Benelux in Classic Rock

From Plastic Bertrand to Focus to Radio Luxembourg… Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg have made contributions to classic rock. Let’s explore these three countries and their contributions to rock and roll!

Continue reading “Benelux in Classic Rock”

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Romani Classic Rock musicians

The Romani are an ethnicity mostly living in Europe (although there are some Americans of Romani descent). They originated in India and were nomadic, eventually reaching Europe. The Romani live all over Europe, with populations in countries such as England, Spain, France, Italy, and Romania. Sadly, they have been persecuted for centuries and there are estimates that anywhere from 220,000 to 1.5 million Romani died in the Holocaust (not much is known and it is difficult to find exact numbers). To this day there still is persecution because of far right wing parties being elected in parts of Europe.

Romani music itself has a wide variety of influences from Indian to Greek to Persian to Slavic to French and Spanish. Romani music was even the basis for the Spanish flamenco. Django Reinhardt, a Belgian jazz guitarist of Romani descent was very influential to rock musicians such as Denny Laine, Jimmy McCulloch, Dickey Betts, Jeff Beck, and Jerry Garcia. Django Reinhardt was the inventor of the genre “jazz manouche” in the 30s. Jazz pianist John Lewis said of Django “He was the first great European jazz musician”. Another interesting thing about him is that in a fire he lost a few fingers but continued to play guitar. He died in 1953 at the age of 43. Here’s a video of some Django Reinhardt songs:

There are a few musicians of Romani descent who have made contributions to classic rock, let’s explore! Disclaimer: There will be quotes from musicians about their backgrounds. Some of them have reclaimed the word “gypsy” to describe their ethnic backgrounds. This is how they wish to identify. The only usage of the word “gypsy” will be in quotes from musicians or in one case a band name. Otherwise I will not use it. Thank you. Continue reading “Romani Classic Rock musicians”

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