Chapter 14 – The San Francisco Sound
Chapter 15 – Guitar Kings
1. Describe the social and political history of the “city by the bay,” San Francisco, CA. What kind of social environment was there in San Francisco of the 1960?s?
2. Read Friedlander’s chapter about the San Francisco Bands and the San Francisco “sound”. List and describe some of the significant musical and cultural departures from mainstream pop/rock music that were actively present in the music of the San Francisco Bands.
3. Listen and describe the following recordings of rock bands from San Francisco:
a) Combination of the Two – Big Brother & the Holding Company
b) White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
c) The Ballad of You & Me &Pooneil – Jefferson Airplane
d) The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion) – The Grateful Dead
e) It’s No Secret – Jefferson Airplane Marty Balinvcls
f) Somebody To Love – Jefferson Airplane Grace Slick vcls
4. What role did the use of psychoactive drugs play in the socio/musical culture of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960?s?
5. As you listen to the music of Janis Joplin, describe her vocal style and list her musical influences:
a) Summertime – Janis/Big Brother & the Holding Company
b) Piece Of My Heart
c) Ball and Chain (excerpt)
6. Traditional Scottish, Irish, and German folk musicstransculturate via immigration and a new way of life in the southern Appalachian mountains of the United States. This cultural synthesis evolves into a post 1945 form of music known as Bluegrass. The standard instruments in Bluegrass music are the five-string banjo, fiddle (violin), mandolin, guitar, and string bass.
Listen to some Bluegrass by the “founder” of the style-Bill Monroe and briefly list/describe what makes this music attractive to listen to:
a) Why Did You Wander? – Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys This recording from 1946 features: Lester Flatt – lead vocal & guitar Bill Monroe – tenor (high) vocal & mandolin Earl Scruggs – banjo Chubby Wise – fiddle Howard Watts – bass
Note: Don’t forget to notice and comment on the function or role each instrument and voice part has in this unique music.
7. As you listen to the following selections by The Grateful Dead, listen for what Nathan Rubin refers to as “the joyful Weavers-influenced bluegrass, blues and gospel mixture played by the Dead.” Please list any of these styles you notice in the following songs:
a) St. Stephen
b) Sugar Magnolia
c) Truckin’ (excerpt)
d) One More Saturday Night
8. List some of the unique, innovative qualities (musical, lyrical, technological, etc.) that characterize the music of The Grateful Dead.
9. Another strong contributor to the diverse musical array in San Francisco is the wonderful music of the great Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana. His music is truly among the finest contributions to this most varied art form of rock and roll. As you listen to the following selections by Carlos and his band known as Santana, describe his music. What is different about it as compared to other bands from this era?
a) Shades Of Time
b) Savor (highlight) Make sure to read the detailed description of Carlos Santana’s guitar playing and his music from Friedlander. Also see Note below for insight from this writer.
Note: Listen for the latin percussion instruments-Timbales, Congas, Cow Bell, etc., coupled with the standard drum set. This combination gives the music a busy texture where several different rhythmic patterns are being played at the same time-polyrhythms. The great latin percussionists Mike Carrabello and Jose Chepito Areas are teamed with the solid Dave Brown on Bass, and the amazing Michael Shrieve on drum set. Above this is the penetrating sound of Gregg Rolie on the Hammond B-3 Organ, and the latin-jazz inspired, very lyrical, blues touched guitar work of Carlos Santana. The result is a most infectious latin-rock sound–one of the true listening pleasures in life.
10. Listen to what Nathan Rubin describes as “a racially and sexually-integrated band (in which a white played drums and a girl played trumpet) commingled James Brown’s funk and gospel exhilaration with Haight-Ashbury counterculture to produce a music which might as well be called acid soul” – Sly and the Family Stone. List any of the following characteristics (and others you may discover) as you listen to the two selections by Sly and the Family Stone. Characteristics Call and response patterns?Wah-wah pedal guitar? Blues harmonica? Soul inspired trumpet playing? Funky rhythmic feel?Driving, declamatory vocal style.
a) Dance To The Music
b) I Want To Take You Higher
11. Jim Morrison’s artistry includes a strong talent for writing poetry. He even signed his name occasionally as Arthur Rimbaud, a 19th century French symbolist poet who wrote A Season in Hell, and was known for his belief that the poet needs to poison every sense (through excess, drugs, and alcohol) in order to see what lies hidden beyond the boundaries posed by them. According to Nathan Rubin, “to accomplish the same end without drugs, avant-garde composer John Cage simply eliminated the normal focuses of perception. By sitting in front of a piano, he allowed his audience to hear the sounds normally obscured by music”-his composition is called 4’33?. In contrast to other bands, the music of The Doors provided listeners with a darker view of the 1960?s. What do you hear (lyric content and delivery style, use/application of specific instruments, specific genres of music recognized or influencing their music etc.) in each of these songs by The Doors?
a) Alabama Song
b) Hello, I Love You
c) Light My Fire
12. Name the members of The Who and the instruments that the three instrumentalists played. What did The Who contribute to the development of rock and roll?
13. Is the following statement True or False? “The Who early on were recipients of critical acclaim and commercial success.”
14. As you listen to the following selections by The Who, list the characteristics you hear in the music (especially any that are discussed in Friedlander). What relationship is there between In C by Terry Riley, and their own Baba O’Riley ?:
a) I Can’t Explain
b) My Generation
c) In C by Terry Riley
d) Baba O’Riley
e) Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
15. Name the famous rock periodical magazine that was founded in San Francisco by Ralph J. Gleason and JannWenner in November 1967.
16. Click on the link below, borrow from a library, rent from a video store, or purchase a copy for your own collection of: The Monterey Pop Festival (1967). This was an amazing concert featuring a diverse lineup of talent.
Musically describe and respond to three of the following performances from the Monterey Pop film released in 1968:
Songs featured in the film, in order of appearance:
1.Scott McKenzie—”San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”*
2.The Mamas & The Papas—”Creeque Alley”* and “California Dreamin’”
3.Canned Heat—”Rollin’ and Tumblin’”
4.Simon& Garfunkel—”The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”
5.HughMasekela—”BajabulaBonke (The Healing Song)”
6.Jefferson Airplane—”High Flyin’ Bird” and “Today”
7.Big Brother & The Holding Company—”Ball ‘n’ Chain”
8.Eric Burdon & The Animals—”Paint It, Black”
9.The Who—”My Generation”
10.Country Joe & The Fish—”Section 43?
11.Otis Redding—”Shake” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”
12.The Jimi Hendrix Experience—”Wild Thing”
13.The Mamas & The Papas—”Got a Feelin’”
14.Ravi Shankar—”Raga Bhimpalasi” (actually “Dhun (Dadra and Fast Teental”)
17. At times Jimi Hendrix just toys with blues riffs and pentatonic scales, which by themselves are not earth-shattering. This is countered with sounds that are both diverse and unusual-like the opening of one of his compositions with speech distorted by tape speed, which he called “a sounding painting of heaven”. However, there is something about Jimi’s approach to those blues riffs and pentatonic scales (the secret is in his varied timbre) which elevates his music to another realm of expression. There are many recorded examples of Jimi’s music displaying his ingenuity and extraordinary talent. The following three will give you a taste of his gift. As you listen, list any characteristics or unique aspects present in these recordings. Please include information from Friedlander’s extensive entry on Hendrix. The various timbres (colors of sound) Jimi produces from his guitar transform the instrument, allowing it to become just about anything from wails and groans to machinery and industrial noise.
Listen, describe, and respond to the following recordings/videos of Jimi Hendrix:
Still Raining, Still Dreaming – from Electric Ladyland
All Along The Watchtower – from Electric Ladyland
The Star-Spangled Banner – from Woodstock
Purple Haze – from Woodstock
18. Borrow from a library, rent from a video store, or purchase a copy for your own collection of Woodstock (the film documentary of the 1969 concert/event). Take notes during the viewing of the film so you can better respond to the following: What was significant about this concert? (consider the music, the diversity of the participating artists and the styles of music they represented, and the social/political aspects embodying the event, etc.)
If you are unable to locate a copy of the documentary film, then browse YouTube for selections to view, listen, describe and respond to. Below are a few that I have provided for you to start with. Select and profile three different performances or song selections from three different performers/groups to respond to here.
Richie Havens singing “Freedom” at Woodstock
The Who performing “We’re Not Going To Take It”; “See Me, Feel Me”; and “Listening To You”
from the rock opera “Tommy” –performed at Woodstock
Joe Cocker singing “With A Little Help From My Friends” at Woodstock
Santana performing “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock–t