The appearance of British rock groups in America changed our culture massively. The original Beatles invasion opened the floodgates, and provided a boost for other cultural exports such as films, art and television. British Invasion acts influenced fashion, haircuts and other manners of culture in the 1960s. It became known as the “counter-culture” because the groups gave the young “rebels” of the ’60s something to relate to and thus influenced what defined a “cultural rebel. ” The success of British acts time lead American garage rock bands to change their sound and style to match.
The most famous example of this was the Monkees; an American made carbon-copy of the Beatles that were formed simply to capitalize off the British Invasion craze. The latter part of the original invasion saw more blues-charged groups like the Rolling Stones coming over the Atlantic. These British blues groups were influenced by the black blues singers of the ’40s and ’50s such as Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and B.
B. King. The British artists covered the black artists this time out of respect, not simply to try to capitalize on the black artist’s success like the “vanilla” American cover artists of the ’50s.
This respectful covering of the original blues hits ended up paying off for the original blues artists when fans of groups such as the Rolling Stones tracked their influences back to the black blues artists. Soon American blues shows were filling up with white teens looking for the roots of their favorite British bands.
So the British invasion was more important as an event, as a mood: than as music. This was the British invasion. It wasn’t just about the music, it was more then that; this is what makes it so unique. It didn’t just happen to effect America by chance, it lifted the spirits and moods of its youth.
It isn’t just coincidence that Kennedy was assassinated right before the Beatles famous Ed Sullivan Show performance. The whole country was in a deep depressive doldrum after the assassination, and for good reason. The British invasion was needed by Americans to snap out of this funk, and this was just the thing to do it. (One thing that Americans used to avoid the depressing times was to use illegal drugs, but that will be elaborated on later. ) This is what it was all about; sure it was about the music, but it brought more, it brought a way of life across the ocean.
A lot of the invasion stayed in that generation, many bands and songs that were big then are all but totally forgotten about now. Bands such as the Searchers, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and Gerry and the Pacemakers all had one or two great hits which stayed in that time. This however, was part of the beauty of it all. Some of the music stayed with us thirty years later, and that’s great, it gives us a good sampling of the time. On the other hand, you have the music that was meant for the era, and not for future generations.
That is part of the uniqueness of it all, and Lester Bangs says it best when he tells how it doesn’t matter that the music isn’t listened to anymore, that’s not what it was for. It was for the time, it was a “timepiece”. On the other hand, we have the bands that were not simply “timepieces” and were able to stick around three decades later. These bands are the Who, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. This is another aspect of why the invasion was so influential. Where would we be in rock and roll with out the Beatles, and on a slightly lesser
👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!
Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.get help with your assignment