The 1960's and 70's were a time of peace and rebellion. The
so called "hippies" were creating their own environment.
Many people were upset about political issues, Vietnam,
equal right, and many other issues. The music of this time
period described many of these problems in America.
The song I picked to describe this generation was
"Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. I believe this song is about
the confusion and pain caused by drugs. I interpreted his
lyrics to mean that he was on an eternal high that ends in
death. This song is a good description of the time because
I believe that many people were very dazed and confused
about what to do.
I think this type of music was popular because it was
very different and very controversial. People liked the
sound because it was new and expressed great emotion in the
lyrics. Hendrix was especially popular because he himself
was a young anarchist. His wild guitar skills were almost a
reflection of his personality.
I am not sure how accurate he was at describing the
times, but, from the information acquired in my interview,
the 60's seemed to be more carefree than dangerous. In my
opinion, Kansas probably wasn't exactly the hippie capital
of the world. If I had interviewed someone who had lived in
a major city during the 60's I'm sure the danger would have
been more noticeable. A majority of the drug usage took
place in the cities.
Jimi Hendrix is a perfect example of a hard-core
hippie. He was a drug addict as well as a spontaneous
musical historian. He did have a long lasting impact on
many people. His death was very controversial. Was his
life wasted on sex, drugs, and rock and roll or did he
capture the spirit by seizing every moment for what it was
worth? His music is still very popular today, but probably
not as well understood. Many people consider his music to
be before its time, but the truth is, his music was its
time. Since his death, his music has slowly faded away into
a category best named "Classic Sixties Rock", but there was
really nothing "classic" about any of the music in the 60's.
Much of the music went down in history because of the great
emotion that surrounded the sounds.
To the young people of the 60's, the music, drugs, and
sexual freedom was just a way of rebelling against politics,
wars, and environmental issues. You could almost compare
the decade to one great big awareness concert that got out
of control. Some people were just passive, peaceful
hippies, and others were just crazy and took everything too
far. In conclusion, I believe the music of the 1960's to be
an almost perfect biography of the decade.