Give me Rock!

The din of drums, powerful vocals, electrifying guitar effects accompanied by frenzied head banging crowd …. <br/><br/>Few may call it a nuisance and brand it as a blasphemous and loutish pleasure; nevertheless, Rock music over the years has carved its unique identity in the hearts of millions of head-bangers while enjoying a colossal fan base throughout the world. <br/><br/>For someone, who has been religiously associated with it, Rock just ceases to be any other passion and becomes an extension to the whole persona – it is an attitude, a lifestyle! <br/><br/>It is ironical that Rock has been misconstrued with unbridled sexuality, rakish lifestyle, booze culture, drugs, groupies and what not. For those who christen Rock as a pleasure of the dissipated, I insist, it is a gross misconception. For all those souls, who have been oblivious to rock – let me share that the ideology of Rock is ingrained in the fundamentals of anti-establishment rather than atheism and debauchery. <br/><br/>The genre of Rock grew as an outgrowth inspired by the counter culture of early 1960s – a movement where Western youth rejected the prevalent norms of a conventional society – a society that was undergoing radical change post the World War II. Hippie movement was the highlight of this counter culture that fought for racial equality, gay and women’s rights along with an end to Vietnam War. <br/><br/><i> <b>Phew, our good old Plato was right in banishing the artists from model state otherwise posing a great threat to authority! </b> </i><br/><br/>With an age undergoing rapid transformation, how can its culture remain unaffected? During 60s, when Rock music was at nascent stage, musicians searched for new forms of music. Music in those days was more of a Jazz–Blues rather than pure Rock. It was a decade later when experimental Rock joined the mainstream bandwagon and came into being with a succession of sub genres that could be classified into classic, glam, heavy, punk, progressive, grunge and nu-metal to name a few. <br/><br/>In the West, early Rock was synonymous with Elvis Presley and The Beatles, who were followed by The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Who, The Kinks thereby leading a generation of psychedelic rockers. <br/><br/>If Bob Dylan was the highlight of counter culture movement – closely associated with anti war sentiments, Psychedelic Rock made a foray into the main stream music thanks to Pink Floyd, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix, who took Rock to an altogether different level. From then onwards, Rock never looked back and incorporated whatever came its way. <br/><br/>When the West was undergoing radical change during early 60s courtesy counter culture, Indian music scene too was influenced by the Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and other forms of Jazz and Psychedelic music. <br/><br/>Indi-Rock kept searching its voice until MTV ushered a new lease of life. Over the years, some of the Rock bands (including various sub-genres) have attained immense popularity in West and India that include AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen, KISS, T.Rex, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Uriah Heep, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Metallica, Megadeath, Motorhead, Anthrax, Slayer, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Dream Theatre, Motley Crue, Poison, Guns N Roses, R.E.M, Nirvana, U2, Cold Play, Oasis, Pearl Jam, Radio Head, Green Day, Blink 182, Korn, Slipknot, System Of A Down, Limp Bizkit and Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Wolfmother, Pantera and the list goes on and on……<br/><br/>Today, bands such as Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Motherjane, Indus Creed, Chandrabindoo, Pentagram, Skinny Alley, Euphoria, Orange Street, Hundred Octane, Prestorika, Menwhopause, Metakix, Acrid Semblance, Them Clones, Advaita, Agni, Thermal and a Quarter, Half Step Down, Prithvi, Cassini’s Division, Soulmate and umpteen more have tasted commercial success and critical fame. They have made their presence felt by their mint-fresh music in the Indian Rock circuit rather than cutting a sorry figure as a mere parody of their Western counter parts.<br/> <br/>Well, in my case, the love for Rock grew in school days where toting a guitar was enough to make you look cool among girls. Over the years, the love for Rock has gone stronger and deeper with each passing day. Till date, whatever sensibility of Rock I have developed; it was all thanks to Delhi University campus Rock fests - a platform aimed to tap fresh talent in Indian Rock circuit and dish out original talent in an otherwise Bollywood crazed nation that is sold out to garish item musical numbers.<br/><br/>Paradoxically, with most of the Indian Rock bands making music in English, it is a well acknowledged fact that Indian Rock music does not have many takers in Bollywood. Nevertheless, with the changing flavour of youth fests that feature Rock bands, this jinx will too break with increasing popularity of Indian Rock. <br/><br/>Again, coming back to myself, for someone who seriously loves head banging, endlessly flipping through RSJ’s, and playing music (I am not a bad guitarist either!), developing an instant liking for the genre was imminent – both for the Western Rock and the Indian-Rock. <br/><br/>Indeed, Rock is a call to revolution – debunking authority rather than a deviant art. It is a passionate musical form that can communicate far-reaching message.<br/><br/>For me, it is a liberating experience from the mundane affair of everyday life. It’s a heady feeling - a high that kicks you to a different level; a soul stirring journey of self discovery, potent than any stimulant! Hail the spirit of Rock!<br/> <br/><br/><br/>