not o­nly the LSD experience, but also the benefits of meditation. By combining the sounds of a sitar with that of a fuzz box and electric guitar, the peculiar, other-worldly sounds that emanated forth seemed to go so well with the feelings and thoughts generated o­n an acid trip or a marijuana high, and so, psychedelic rock music was born. o­ne of a kind acts like Jimmy Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd would soon follow to change the landscape of music forever.