Has Rock Music Reflected Political Climate Over Time? [Watch]

Here is a scripted preview of Lin’s Bin, a feature where I answer your questions Mondays and Fridays at 7:15am in the morning and 6:30 in the evening. You can submit questions at 93XRT.com/linsbin. It’s brought to you by the brave people at City Winery Chicago where Alejandro Escovedo rocks tonight. You can hear the complete audio version of Lin’s Bin tonight at 6:30pm.

Cathy from Chicago asks, How has Rock music reflected the political climate over the years?

Let us all hope you are not calling rock music political. Rock music is about simple things. Like,
Chewing gum

Fashion

Innocent pleasures.

The Beatles made me a rock and roll fan. Bob Dylan made me a listener. And in 1963 when schoolchildren participated in air raid drills with the casual regularity of gym class, Dylan was sculpting pieces that made us think about the unthinkable.

Dylan wasn’t only reflecting the political climate, he was the barometer.
When FM radio was born in the late 60’s, rock was the music of political protest.
Songs that found no home on top 40 were shared by mellow DJ’s at radio stations that had unfettered agendas.

Anti-war.

Anti assassination.

Anti-racism.

The Rolling Stones were criticized for not being political enough. Even though radio stations banned one of their songs for being too political.

Rock and roll was never conceived as the music of the establishment. It was about rebellion.
The music chronicled outrage and tragedy.

Do you think rock and roll just sat back and ignored the presidency of Richard Nixon?

Covert operations in Central America in the 80’s inspired a gentle folksinger from Canada to sing a different tune.

If you are a music fan who has no place for politics in their rock and roll, please delete your Clash catalog, it will only offend you.

And that reggae groove was not all about ganja.

Am I trying to tell you that the guy with the American flag backdrop was critical of his own country’s treatment of veterans?

When you throw your fist in the air, make sure you’re taking the time to listen.

How has rock music reflected the political climate?

If art and music never hold the reflection of the world in their vision, how can they hope to engage us? Sometimes we just want to spin til we’re dizzy. Sometimes we need to shout from the rooftops.

Here’s how it works. Your election means you get the job. But we’re the ones who hired you and we’re looking at new resumes every day.

This is Lin’s Bin.

Have a lovely weekend everybody.

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