Since its inception, rock music has been a powerful medium of expression among youths. It had a strong impact on fashion, attitude, and languages. The one important feature of rock music is that it does not sound like a soothing melody but a strong thumping vibration that allows the performers to express their anger, frustration, and agitation in the form of music. These qualities made it a powerful tool for registering dissent creatively. It might be the reason why rock music has a dominant impression on culture and society of the American people.
The rock music started in the decade of the 50’s in the US society. It was the time civil rights movement was picking up the momentum. The social anxieties of the people found its catharsis in rock music. It became the voice of young and talented people against racism during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The rebellious nature of rock music was strongly disliked by the conformist society, including the parents of that era. White teenagers listened to the music performed by African-American people. Many authors and intelligentsia of American society observed rock and roll as a signalling force towards desegregation. It was a new form of music that invigorated racial cooperation.
In the decade of the sixties, people started associating the rock music with sex and drugs. The rock musicians and performers were known as hard-living characters. Whatever they did was widely accepted by the society. In 60’s, the Beatles publicly accepted the use of LSD. Not just lifestyle, rock music had a strong impact on fashion as well. The style of Beatles introduced the famous mop-top haircuts, collarless blazer and Beatle boots among youths of 70’s. The rock music had influenced the Hippie movement as well. Rock musicians were the early adopters of movement.
Rock music also shook the religion and spirituality. There was a rock genre that had strong Christian overtones and influence. Lyrics exploring spirituality and the question of existence were surfaced in the late phase of rock music. The famous Beatles even visited India in search of spiritual guidance. Some rock music performers were the followers of the Satanist cult. There were metal bands that used demonic imagery for artistic purposes.
The rebellious nature of rock music has helped people in questioning the status quo. Sometimes they came with the great answer, sometimes they just lost the path, but if we look the history of rock culture, we will observe that it has a huge impact on the contemporary social, cultural and political ideas.