Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Relationship of Drug Use and the 1960's Music Scene


The first 5 seconds of the above video sum up a lot of what the 1960's was about: drug use. Whether you like it or not, it is undeniable that the use of drugs had a huge impact on the era's music. Once the psychedelic scene started to develop in the mid-sixties music as we know it was transformed.

Take The Beatles, for example. They were first introduced to marijuana on August 28, 1964 (yes, somehow the exact date was recorded). How were they introduced to it? Bob Dylan. After they became regular users of the drug their music noticeably transformed. From there on their music started to slowly drift away from such a pop image. Some became more mellow and relaxed, as seen on Rubber Soul, and even on Help!. The Beatles also first used LSD in April of 1965. Some of the influences from this were apparent in the song "Help!", however they didn't truly become front-runners in the psychedelic music scene until Revolver.

Many music fans used drugs while listening to the music as well. Fans of The Doors and other notable bands were known to use mescaline, LSD, and of course marijuana while enjoying their music. The truth is that nearly all musicians from the 60's at least tried drugs. Most of them used them to open up creative pathways for writing. Some even used them while performing. Carlos Santana. During his Woodstock performance he was tripping on LSD. He claimed that his guitar turned into a snake before his eyes. Here is the famous performance:

So did their use of drugs ultimately harm, help, or not affect their music at all? I'm interested in opinions on this subject.

P.S: Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. Also I apologize for this not being a very long post. I've been busy lately but hopefully I'll be posting a lot more. Thanks!


  1. Maybe drugs did help...?
    Because since all of these drugs have been banned with tighter rules now-a-days,
    -music quality has quivered...



  2. Lol drugs probably did help their music. Widened their imagination and all that. Although I doubt it helped their brain cells...

    As long as musicians don't overdose and die, or become crazy, I'm okay with the fact that they use drugs here and there.