Sometimes a movement happens, and it leaves a mark in history through its consequences in culture, politics, art and literature, some of these movements were the Beat generation and the hippies during the Vietnam war in the United States. It just so happens that these important moments in history were also accompanied by music that shared their feelings, whether it was protest sounds or pure enjoyment of life.
In America, these two movements were some of the strongest in terms of music and that is why it’s so interesting to think about the relations between what was happening at the time, and why these genres of music resonated with these movements.
The Beat Generation
In the 40s, the beats lived their lives in sync with Jazzists like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Max Roach and Miles Davis, which shared a lot of what made this movement what it is.
New York clubs, parties, bars, Jazz was everywhere if you knew where to look, and people like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes knew exactly where to go.
In “Go” John Clellon Holmes says:
In this modern jazz, they heard something rebel and nameless that spoke for them, and their lives knew a gospel for the first time. It was more than a music; it became an attitude toward life, a way of walking, a language and a costume; and these introverted kids… now felt somewhere at last.
Jazz became part of the counterculture like the beat generation which decided to just live as much as they could, and enjoy poetry, music, travel, and just surround the world instead of participating in it, the soundtrack for this attitude was modern Jazz.
During the Vietnam war, the America was in a war which many considered to be unnecessary, and it was also at a time when society as a whole was moving towards a more accepting times, in terms of women rights, homosexuality, different cultures and art.
One of the biggest moments for this movement was Woodstock, a festival which did not only prove to be one of the greatest concerts in history, but also
In an interview when Scarlet Disko asked if she was aware about the importance of Woodstock to attendant Ann Park she said:
Yes, right away! This was because of people continuously saying how this had never happened before, and it was all just peace and love. Nothing bad was happening and we were all just rejoicing about it. We hoped it could lead to possibilities for a real change in American culture and the lives of people. I mean why can’t we love everyone and care for everyone? Woodstock was a possibility and a hope for changes, we were all together living a change, we wanted to show the world that we could live differently instead of living a life of hate and war. We wanted to show a life of living in peace and love…plus there was some awesome music. We hoped for out lights that we lit to sparkle on the world and grow in the world, to one day light up the entire world not just that field.
With 3 days of music and artists like Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and many more, it was a moment of joy and music that will never be forgotten.
These two movements mark an important part of American history and it couldn’t have had the impact that they’re known for if it weren’t for the music behind all these people who beleived in something different than the conventional way of living.