I was a clerk in a military police unit attached to MACV headquarters, the control center for the entire military operation in South Vietnam. We lived at the R&R out-processing center, and the unit’s job was to keep drugs from leaving the country on soldiers bound for R&R and in personnel containers being shipped to the States. We had access to every conceivable luxury, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, racket ball, gym, movie theater, photo processing labs, you name it. I even had almost full-time use of a jeep for trips to Saigon. (Yes, it was rough duty but someone had to do it!) One of the facilities I used extensively was the reel-to-reel recording studio. The Army had a massive library of music, and soldiers who lived at or visited MACV headquarters could record as much as they wanted. I spent countless hours there recording rock music while high on drugs. I also utilized the PX system to purchase a sophisticated stereo system.
By the time I was discharged from the Army, I was all set to stock my first hippie pad in Hollywood, Florida, with wall-to-wall rock music. My hippie heaven didn't last long, though. My buddies and I were buying and selling drugs, and two of us were arrested for possession of illegal drugs and public drunkenness. Though I got off lightly because it was my first arrest, I began to live in constant fear of being caught again and going to jail for a long time. I started to drift around. On one trip, I hitchhiked all the way to northern California and back to central Florida. Returning from California, I met some young people from India who introduced me to reincarnation and the Self Realization Fellowship Society. I began to practice meditation and study eastern religion, and I excitedly made another trip to California to visit the headquarters of the Self Realization Fellowship Society in Los Angeles. On the way there I won roughly $70 in a slot machine in Las Vegas and I thought it was an answer to my prayers!
Everything I was doing and thinking was supported by rock music--drugs, eastern religion, rebellion against parents and government, self-centeredness, licentious living, long hair, communism (having collected Mao's Red Book and other communist propaganda during my stay in Vietnam).
Rock music never encouraged me to be an obedient, submissive-to-authority, God-honoring person. It taught me, rather, that I was “born to be wild,” born to follow my natural impulses, born to live without rules.
After I was saved I understood by the Spirit of God that rock music is intimately associated with everything that is evil and rebellious and anti-christ, that rock music perfectly fits the biblical definition of the worldliness which the Christian is not to love: the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). Rock music is the soundtrack to the end-time apostasy described in (2 Timothy 3-4).
The first book I wrote as a young Christian was Mom and Dad Sleep While the Children Rock in Satan's Cradle, a warning about the dangers of rock music (no longer in print). Forty years later I am more convinced than ever that secular rock music is spiritually destructive and that “Christian rock” is a misnomer. Rock music is not a proper medium for singing the praises of a holy God.
I have given my own testimony about the evils of rock music. Now consider the following statements from a wide range of other people about the character and philosophy of this music. Most of these are NOT Bible-believing Christians. In fact, many of these statements are from rock stars, and they are not naive about the nature of rock as many Christians are and they do not have an agenda to whitewash rock as many Christians do.
ROCK AND ROLL IS NOT JUST MUSIC; IT IS A LIFESTYLE, AN ATTITUDE
The book Rock Facts, which is published by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, admits that rock is not just a type of music, IT IS A LIFESTYLE. “… rock and roll has truly become a universal language … rock and roll also refers to an attitude, a feeling, a style, a way of life…” (Rock Facts, 1996, p. 7).
“What made rockabilly [Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, etc.] such a drastically new music was its spirit, a thing that bordered on mania. Elvis’s ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’ was not merely a party song, but an invitation to a holocaust. … Rockabilly was the face of Dionysus, full of febrile sexuality and senselessness; it flushed the skin of new housewives and made pink teenage boys reinvent themselves as flaming creatures” (Nick Tosches, Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, p. 58).
“…the New Left sprang ... from Elvis’ gyrating pelvis.... Elvis Presley ripped off Ike Eisenhower by turning our uptight young awakening bodies around. Hard animal rock energy beat/surged hot through us, the driving rhythm arousing repressed passions. Music to free the spirit.... Elvis told us to let go!” (Jerry Reuben, Do It!).
“Elvis Presley was one of the few people in our lifetime who changed things. You hear Mantovani in every elevator, but so what? Elvis changed our hairstyles, dress styles, our attitudes toward sex, all the musical taste” (David Brinkley, NBC News, cited by Larry Nager, Memphis Beat, p. 216).
“If you think rockabilly is just music, you’re wrong. Rockabilly’s always been an attitude” (Billy Poore, RockABilly: A Forty-Year Journey, p. 113).
ROCK AND ROLL IS ABOUT REBELLION AND LIVING AS YOU PLEASE
“I’m free to do what I want any old time” (“I’m Free,” Rolling Stones, 1965).
“It’s my life and I’ll do what I want/ It’s my mind, and I’ll think what I want” (The Animals, 1965)
“You got to go where you want to go/ do what you want to do” (Mamas and Papas, 1965).
“It’s your thing/ do what you want to do” (Isley Brothers, 1969)
“The whole Beatles idea was to do what you want … do what thou wilst, as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody” (John Lennon, cited by David Sheff, The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, p. 61).
“... the whole idea of rock 'n' roll is to offend your parents” (Rock drummer King Coffey, The Truth about Rock, p. 30).
“… rock ‘n’ roll is more than just music--it is the energy center of a new culture and youth revolution” (advertisement for Rolling Stone magazine).
“In a sense all rock is revolutionary. By its very beat and sound it has always implicitly rejected restraints and has celebrated freedom and sexuality” (Time magazine, Jan. 3, 1969).
“Rock 'n' roll is a beast. Well-intentioned people thought you could pick it up and cuddle it. They forgot it had claws of the bands--The Slits, The Damned, Bad Manners, The Vibrators, The Stranglers and Meat Loaf. ... I know, because I was one of them. Behind every sweet doowop and bebop is an unfettered sexuality and sympathy for the devil: a violently anarchic--in the face of all harmony, peace and progress. People could see that when it first happened and it hasn’t changed. Anybody with a penn’orthy of grey matter could see it was trouble” (Ray Gosling, BBC Radio 4 program “Crooning Buffoons,” The Listener, Feb. 11, 1982).
“Rock 'n' roll, if not actually inventing the teenager, split the pop followers into the under twenties and the rest” (Bob Dawbarn, Melody Maker, Feb. 10, 1968).
“Rock music has widened the inevitable and normal gap between generations, turned it from something healthy--and absolutely necessary to forward movement--into something negative, destructive, nihilistic” (George Lees, music critic, High Fidelity, February 1970).
“The [rock] medium is so anti-Christian in its ethos--libertarian, anti-authoritarian, equating infatuation and sexual attraction with love, and on the drug-culture fringe--that when Christians assume that ethos to communicate the message of self-denial, cross-bearing and following Christ then it utterly mangles the message” (Colin Chapman, “Modern Music and Evangelism,” Background to the Task, Evangelical Alliance Commission on Evangelism, 1968).
“Although the music has changed over the years, the rebellious urges that created it remain the same. ... I was reminded once more of the basic appeal of rock and roll--its irreverent, nose-thumbing quality” (Ellen Willis, TV Guide, January 1979, p. 15).
“Most of it [rock music] is used as a vehicle for anti-Christian propaganda” (Graham Cray, appendix to J. & M. Prince, Time to Listen, Time to Talk, cited in Pop Goes the Gospel, p. 86).
“Rock music has got the same message as before. It is anti-religious, anti-nationalistic and anti-morality. But now I understand what you have to do. You have to put the message across with a little honey on it” (John Lennon, spoken not long before his death in 1980, Pop Goes the Gospel, p. 84).
“Rock and roll is simply an attitude” (Johnny Thunders, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 14).
“The [hippie] counterculture is the world’s first amplified music” (Timothy Tyler, “Out of Tune and Lost in the Counterculture,” Time, Feb. 22, 1971, pp. 15-16).
“There’s no way to grasp the subversive force of this now-innocent-sounding music unless you can feel a little of what it meant to be a kid hearing it as it was played for the first time. ... It was taboo-shattering music ... It hit you where you lived. It belonged to the kids and only the kids. It set them apart. Rock ‘n’ roll was their joy. It was their freedom” (Michael Ventura, cited by Richard Powers, The Life of a 1950s Teenager).
“Rock concerts are the churches of today. Music puts them on a spiritual plane. All music is God” (Craig Chaquico, Jefferson Airplane guitarist, Why Knock Rock?, p. 96).
“A new music emerged, again completely nonintellectual, with a thumping rhythm and shouting voices, each line and each beat full of the angry insult to all western [Christian] values … their protest is in their music itself as well as in the words, for anyone who thinks that this is all cheap and no more than entertainment has never used his ears” (H.R. Rookmaaker, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture, pp. 188, 189, 190).
“Rock music is evil because it is to music what Dada and surrealism are to art--atheistic, chaotic, nihilistic” (David Noebel, The Legacy of John Lennon, p. 42).
“‘Rockandroll,’ itself a bluesmusic term for sex, suggested rebellion and abandon as much as it did a new style of music when it first jarred adult sensibilities in the 1950s. ‘When you’re growing up,’ says Jerry Kramer, a prominent director of music videos, ‘you like rockandroll for one reason: Because your parents don’t’” (“What entertainers are doing to your kids,” U.S. News & World Report, October 28, 1985, page 47).
“Rock radicalized teenagers, because it estranges them from the traditional virtues which they no longer see as relevant” (Martin Perlich, The Cleveland Press, July 25, 1969, p. 1N).
“Why do young people go to these rock shows? Because it’s their idol; it’s their god, in other words. They love rock and roll” (Chick Huntsberry, former bouncer, The Truth about Rock, p. 60).
“Rock music has always held seeds of the forbidden. … Rock and Roll has long been an adversary to many of the basic tenets of Christianity” (Michael Moynihan, Lord’s of Chaos, p. x).
“Rock ‘n’ roll marked the beginning of the revolution. … We’ve combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion with treason, and that’s a combination hard to beat” (Jerry Rubin, Do It!, 1970, pp. 19, 249).
“The preachers and moral guardians who in rock’s infancy warned us of the evils of the music weren’t that far off base. Rock--at least as practiced by The Who and a few others--is defiant, it is antisocial, it is revolutionary … Anarchy, that’s what The Who is all about” (Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Times, Aug. 24, 1979, p. 6C).
“Violence and rebellion have been shaking their fists at the world through rock music since its inception. Though rebellion, in one form or another, is present in the lives of many of today’s youth, constant meditation on anger and alienation, through listening repeatedly to rock music, magnifies and distorts those feelings” (Why Knock Rock? P. 65).
“The main purpose of rock and roll is celebration of the self” (Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates, interview with Timothy White, 1987, Rock Lives, p. 594).
“There is actually very little melody, little sense in the lyrics, only rhythm [in rock music]. The fact that music can both excite and incite has been known from time immemorial. … Now in our popular music, at least, we seem to be reverting to savagery … and youngsters who listen constantly to this sort of sound are thrust into turmoil. They are no longer relaxed, normal kids” (Dimitri Tiomkin, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Aug. 8, 1965; Dr. Tiomkin is a famous composer and conductor).
“The great strength of rock ‘n’ roll lies in its beat … it is a music which is basically sexual, un-Puritan … and a threat to established patterns and values” (Irwin Silber, Marxist, Sing Out, May 1965, p. 63).
“Rock and roll challenged the dominant norms and values with a genuinely Dionysian fervor. Compared to an ancient Dionysian revel--trances, seizures, devotees tearing sacrificial animals to pieces with their bare hands and eating the meat raw--a rock and roll performance is almost tame. … We must never forget our glorious Dionysian heritage” (Rock & Roll an Unruly History, pp. 150,155).
“… fifties rock was revolutionary. It urged people to do whatever they wanted to do, even if it meant breaking the rules. … From Buddy the burgeoning youth culture received rock’s message of freedom, which presaged the dawn of a decade of seismic change and liberation. … Buddy Holly left the United States for the first time in 1958, carrying rock ‘n’ roll--the music as well as its highly subversive message of freedom--to the world at large. … laying the groundwork for the social and political upheavals rock ‘n’ roll was instrumental in fomenting in the following decade” (Ellis Amburn, Buddy Holly, pp. 4,6,131).
The Bill Haley song “Rock the Joint” encouraged young people to throw off all restraints. “It was a song about having such a good time that nothing mattered: ‘We’re gonna tear down the mailbox, rip up the floor/ Smash out the windows and knock out the door.’”
“This is a story about control. My control. Control of what, I say? Control of what I do, and this time I’m gonna do it my way. … got my own mind. I want to make my own decision; when it has to do with my life, I want to be the one in control…” (Janet Jackson, “Control”).
Gene Simmons of Kiss said: “What I write is pretty much a belief in a certain lifestyle which is a free soul, a free person, doing basically what he wants to do without hurting anybody else” (WCCO-TV, Five P.M. Report, Feb. 18, 1983).
“Rock & roll is about striking out independently, not caring about your parents’ disapproval” (Pop Machine, quoted in “Metallica? OK, but we still don’t like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Chicago Tribune, Sept. 23, 2008).
“So what we get drunk/ So what we don’t sleep (smoke weed)/ we’re just having fun/ We don’t care who sees/ So what we go out/ That’s how its supposed to be/ Living young and wild and free” (”Young, Wild and Free” by Snoop Dog and Wiz Khalifa, released October 2011).
ROCK AND ROLL IS ABOUT SEX AND LICENTIOUS LIVING
“If any music has been guilty by association, it is rock music. It would be impossible to make a complete list, but here are a few of the ‘associates’ of rock: drug addicts, revolutionaries, rioters, Satan worshippers, drop-outs, draft- dodgers, homosexuals and other sex deviates, rebels, juvenile criminals, Black Panthers and White Panthers, motorcycle gangs, blasphemers, suicides, heathenism, voodooism, phallixism, Communism in the United States (Communist Russian outlawed rock music around 1960), paganism, lesbianism, immorality, demonology, promiscuity, free love, free sex, disobedience (civil and uncivil), sodomy, venereal disease, discotheques, brothels, orgies of all kinds, night clubs, dives, strip joints, filthy musicals such as ‘Hair’ and ‘Uncle Meat’; and on and on the list could go almost indefinitely” (Frank Garlock, The Big Beat, pp. 12-13).
“For white Memphis, the forbidden pleasures of Beale Street had always come wrapped in the pulsing rhythms of the blues. … Elvis’s [rock & roll] offered those pleasures long familiar to Memphians to a new audience” (Larry Nager, Memphis Beat, p. 154).
“The main ingredients in rock are … sex and sass” (Debra Harry, Hit Parader, Sept. 1979, p. 31).
“Rock is the total celebration of the physical” (Ted Nugent, rock star, Rolling Stone, Aug. 25, 1977, pp. 11-13).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% sex” (John Oates of the rock duo Hall & Oates, Circus, Jan. 31, 1976).
“Rock music is sex. The big beat matches the body’s rhythms” (Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention, Life, June 28, 1968).
“That’s what rock is all about--sex with a 100 megaton bomb, the beat!” (Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, interview, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).
“Everyone takes it for granted that rock and roll is synonymous with sex” (Chris Stein, rock manager, People, May 21, 1979).
“Pop music revolves around sexuality. I believe that if there is anarchy, let’s make it sexual anarchy rather than political” (Adam Ant, From Rock to Rock, p. 93).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is sex. Real rock ‘n’ roll isn’t based on cerebral thoughts. It’s based on one’s lower nature” (Paul Stanley, cited by John Muncy, The Role of Rock, p. 44).
“Rock music is sex and you have to hit them [teenagers] in the face with it” (Andrew Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones, Time, April 28, 1967, p. 54).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is all sex. One hundred percent sex” (Debbie Harry of the rock band Blondie, cited by Carl Belz, “Television Shows and Rock Music,” as it appeared in The Age of Communication, William Lutz, Goodyear Publishing Company, 1974, p. 398).
“At the very least, rock is turning sex into something casual” (James Connor, Newsweek, May 6, 1985).
“The throbbing beat of rock-and-roll provides a vital sexual release for its adolescent audience” (Jan Berry of Jan and Dean, cited by Blanchard, Pop Goes the Gospel).
“Rock ’n’ roll is synonymous with sex and you can’t take that away from it. It just doesn’t work” (Steven Tyler, Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987).
“... rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal to sexual desire—not love, not eros, but sexual desire undeveloped and untutored. Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later” (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987, p. 73).
“Sex is really an exciting part of rock and roll. When I dance onstage, I dance to turn people on. When I’m dancing, I turn myself on as well. Dancing is a sexual thing to do, you know” (Adam Ant, Rock Fever, May 1984, p. 13).
“When you’re in a certain frame of mind, particularly sexually-oriented, there’s nothing better than rock and roll … because that’s where most of the performers are at” (Aerosmith’s manager, USA Today, Dec. 22, 1983, p. D5).
“Living on the brink of disaster at all times is what Rock ‘n Roll is all about” (Kevin Cronin, REO Speedwagon, Newsweek, Dec. 20, 1976).
“Rock is the perfect primal method of releasing our violent instincts” (Ted Nugent, rock musician, Circus, May 13, 1976).
“‘Rock and roll,’ itself a bluesmusic term for sex, suggested rebellion and abandon as much as it did a new style of music when it first jarred adult sensibilities in the 1950s. ‘When you’re growing up,’ says Jerry Kramer, a prominent director of music videos, ‘you like rock and roll for one reason: Because your parents don’t’” (“What entertainers are doing to your kids,” U.S. News & World Report, October 28, 1985, page 47).
“After ten years of bland, brilliant music, we were back to what Rock ‘n’ Roll should be--nasty, crude, rebellious people’s music” (Tom Robinson, punk rocker, Dictionary of American Pop/Rock, p. 294).
“Rock and roll is the darkness that enshrouds secret desires unfulfilled, and the appetite that shoves you forward to disrobe them” (Timothy White, Rock Lives, p. xvi).
“Rock and roll aims for liberation and transcendence, eroticizing the spiritual and spiritualizing the erotic, because that is its ecumenical birthright” (Robert Palmer, Rock & Roll an Unruly History, p. 72).
“There is a great deal of powerful, albeit subliminal, sexual stimulation implicit in both the rhythm and [the] lyrics of rock music” (Dr. David Elkind, chairman of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study at Tufts University in Massachusetts, The Hurried Child, Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley Publishing Co., 1981, p. 89).
“We respond to the materiality of rock’s sounds, and the rock experience is essentially erotic” (Simon Frith, Sound Effects, New York: Pantheon Books, 1981, p. 164).
“Listen, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t church. It’s nasty business. You gotta be nasty too. If you’re goody, goody, you can’t sing or play it...” (Lita Ford of heavy metal group The Runaways, Los Angeles Times, August 7, 1988).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is pagan and primitive, and very jungle, and that’s how it should be! The moment it stops being those things, it’s dead … the true meaning of rock … is sex, subversion and style” (Malcolm McLaren, punk rock manager, Rock, August 1983, p. 60).
“The best rock & roll music encapsulates a certain high energy--an angriness--whether on record or onstage. That is, rock & roll is only rock & roll if it’s not safe. … Violence and energy--and that’s really what rock & roll’s all about” (Mick Jagger, as told to Mikal Gilmore, Night Beat, p. 87).
“The present rock ‘n’ roll scene, Lennon’s legacy, is one giant, multi-media portrait of degradation--a sleezy world of immorality, venereal disease, anarchy, nihilism, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, death, Satanism, perversion, and orgies” (David Noebel, The Legacy of John Lennon, 1982, p. 15).
“The themes of rock 'n' roll include rebellion, homosexuality, satanism, the occult, drugs, murder, suicide, incest, vulgarity, sadomasochism, anti-patriotism and above all, free sex” (Fletcher Brothers, Rock Report, Lancaster: Starburst Publishing, 1987).
“Its admirers want to make rock appealing by making it respectable. The thing can’t be done. Rock is appealing because it’s vulgar ... Rock is the quintessence of vulgarity. It’s crude, loud, and tasteless” (Robert Pattison, The Triumph of Vulgarity, 1987, preface, p. 4).
“Rock music involves a neurophysiological conditioning in connotation or felt meaning, linking aggression and sexuality. Aggression linked with sexuality. ... Our basic claim is that the rock music itself induces a behavioral link between aggression and sexuality” (Drs. Daniel and Bernadette Skubik, The Neurophysiology of Rhythm).
“At base and at its best, rock 'n' roll is a celebration of human sensuality” (Gail Pellert, Christian Rock, New York: Gannett, 1985, p. 23).
“[Our music is intended] to change one set of values to another … free minds … free dope … free bodies … free music” (Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane, cited by Ben Fong-Torres, “Grace Slick with Paul Kantner,” The Rolling Stone Interviews, 1971, p. 447).
“Rock and roll was something that’s hardcore, rough and wild and sweaty and wet and just loose” (Patti Labelle, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 17).
“Sex, violence, rebellion—it’s all part of rock ‘n’ roll” (John Mellencamp, Larson’s Book of Rock, p. 170).
“Rock 'n roll doesn't glorify God. You can't drink out of God's cup and the devil's cup at the same time. I was one of the pioneers of that music, one of the builders. I know what the blocks are made of because I built them” (Little Richard, The Dallas Morning News, Oct. 29, 1978, p. 14A).
“[The Rolling Stones] are raw, sloppy, savage, oppressively intense, base, bolsh, scurvy, mean, mesmerizing, cold, perverse, raunchy, decadent, and self-indulgent revolutionaries. ... Their music is rugged, sinewy, insinuating ... IT REFLECTS THEIR WAY OF LIVING” (Michael Ross, Rock Beyond Woodstock, p. 13).
“Rock is visceral. It does disturbing things to your body. In spite of yourself, you find your body tingling, moving with the music. ... To get into rock, you have to give in to it, let it inside, flow with it, to the point where it consumes you, and all you can feel or hear or think about is the music. ... Such open sensuality” (Tom McSloy, rock music performer, “Music to Jangle Your Insides,” National Review, June 30, 1970, p. 681).
“Rock and roll is fun, it’s full of energy, it’s full of laughter. It’s naughty” (Tina Turner, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 12).
“Mystery and mischief are the two most important ingredients in rock and roll” (Bono, cited in Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, p. 12).
ROCK MUSIC IS ADDICTIVE AND HYPNOTIC
“Rock music is an ideal vehicle for individual or mass hypnosis” (Andrew Salter, Pop Goes the Gospel, p. 20).
“Rock music in particular has been demonstrated to be both powerful and addictive, as well as capable of producing a subtle form of hypnosis in which the subject, though not completely under trance, is still in a highly suggestive state” (John Fuller, Are the Kids All Right?, New York: Times Books, 1981).
“Pop music is the mass medium for conditioning the way people think” (Graham Nash of Crosby Stills & Nash, Hit Parader Yearbook, No. 6, 1967).
“What is undeniable about rock is its hypnotic power. It has gripped millions of young people around the world and transformed their lives” (William Schafer, Rock Music, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972, p. 79).
“Atmospheres are going to come through music, because the music is a spiritual thing of its own ... you hypnotize people to where they go right back to their natural state which is pure positive the subconscious what we want to say ... People want release any kind of way nowadays. The idea is to release in the proper form. Then they’ll feel like going into another world, a clearer world. The music flows from the air; that’s why I connect with a spirit, and when they come down off this natural high, they see clearer, feel different things...” (Jimi Hendrix, rock star, Life, Oct. 3, 1969, p. 74).
“An incessant beat does erode a sense of responsibility in much the same way as alcohol does. ... You feel in the grip of a relentless stream of sound to which something very basic and primitive in the human nature responds” (David Winter, New Singer, New Song).
“Heavy rock is body music designed to bypass your brain and with an unrelenting brutality induce a frenzied state amongst the audience” (Dave Roberts, Buzz columnist, Christian rock magazine in Britain, April 1982).
“Don’t listen to the words, it’s the music that has its own message. ... I’ve been stoned on the music many times” (Timothy Leary, New Age guru and promoter of LSD, Politics of Ecstasy).
“[Rock music is as much a] de-conditioner as psychedelic drugs. It is designed to blow your mind and suspend your conditioned reflexes. Listening to a Beatles’ album is an hour of de-conditioning” (Timothy Leary, cited by I.P. Pavlov, Conditioned Reflexes, Dover edition, p. 311).
“[Rock music] is the strongest drug in the world” (Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Rock Beat, Spring 1987, p. 23).
“Music is the most powerful medium in the world. You’re hitting places in people...” (Tori Amos, George, April/May 1996).
“Music works in mysterious ways. Once it goes in [the ear] you really have no say about what it does to you” (Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, “Music Quotes,” Cynthia Radio).
“Rock ‘n’ roll is like a drug. When you’re singing and playing rock ‘n’ roll, you’re on the leading edge of yourself. You’re tryin’ to vibrate, tryin’ to make something happen. It’s like there’s somethin’ alive and exposed” (Neil Young, cited by Mickey Hart, Spirit into Sound).
Janis Joplin, who died young from the rock & roll lifestyle, describes her first big concert in these words: “I couldn’t believe it, all that rhythm and power. I got stoned just feeling it, like IT WAS THE BEST DOPE IN THE WORLD. It was SO SENSUAL, so vibrant, loud, crazy” (Joel Dreyfuss, “Janis Joplin Followed the Script,” Wichita Eagle, Oct. 6, 1970, p. 7A).
“A rock concert is in fact a rite involving the evocation and transmutation of energy. Rock stars may be compared to priests. ... For such magic to succeed, it must tap the sources of magical energy, and this can be dangerous” (William Burroughs, Rock Music, June 1975).
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