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Title: 'Turn mirrors to the wall' : rock music and 1960s dissent
Author: Vanstone, M. A.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2003
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The aim of this thesis is to evaluate certain theories concerning rock music and its place in youth culture of the 1960s. I have focused on one of the more popular groups of the time, the rock group known as The Doors. It was important to limit the focus to do the poetry and lyrics justice, although it does occasionally refer to other groups such as Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Who. I have used cultural materialism which involves looking at art in its historical context. The singer of The Doors, James Douglas Morrison, was not only politically motivated but also tried to actively enable the audience to break free of their own status as mere audience members. Musical festivals in which the fences (the capitalist barriers) were broken down helps show us the power audiences might have had. The emotion of music was a key part of general protest. Morrison was influenced by Brecht, the Living Theatre, and philosophers such as Norman Brown and Nietzsche. Morrison knew that in order for audiences to be aware of their own power they would have to break free of the festival hall and join others out in the street for a more active protest. Doors performances involved breaking certain “traditions” which had grown up among rock performers, utilising a more spontaneous style to help galvanise an audience with new sounds. After a final turbulent performance in Miami in which Morrison would be arrested on a trumped up charge, the refusal of the audience to respond to his exhortations to freedom would result in his declaration “rock is dead”. Eventually the 1970s would raise kitsch to an apolitical musical art form, and confirm his claim.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available