How the Rolling Stones shaped a generation
In the 1960s, two of the most iconic names in the music industry met for the first time. In the quaint borough of Dartford, the United Kingdom, a young and talented singer named Mick Jagger and a shy but charismatic guitarist and songwriter Keith Richards met on a train, coming home from college. Both men shared a similar interest, Blues Music. As a matter of fact, during their initial interactions, they hit it off by finding out they both had the album of blues singer Mckinley Morganfield, also known as Muddy Waters.
Of course. they did not waste their natural chemistry and similar musical interests. The two formed a band named after the Muddy Waters song “Rollin’ Stone,” and the rest was history. It was not only their musical talents that have made the group iconic, however. One can say that they were the first authentic influencers in the Rock and Roll culture, influencing popular culture in their native United Kingdom and the United States, and other parts of the world. Let’s take a closer look at how this iconic duo and their band, The Rolling Stones, shaped an entire generation of rock fans.
The first true influencers of rock culture
The 1960s was a decade where people wanted to be unconventional, renegade, and challenge the status quo. The Rolling Stones was the first genuine rock band to apply these new conventions to their public image and music. As a result, they became the foremost influencers of what we could describe as the renegade generation. Whether they depicted this through their fashion, lyrics, or raw showmanship, their whole style was all about not playing by the rules. Let us go into these a little more in-depth.
True to their unconventional image, both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards started the trend of mismatched clothing. Their look was a lot more unkempt and scruffy than what most Americans and Brits were used to seeing from on-stage performers, and that sheer audacity inspired the people from that generation to do the same. Before the Stones made their fashion choices mainstream, other iconic personalities in the Rock genre like the Beatles and Elvis Presley often dressed nicely in a more expected manner. After the Rolling Stones, we saw a heightened preference for leather jeans, long hair, torn jackets, and all-out looks that made absolutely no sense, but in a good way, among rockers.
Perhaps more significant than anything, The Rolling Stones and their undeniably innovative music style helped shape the musical landscape of the 1960s and 1970s. The first notable thing that they did was make blues mainstream, a style of music that had failed to encroach pop culture before the Stones came into prominence.
It could also be argued that The Rolling Stones was the most innovative band in history. When you think about the common elements that make up a rock concert, you often think about cool new gadgets, unique sound tools, the use of pyrotechnics, multiple screens highlighting different angles of the stage, and all-out audacious levels of showmanship.
These are elements utilized by countless rock bands looking to make a name for themselves. The Rolling Stones were the ones that made these new musical innovations mainstream, and Mick Jagger, to this day, is considered to be one of the most charismatic vocalists of all time, even directly influencing songs from other bands like Maroon 5 to feature his name in their lyrics.
In the brutal and highly competitive world of music, some trends and styles will come and go. The ones made famous by The Rolling Stones, however, won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.