Reuben and the Psychedelic Rock Scene is a blog dedicated to music and culture. Discover new music and learn about the history and influence of psychedelic rock.
Reuben and the Psychedelic Rock Scene
In the mid-’60s, Reuben and the Psychedelic Rock Scene was one of the hottest bands on the Sunset Strip. With their mix of hard rock, blues, and psychedelic sounds, they were a favorite of both hippies and rockers. But as the ’60s came to an end, so did the band. Reuben went on to form a new band, called Rhinoceros, but it was not as successful as his first group. In the early ’70s, he became interested in country music and released a couple of albums under his own name. He eventually returned to rock ‘n’ roll and released a few more albums before retiring from the music business in the late ’70s.
The British Psychedelic Rock Scene
The British psychedelic rock scene was highly influential in the development of the genre of psychedelic rock, and was a breeding ground for many of the bands who would go on to achieve international success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The scene was centred around a number of key venues and clubs in London, including the Roundhouse, the UFO Club and the Electric Circus. Many of the bands who emerged from this scene, such as Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, would go on to achieve global success.
The American Psychedelic Rock Scene
In the mid-1960s, a new type of music began to emerge in the United States. It was called psychedelic rock, and it was a fusion of rock and roll with other genres like acid rock, folk rock, and garage rock. The psychedelic rock scene was largely centered in San Francisco, California, and it became known for its use of mind-altering drugs like LSD.
The band that is most often associated with the American psychedelic rock scene is The Grateful Dead. Other notable bands from this era include The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix.
Psychedelic rock experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1990s with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
The International Psychedelic Rock Scene
In the late 1960s, a new style of music was blowing up – psychedelic rock. appropriated from indigenous musics from around the world and blasted out of overdriven Marshall amplifiers, this new sound was born out of the experimental, Anything Goes attitude of the counterculture. Musicians were throwing away the rule book and forging their own path. One such trailblazer was Reuben McCallister.
Widely considered to be one of the first psychedelic rock groups, Reuben and the Psychedelic Rock Scene were at the cutting edge of this new musical movement. Formed in 1967, the group quickly gained a reputation for their mind-bending live shows, which often featured projections of Acid Test footage and light shows by San Francisco’s legendary Globe Projection Company.
Their music was equally mind-expanding, fusing elements of blues, R&B, folk, and country with extended jams that took the listener on a journey to another place. They released two albums on Elektra Records – ‘Reuben and The Psychedelic Rock Scene’ (1967) and ‘The Second Coming’ (1968) – before disbanding in 1969.
While they may not be as well-known as some of their contemporaries – The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, or The Doors – Reuben and the Psychedelic Rock Scene were innovators who helped shape and define an entire musical genre.
The Legacy of Psychedelic Rock
Psychedelic rock, sometimes called simply psychedelic music, is a style of rock music that was inspired, or influenced by, psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelicrock covers a wide range of styles and subgenres, usually divided into British psychedelia and American psychedelia.
Psychedelic rock reached its peak in the late 1960s with bands such as Pink Floyd, The Doors, and The Grateful Dead. The genre began to decline in popularity in the early 1970s, but experienced something of a resurgence in the 1990s with bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
The legacy of psychedelic rock can be seen in many subsequent genres, including progressive rock, acid jazz, funkadelic, krautrock, glam rock, punk rock, new wave, post-punk, gothic rock, and indie rock.