Allison Kelly's Revisions

Lots of adults believe that rock and roll is the leading cause for teenage rebellion. To say this implies that teenagers did not act a certain way until a song promoted it. Considering that a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds made up majority of the first rock and roll bands that changed music and that they only had their own life experiences to write about proves that teenagers already acted this way. This behavior now just began to be the topic of songs. The rebellious stage of teenagers' lives has been the underlying enabler to rock music being one of the most successful genres in music.

During the early ‘60s, The British Invasion was the term used for these very successful British rock bands expanding their music to America. These bands, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks, came in with a bang and changed American music forever. George Harrison of the Beatles proves young teens themselves started rock and roll, being that “Two weeks before his 15th birthday, George officially became a member of the band.” It is true to say that not everyone was acting the, “rock and roll” image before the music got popular, but rock didn’t influence teens to act this way, teenagers influenced other teenagers to act this way. Teens and some of their rebellious habits, such as drinking, drugs, sex, and reckless behavior, have been the root of the rock and roll genre and style, and by this music relating to so many and becoming so popular caused for it only to be influential to those who may not have acted this way before they heard the music.

The Who was another band who made their break and carried over their music to America. One of their most famous songs, “My generation,” contains the lyrics “I hope I die before I get old.” This made a huge statement for the teenagers of that generation because of new topics for their music. Rock and roll was hated by parents and the adult generation because it was said that the vulgar and passionate lyrics promoted sex, drugs, and reckless behavior. Some songs, even some classic ones by The Beatles and The Stones, were banned because of certain lyrics. The Beatles’ very famous song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was banned because the initials were thought to have stood for LSD. The younger generation now was not only acting out even more as the songs caught on, but they now held a strong grudge against the parents of that generation considering they were being kept from their beloved music. By stating ‘I hope I die before I get old,” was just more teenagers writing about life experiences. “Getting old” to them meant going against all they loved, rock and roll and the lifestyle it brings.

A teenage rebellion article on TeachRock speaks to the idea that “Rock wasn’t just changing the lives of teenagers, but of everyone in some sort of way. Rock and Roll was an expression of that teen rebellion and of the growing gap between generations.” Parents felt their children drifting away, kids acted out towards adults, and adults and teens began to live in two totally separate worlds that despised the other. The media began to speak on behalf of all adults of that generation being as they were banning these songs. Little did they know is that the more they showed the hatred of the music by the older generation by publicly displaying it the more children got on the bandwagon of it. This only gave the teens something to rebel against. Those who couldn’t relate to this music before were now given a reason to listen to it.

The rebellious stage of teenagers' lives has been the underlying enabler to rock music being one of the most influential genres. If the older generation stopped to think about it, they would realize that the promotion of rebellious behavior does not just involve the rock music that was being blamed, but the media that was actually trying to demote the music as well. Teens started it, parents hated it, and the media ended up helping the side they were directly trying to go against. All in all, the promotion of rebellious behavior gave rock music its success.

Work Cited:

"The Beatles Biography." - the Beginning, the Rise, and the Aftermath of the Greatest Band on Earth. N.p., n.d. W

"My Generation by The Who Songfacts." My Generation by The Who Songfacts. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.eb. 21 Sept. 2014.

"OVERVIEW." Teenage Rebellion. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

Comments (3)

Isabella Beato (Student 2016)
Isabella Beato

Snaps good job AK. I was really feelin this 2fer. Parents don't understand our generation LOL. I think they could argue by saying that we follow people around but thats not true. Nope nope nope.

Veronica Nocella (Student 2016)
Veronica Nocella

I really like how you described Rock and Roll as something like an enlightenment as opposed to history's trouble maker. When you quoted The Who in your second paragraph, that changed my thinking specifically because it focused on the mentality towards old folk, because they were the ones who disproved of rebellion and couldn't learn to adjust or accept the new ideas in which youth led rebellion introduced.

Mia Weathers-Fowler (Student 2016)
Mia Weathers-Fowler

I liked this a lot Allison. It was a topic that I had not read about before so it captured my interest. The way that you described the "timeline of rebellion" was pretty cool. it also changed my thinking about why teens who didn't act that way before rock and roll changed. It was more of social rebellion than just about the music.