The 1960s yielded some of the most influential music in history, and in Christopher Hill’s new book Into The Mystic: The Visionary and Ecstatic Roots of 1960s Rock and Roll, he takes a deep dive on the various spiritual influences of some of the decade’s biggest artists, from The Beatles to the MC5.
One of the main goals Hill had with this book was to “re-psychedelicize” this music and remind fans just how radical it was, and in a recent conversation, Hill talked about how these works became “de-psychedelicized in the first place:
“I think it happened sort of naturally with the passage of time…In the decades intervening between the sixties and now and as the music became popular and they became classic standards, they sort of entered the mainstream of taste. There was no longer a sort of underground or avant-garde kind of edge to it as there most definitely had been at the time when it was created. It was music that was not necessarily easy for everybody to listen to, especially parents. It was controversial music. I guess it’s inevitable with the passage of time it loses some of that edgy or underground feeling.”
Hill identifies that what has made the rock acts of the 60s resonate is how eager they were to share with their audience the experiences that inspired them to sing and write certain songs. Often times, many feel that a movement like this is unlikely to happen again, but Hill is confident that times could be a-changin’:
“I think it maybe coming back a bit. There is still an audience for people who’d like music to play some really important role in their life and their view and stance in the world that they take vis a vis the world and institutions and politics and things like that. So, I think the cycle may be coming around again.”
Into The Mystic is available on Amazon.
Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.