Australian Classic Rock of the 60s and 70s: Part 1

I went to Australia for my honeymoon and I absolutely loved it! I hope one day to come back. In the meantime, I’ll just be listening to some great Australian musicians! I’ve been talking about classic rock

Australia has a long rock history starting in the 50s with American rock music arriving there. Australia may be far away, but it isn’t isolated from American culture. The two countries are good friends. By the end of the 50s, pubs were staying open late, rock bands would play, and people would tune into the radio and TV to hear the latest music.

Australian rock music is largely an immigrant history, with many of the most famous Australian rock stars being European-born (mostly UK-born with a few Dutch-born). No doubt, the influences come from the musician’s birth countries, as well as America, where rock and roll began. Many rock bands from around the world made stops in Australia because there’s a significant following there.

Looking at the present, some of the best rock music of today comes from Australia: Tame Impala (Perth), Pond (Perth), King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (Melbourne), The Babe Rainbow (Byron Bay), and The Murlocs (Melbourne). According to one of my friends who lives in Australia, you can hear classic rock everywhere and it’s a great place to go for those who love the 60s and 70s.

Australia is a great surfing destination and surf rock was very popular here, but one subgenre is very much Australian and got its start here, pub rock. Psychedelic rock and progressive rock also have a following.

Enjoy this A-Z of Australian rock! In the first part, we’ll go from A-F, AC/DC to Fraternity.

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The multicultural roots of surf rock

Surf culture was something I had an interest in since I was a little kid watching Rocket Power and wishing I lived in California rather than a small town in the Midwest. Even to this day I would love to move to California.

The first thing a lot of people think of when surf rock is mentioned is The Beach Boys, and for good reason. They were very successful and influential with over 20 Top 40 hits in the US charts. But they weren’t the first surf rock band, far from it. They shouldn’t be the only image we have of surf rock and The Beach Boys did more than just surf rock.

What is the real surf rock story? Where did surf culture come from? Let’s explore!

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Indian Influences in Classic Rock

 Note from the author: I wanted to write this post for a while now. The sitar is my favourite instrument. I think it was an instrument that revolutionised classic rock and added something cool to the table, paving the way for other world music genres to influence classic rock. I believe that incorporation of world music influences in classic rock does a lot of good, broadening the minds of fans. It’s great to see musicians acknowledging their influences and giving credit where due. It’s not cultural appropriation. It’s art and it’s for all to enjoy.

 I grew up in a family that taught me about different cultures and encouraged curiosity. Not only did I learn about multiple cultures from being mixed race, I travelled a lot with my parents and my parents encouraged me to read from a young age. I encourage everyone to read about other cultures. I encourage you to travel and try new things. Maybe you can’t afford to travel or you’re unable to for other reasons, but the internet and the library are here for you – great places to learn about the world around you. Life is short, learn about this beautiful planet.

The 60s was a period where you saw Indian inspired fashions and heard Indian inspired music. The term for this embracing of Indian culture is Indomania.  It was more than just sitars in psychedelic rock and it wasn’t just superficial, let’s throw in a sitar in this rock song. In this post, you’ll see what I mean.

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Immigrants in Classic Rock

I’ve been busy with school, so busy I can’t write another post. Don’t worry, this blog is still in my thoughts. As you may know, I am an immigrant myself, going to school in a different country. I have no family in the country I live in. Being an immigrant is a challenge, especially when you don’t know anyone of the same background that you can relate to and talk about your culture with. As you can imagine, it’s all bottled up and if I do speak about Venezuelan things and events, no one understands. I especially miss the food: rice, beans, and fried plantains.

Why was I thinking about immigration? I have a lot of family who are immigrants. I have cousins who are immigrants. My mum was an immigrant. It’s an issue that is not only talked about in the US election, but in other elections around the world. The US election is always on my mind since I have family there. It’s a disaster: two unlikeable candidates that not even 10% of the US population have chosen. How did we get here? A combination of cheating, media bias, and people just not caring enough about elections, I’d say.

I can only speak in an informed way for US politics. On the one side, you have Republicans who are very xenophobic and anti-immigration. Donald Trump, whose mum was an immigrant, wants to build a wall, as one example. He’s said horrible things about Mexican immigrants and Middle Eastern immigrants, and many other groups beyond that. In short, he’s incredibly racist. He talks like a Nazi. He cannot be our president.

Democrats can be just as bad too. Rewind to the 90s and there was President Bill Clinton enacting laws that would deport people quickly (no due process) and separate them from their families, increase border control, and more. Here’s a video. 

Now I know that Hillary is a totally separate person from Bill, but I don’t think I can vote for her because of so many ethical reasons, which I’ll not go into now or this will just turn into me rambling about politics.

I don’t understand why people hate on immigrants so much. Immigrants are not lazy. They work hard and many immigrants start their own businesses. Many of them want to blend in and be a part of the culture of the country they moved to. Immigrants are less likely to break the law. Immigrants pay their taxes too. We earn the jobs just as much as native born citizens.

How does this all relate to classic rock? Many classic rockers are immigrants and they each have different stories. Some of them immigrated as children, some were escaping persecution, some immigrated before they got famous, and others immigrated after they got famous. Chances are, one of your favourite musicians is an immigrant. Besides, a lot of famous people own properties in more than one country. Let’s take a look at some rock stars and their immigration stories. This is not an exhaustive list, but if you have other examples, feel free to share in the comments section.

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Diss Tracks of the 60s and 70s: Before Hip Hop

Music expresses a lot of emotions. Some happy, some sad, and some angry. If you’ve been reading my blog or following me online for a while, you’ll know that I relate almost everything to classic rock. Recently I’ve been on a bit of a hip hop and rap kick thanks to Hip Hop Family Tree, Straight Outta Compton, and The Get Down. When I was a kid I liked rap, but I took a bit of a break from it for a while and it took me a few years to rediscover the genre and its roots. My brother (a huge hip hop fan) was playing the Ice Cube song “No Vaseline” in the car. What first attracted my attention was the sampling of “Dazz” by Brick, a 70s funk song. But it also got me thinking, did classic rockers have their own diss tracks before they were called diss tracks? Of course! The diss track has existed as long as music has. People express their anger and like to throw jabs at each other in creative ways. I’ve talked about rap and disco and its crossovers in classic rock, but let’s go specific into one topic – diss tracks.

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Classic Rock in Eastern Europe Part 1 and Intro

Note: Some of the following countries that I’ll be talking about in this mightn’t be considered part of Eastern Europe, but rather Central Europe. All of these countries however, were under the influence of the USSR (as satellite states) at one point and they were behind the Iron Curtain, which separated Eastern and Western Europe. 

Rock and roll definitely had a following in Eastern Europe ever since it came out, despite the government trying to suppress and silence it. It is a horseshoe theory, like in America conservative Christians were against rock and roll music. It was only natural that rock and roll would have a following because a lot of young people wanted to rebel against the government and it doesn’t hurt that rock and roll is really good. Rock and roll played a big part in the fall of communism and it wasn’t that long ago that communism was alive in Eastern Europe. People your parents age likely lived through this. This was a difficult topic to research about because much of the rock music coming out of Eastern Europe in the 60s and 70s is very hard to find and it’s hard to get a good grasp on the context of the time period. Much of the research I did came from a book called Rock Around The Block by Timothy Ryback.

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Classic Rock in Scandinavia

Out of all of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden has had the most visible contribution to classic rock and oldies, but the other Scandinavian countries made contributions as well. You probably know of ABBA and maybe a couple more of these musicians. Let’s get started! In this blog post we will also cover musicians from Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

Note: Some of the information that I found about the bands is not in English or a language I can understand well enough, like Spanish or French. I don’t speak Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Finnish. I have to rely on Chrome’s translator and sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good. I’m trying my best. If you do speak one of these languages and you see misinformation in the post, please leave a comment below and I’ll fix the mistakes.

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