Rock and roll: from youth rebellion to global solidarity, its day is celebrated on July 13

The celebration in 1985 of the Live Aid charity concert, which had simultaneous stages in London and Philadelphia, where some of the most important rock bands of the moment performed, is the origin of the celebration of World Rock Day every July 13.

Although it is impossible to give a fixed definition of this musical genre, since the forms it has taken throughout its history are many and varied, we can say that its roots lie in the music that African slaves brought to the United States. where it mixed with the sounds of the European emigrants settled in those lands.

Gospel and blues on the one hand and country on the other, are the elements of the recipe that put a good part of the American youth to dance in the early 50s to the scandal of their elders, alarmed by the connotations, sometimes sexual, of his movements.

Rock and roll was born, from which new variants arose until what at first was the cause of scandal and hallmark of youth, became an expression of mass culture.

the great benefit concerts

At the moment in which it is integrated into popular culture and its protagonists become public figures, followed and heard by millions of people around the world, the great rock festivals become an effective instrument to send messages and give voice. to causes that are silenced or little known to the general public.

The first of these events was the Concert for Bangladesh (The Concert for Bangladesh), held at the Madison Square Garden in New York on August 1, 1971.

Its organizer, ex-beatle George Harrison, raised funds to help the people of Bangladesh, a region bordering India at war with Pakistan, a country from which it had declared independence.

The stage featured, among others, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton.

The concert made a profit of $250,000 from ticket sales, while the recording continues to generate royalties today.


Although as the saying goes “nothing is written about tastes”, there are many who have dared to publish their list of the best bands in history. In them, their authors say that the influence of the groups prevails among the public and the mark left in other musical formations.

In most appear First The Beatles. There is also no shortage of other British groups such as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or The Who and the Americans The Doors or The Byrds.

This unanimity does not carry over to song lists that have greater variety and reflect greater subjectivity. Of course, all the great rock groups on the lists of great bands have some song among those considered the best in history.


In general, rock can be seen as an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon sung in English. But, although we can place the United States of the fifties as its birthplace, rock has crossed geographical and cultural borders and has spread throughout the world.

His rebellious and rebellious character has seduced the young people of Latin America who have formed their own bands and extended the language of rock to Spanish.

Pioneers like the Mexican Teen Tops. the Argentines Los Beatniks, Os Mutantes in Brazil and Los Bravos and Los Brincos in Spain, paved the way for musicians like El Tri, Charly García or Fito Páez and bands like Maná, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Héroes del Silencio or Aterciopelados, just to name a few. to a few.

rock is dead? long live rock

One of the questions that we can ask ourselves is whether, after more than seventy years, rock is in good health.

The appearance of new musical genres such as rap in the United States, or trap and reggaeton in Latin America seem to show a decline of classic rock. At the same time, the use of Spanish is growing, as the language of music for young people, to the detriment of English.

But what can be seen as ill health can also be seen as an evolution of the classic electric guitar sounds that characterized the origins of this constantly moving music.

From the rock of the fifties to the progressive rock of the seventies, or from heavy metal to the sweetest pop, the transformation of music has been constant, driven by social and cultural changes.

In the case of trap or reggaeton and other Latin-inspired music, its weight in the charts is directly related to the influence that the Hispanic community has gained in the United States and the normalization of its cultural contributions.

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