The Psychedelic Rock Scene in the 1960s: A Drug that Figured

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The Psychedelic Rock Scene in the 1960s: A Drug that Figured – Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s. The sound is characterized by distorted guitars, extended feedback, and heavy use of effects like reverb and delay.

The Psychedelic Rock Scene in the 1960s

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that was influenced by psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. The genre emerged in the mid-1960s with the help of artists such as The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix.

The Beatles and Psychedelic Rock

The Beatles were integral to the development of psychedelic rock, and their records Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) and The Beatles (1968; also known as the “White Album”) are often considered among the best examples of the genre. In early 1967, the group released their single “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which contained numerous psychedelic references. That same year, they released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album that was inspired by drug use and included songs with overt psychedelic themes like “With a Little Help from My Friends,” “Getting Better,” and “A Day in the Life.” The album was an instant classic, and its influence can still be felt today.

The group continued to explore psychedelia on The Beatles (1968), which featured more experimental tracks like “Revolution 9” and “I Am the Walrus.” The album divided opinion at the time, but has since come to be regarded as one of the most important documents of the psychedelic era.

The Rolling Stones and Psychedelic Rock

The Psychedelic Rock Scene in the 1960s by The Rolling Stones and Psychedelic Rock

The Rolling Stones were one of the first bands to be identified with the psychedelic rock scene in the 1960s. They were known for their drug-fueled party lifestyle and their often dark and brooding music. The band’s 1967 album “Their Satanic Majesties Request” is considered by many to be one of the first psychedelic rock albums. The album features artwork that was heavily influenced by the psychedelic drugs of the time, and the music itself is experimental and trance-like. The Rolling Stones continued to experiment with psychedelic rock on their 1968 album “Beggars Banquet”, which features the song “Sympathy for the Devil”. This song is regarded as one of the best examples of psychedelic rock, and it has been covered by many other artists over the years.

Jimi Hendrix and Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as acid rock, is a broader category of rock music that includes: garage rock, folk rock, blues rock, and what would later be termed proto-metal. The genre is generally characterized by distorted guitars, lyrics with drug references, and prolonged instrumentals. Although the exact beginnings of psychedelic rock are hard to pinpoint, the style began to coalesce in the early-to-mid 1960s with bands such as The Beatles, The Zombies, and The Byrds experimenting with new sounds and drug references.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak in popularity in the late 1960s with bands such as Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane, and The Grateful Dead becoming household names. The style began to wane in popularity in the early 1970s as tastes changed and many of the leading lights of the scene either broke up or moved in different musical directions. Nevertheless, the influence of psychedelic rock can still be heard in many genres of popular music today.

The Drug That Figured

Psychedelic drugs first became popular in the 1960s as a way to create altered states of consciousness. These drugs were often used in conjunction with music, and they had a significant impact on the development of the psychedelic rock scene. Psychedelic drugs can have a wide range of effects, and they continue to be used for a variety of purposes today.


Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, is a powerful psychedelic drug that was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann. It gained popularity in the 1960s counterculture movement, and has been used by millions of people since then for its strong mind-altering effects.

LSD is typically dissolved in water and ingested orally, although it can also be injected or inhaled. The effects of the drug depend on the user’s mood, expectations, and environment when taking it. Common effects include visual and auditory hallucinations, changes in perception, increased awareness of one’s surroundings, and spiritual experiences.

LSD is a potent drug with a low margin of safety; its effects can be unpredictable and dangerous. It should only be used under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.


Psychedelic drugs are substances known to alter perception, mood and cognitive processes. Psychedelics can be naturally occurring or man-made, and they are often used for religious or spiritual purposes. The most well-known psychedelic is LSD, but other commonly used psychedelics include psilocybin, mescaline and DMT.

Psychedelics are thought to work by stimulating the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, perception and cognition. Psychedelics are known to produce changes in sensory perception, feelings of euphoria and decreased anxiety. They can also cause hallucinations, altered states of consciousness and spiritual experiences.

Psychedelics have been used for centuries by indigenous cultures for religious and spiritual purposes. In the 1950s and 1960s, psychedelics became popular among young people in the Western world as a means of expanding consciousness. The psychedelic rock scene developed as a result of this increased drug use, and psychedelic drugs became associated with the counterculture movement of the time.

Today, psychedelics are being studied for their potential therapeutic benefits. LSD and psilocybin are being researched as treatments for anxiety and depression, while MDMA is being investigated as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychedelic drugs are also being studied for their potential to help people quit smoking cigarettes and manage alcohol addiction.


DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is a powerful psychedelic drug that is found in many plants and animals. It is also known as the “spirit molecule” because it is thought to be responsible for the spiritual experiences that occur during mystical experiences and out-of-body states. DMT is not considered to be addictive, but it can be very dangerous if used improperly. It is important to note that DMT should only be used under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

The Psychedelic Movement

In the 1960s, a new type of music was on the rise: psychedelic rock. This genre was characterized by its use of drugs, specifically LSD, to achieve a higher state of consciousness. The psychedelic movement was born out of this music scene and quickly spread throughout the counterculture of the time. Psychedelic drugs, while often associated with negative consequences, were seen as a way to expand one’s mind and experience the world in a new way.

The Summer of Love

In 1967, large numbers of young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. The media called it the “Summer of Love,” and for many it was a time of innocence and exploration, as flower children experimented with dope, tuned in to Eastern religious traditions, and “turned on” to new modes of expression. The hippie phenomenon was also a media event, as television cameras focused on long-haired, barefoot youngsters spouting peace slogans and cavorting in public parks.

The Hippie Movement

In the United States, the 1960s was a decade of greatsocial and political turmoil. In response to the conservative 1950s, a new generation of young people began to challenge traditional values. They advocated for peace and love and against racism and sexism. This youth-driven movement became known as the “hippie” counterculture.

Part of what made hippies unique was their embrace of psychedelic drugs, including LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and peyote. Psychedelics were believed to promote creativity, love, and peace. The use of these drugs became central to the hippie way of life.

While many hippies were happy just “turning on, tuning in, and dropping out,” some saw psychedelics as a tool for political change. They believed that if enough people took LSD, they could create a more loving and tolerant world. Unfortunately, this utopian vision was not realized, and the hippie movement eventually fizzled out.

The Free Love Movement

The term “free love” has been used to describe a variety of social movements and ideologies over the years. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the term became associated with the hippie and countercultural movements in the United States and Europe. The free love movement believed that sexual relations should be free of government regulation and without moral or religious restrictions. This freedom was thought to lead to greater self-acceptance, personal growth, and improved social relationships.

The movement’s roots can be traced back to earlier groups such as the Oneida Community in New York (established in 1848) and the Free Love League in England (established in 1858). The Oneida Community was a “utopian commune” that believed in exploring different types of sexual relationships, including polyamory (multiple partners) and group marriage. The Free Love League was founded by English anarchist William Godwin as a way to promote birth control and women’s rights.

In the 1960s, free love became associated with the wider countercultural movement, which rejected traditional values and experimented with alternative lifestyles. This included experimenting with drugs, living in communes, engaging in casual sex, and rejecting traditional gender roles. The free love movement was also closely connected to the peace movement and the civil rights movement.

Despite its utopian ideals, the free love movement faced opposition from many different quarters. The conservative right saw it as a threat to traditional families and morality; while the left saw it as a distraction from more pressing political issues such as war, poverty, and racism. In addition, many religious groups disapproved of any form of premarital or extramarital sex. Despite these challenges, the free love movement helped to change attitudes towards sex and sexuality, paving the way forfuture social changes such as the legalisation of contraception and abortion, and the eventual acceptance of homosexual relationships.”

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