The counterculture revolution of the 1960s is one of the most significant steps in Western cultural development in the 20th century. From the beginning of its beginning, at the height of the Vietnamese war, music has been a great source of its driving force, contributing to the results it has helped to achieve, but throwing some of the foundations for its fall.
With a focal point around the United States and the United Kingdom, its influence has spread throughout Western civilization and beyond, but where it all began it is hard to say. However, the most important ingredient in its development was the growing mistrust in the established order of things, and in particular the senators, members of Congress and the presidents who pulled the strings. The increased tension of the Cold War, the fear of the bomb, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the racial segregation and the right to vote, the persecution of the communists and the Cuban communist regime, the brutality of the police, the Vietnamese war and the growing use of psychedelic drugs coalesced in the 1960s and early 70s to fuel the fire for counterculture movement.
Music was at the center of everything, from the popular movement led by the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Dave Van Ronk to the release of “Revolution 1” in the Beatles white album. Music has given children of the counterculture revolution new sources of inspiration and a center around which to base their dissatisfaction with the established order of play.
In addition to the songs and bands that spoke of protest in one way or another, there were also those who spoke about freedom in general, pushing the rules of the convention to their external limits. For example, Velvet Undergrounds’ texts include references to transgender, homosexuality and drug use in a way that had never been seen before, while groups such as Beach Boys are cited as great advocates of peace, love and understanding.
One of the biggest developments in the counterculture of the 60s and early 70s is the large-scale music festival. Popular festivals were well established in the early 1960s: Bob Dylan’s electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Fold Festival took on an almost legendary status, for example – but it was not until the Monterey Pop Festival, which launched Jimi Hendrix on the great stage, the island of white festivals and Woodstock that the idea really took off. The fact that this type of festival has become so widespread in recent years is a testament to the musical heritage of the 60s.
The counterculture movement stopped around 1973 and 1974 with the end of the Vietnam War, Nixon’s presidential resignation and the implosion, corruption and exploitation of the era of free love. That ended with the removal of things for which protest, the removal from psychedelic drugs such as the blow of election or deprivation of the vote with the excessive hedonism that characterized the last parts of the movement is difficult to say with certainty, but the impact all that happened during that time is still felt today, including the music that helped produce it and helped produce it. Civil rights have become universal, new forms of expression have become acceptable, wars are over and music has been created.