Counterculture and Psychedelia Memorabilia
Selling your Counterculture or Psychedelic Music Memorabilia ?
In simple terms Counterculture is a culture whose values and norms of behaviour differ substantially to that of mainstream society.
From what we know about history in the Western world we can date examples back to the 16th and 18th century.
In the post war years up until around 1964 era defining examples are to be found in the highly influential Beat Generation with literary pioneers Jack Kerouac, William S Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg leading the way whilst Greenwich Village in New York served as its unofficial epicentre. The ‘Beats’ attracted the likes of Jackson Pollack to Greenwich and the soundtrack was Jazz.
The Beat Generation would influence the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Jim Morrison in the 1960’s music generation that followed. Alan Ginsberg continued to be very active in this period associating himself with both the Beatles and Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters.
The Beat Generation influence continues in musical culture and along the road band’s such as The Doors, Steely Dan and The Soft Machine have named themselves with admiring nods to the ‘Beats’.
In the 1960’s Counterculture was largely an anti-establishment phenomenon which gained momentum with the Civil Rights movement in the USA and the resentment towards the Vietnam war. The USA was in conflict with its own ideologies and the younger generation had conflicting views on the American Dream.
Whilst the USA was restless the hippy movement evolved and San Francisco in 1967 was its spiritual home. Prior to that year Californian bands such as Jefferson Airplane, Love, Moby Grape and The Doors had formed and were playing to drug influenced crowds inspiring the artists themselves.
LSD was the drug of choice and in 1965/1966 was legal in the USA, such was its popularity that Ken Kesey created events called the ‘Acid Test’ with the accompanying music provided by the emerging Grateful Dead who became the quintessential psychedelic band.
The ‘Summer of Love’ was short lived and as the hippies left Haigh Asbury, the fashions and attitudes had seeped into international consciousness.
Psychedelic music gave birth in this period and was popularised by bands like The 13th Floor Elevators who came out of Austin, Texas. It wasn’t long before The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and even The Who were fusing their sounds to psychedelia whilst Pink Floyd led the way in the sound and visual experience with their trippy liquid light shows.
This would highly influence ‘Space Rock’ bands such as Hawkwind and Gong who evolved in the late 1960’s thereafter enjoying some success in the early 1970’s. In this period Psychedelia, Space Rock and early Krautrock evolved into the commercially successful ‘Progressive Rock’ movement successfully delivered by artists such as Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator and Emerson Lake & Palmer but was ultimately buried by the emerging ‘Pub Rock and early Punk scene.
Psychedelic music would reprise itself in the late 1980’s around the time of ‘Second Summer of Love’ with its Acid House parties, the hugely successful ‘Balearic Beat’ and the inspirational Madchester scene coined by the late Factory Records boss Tony Wilson successfully led by The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, the half Manchester band The Charlatans with a notable mention to Rugby’s Spaceman 3 who would become the cosmic rockers ‘Spiritualised’.
Concert memorabilia for any of the aforementioned artists is very desirable and in particular concert posters, promotional posters, signed items and rare books.