The Influence of Drugs and Music in the 1960’s Essay
The Influence of Drugs and Music in the 1960’s
The music of the 1969s greatly reflected the people and behaviors of the decade.
It affected everything from the clothes they wore to the drugs they used.
Under the influence of drugs. Everything appeared to be a double entendre with a deep hidden meaning. (Kurlansky 183) The drugs made the music come alive. You not only heard the music, you could see it and feel it as well. With psychedelic music of bands like the Grateful Dead it was no surprise that people were usually stoned when they listened to the music. If you werent under the influence of some kind of drug, (100) the musical experience was different. Things stayed the same. Where if you were on drugs the music came alive, all around you was an amazing blur or music and color. (Madine)The drugs of the sixties included the psychedelic LSD and acid as well as the relaxing marijuana. The use of the LSD resulted in good and bad side effects, such as nightmarish cycles of mania and depression or paranoia (Kurlansky 189)Acid was a lot like LSD. It also had good and bad Trips. Marijuana on the other hand was very different. Instead of tripping, you become extremely enthused and happy. (200) that is followed by a feeling of extreme relaxation.
Rock soon began to articulate that separate sensibility that youth wished to express, a world view that rejected the values of establishment and embraced a new. (Jennings Brewster 392) People wanted a change in the rules and establishment. But they believed things werent going to get any better. So they had to make them seem better, or completely forget about them. Thats where the drugs came into play. It was commonly believed that the governments drug enforcement apparatus was an instrument of repression and a truly democratic society would legalize drugs. (Brewster Jennings 392)The lifestyle of many musical phenoms resulted in tragic deaths (300) that had a huge impact on the listeners. Stars like Jim Morrison never even made it into their thirties. Because their rock and roll lifestyle pulled them into a downward spiral. Morrison became extremely depressed and died of drug related complications. Janis Joplin also never made it to her thirties, passing away at just twenty-seven years old.
Jimi Hendrix who was known for his no doubt drug related antics, also died of drug related causes. (Evans Futterman Gardner 436)Music had constantly been influenced by the trends of its time; reflecting the politics, economics, and lifestyles which exist. (Author Unknown) The sixties is no exception. It is possibly on of the best examples (400) of music reflecting the times. Music can make a statement, give voice to a movement, even unite us. (Author Unknown) The music of the sixties did unite people, but it also separated them.
America was divided into two types of people: those who lived the new way and those who were desperate to understand it. (Kurlansky 183) The beatniks and the hippies understood. The blue collar political type people did not. The drugs and the music went hand in hand. If you couldnt grasp one you couldnt understand the other. The people couldnt understand it, categorized and labeled those that did. (500) The music of the 1960s not only influenced that time period but evidence of its existence is still present in music today. Although the drugs and the music have changed, one will always go with the other. As long as people are still listening to music, and looking for an escape, the two are inseparable.