Rick McGraw and the Psychedelic Rock Revolution

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Psychedelic Rock Revolution of the late 1960’s was a time when music, fashion and attitude all changed. Rick McGraw was at the forefront of this change, leading his band The Psychedelic Furs to success.

Rick McGraw’s Life

Rick McGraw was born in Palo Alto, California, on January 1, 1946. He was the middle child of three, with an older sister and a younger brother. His father was a World War II veteran and his mother was a homemaker. Rick’s childhood was comfortable but not wealthy. Palo Alto was a sleepy town in those days, and the McGraws’ street was lined with eucalyptus trees.

Early Life

Rick McGraw was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 8, 1945. His father was a musician who played in big bands during the 1940s and 1950s. Rick’s mother was a homemaker. Rick has two older sisters, Diane and Nancy. When Rick was ten years old, his family moved from Detroit to the suburbs. Rick’s father died of a heart attack when Rick was sixteen years old.

Rick graduated from high school in 1963. He studied music at Wayne State University for a year before dropping out to focus on his career. Rick began playing guitar in local clubs and garage bands. He quickly developed a reputation as a talented and innovative player.

In 1965, Rick formed a band called the Psychedelic Rock Revolution with some friends from university. The band became one of the most popular acts on the Detroit music scene. They released their debut album, “First Trip”, in 1967. The album was a huge success, selling millions of copies worldwide.

The Psychedelic Rock Revolution disbanded in 1969 after creative differences within the band members became too great to overcome. Rick continued to play music, but he never achieved the same level of success he had with the Psychedelic Rock Revolution.

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, they later utilised several genres, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. They also used multiple instrumentation and regularly explored new technology in their work. Their clothes, style and statements made them trendsetters, while their growing cultural influence saw their incorporation into the politics of the time.

The Psychedelic Rock Revolution

In the 1960s, a new type of rock music began to emerge that would come to be known as psychedelic rock. This new style of music was characterized by its use of electric guitars, dramatic changes in dynamics, and extended solos. Psychedelic rock bands often used strobe lights and other visual effects to create an immersive and mind-bending experience for their audiences.

The Psychedelic Rock Revolution was led by a number of pioneering bands, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. These and other bands would go on to create some of the most iconic and influential music of the 20th century.

Psychedelic rock would go on to have a significant impact on the development of other genres of rock music, including progressive rock, heavy metal, and punk rock.

The Psychedelic Rock Revolution

Rick McGraw was one of the most important figures in the psychedelic rock revolution of the 1960s. His work with the band The Electric Prunes influenced a generation of musicians. He was also a producer, and his work can be heard on some of the most iconic albums of the period.

The Summer of Love

Psychedelic rock, sometimes called acid rock, is a style of popular music that entered mainstream culture in the mid-1960s. It is characterized by electric guitars playing complex, distorted riffs and solos, often accompanied by extended glitchy exemptions from the drums. The sound is often driven by an electric bass rather than the standard guitar/bass/drum lineup.

Psychedelic rock reached its peak in popularity during the so-called Summer of Love in 1967, when artists such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones released groundbreaking albums such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Their Satanic Majesties Request. The style quickly fell out of favor in the early 1970s, replaced by more commercial styles such as disco and punk rock. However, it has remained influential on subsequent generations of musicians, with many post-punk and indie rock bands citing psychedelic rock as a major influence.

The San Francisco Sound

In the mid-1960s, a new type of rock music began to emerge in San Francisco. This new sound, known as the “San Francisco Sound,” was characterized by its use of psychedelic (or mind-altering) drugs, its focus on peace and love, and its heavy reliance on electric guitars and other electronic instruments.

The San Francisco Sound was pioneered by a number of local bands, including the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, and the Santana. These bands quickly gained a following among young people in the city, and their popularity soon spread to other parts of the country. The San Francisco Sound would go on to have a profound influence on rock music in the years that followed.

Rick McGraw and the Psychedelic Rock Revolution

Rick McGraw was a trailblazer in the psychedelic rock revolution of the late 1960s. As the frontman of the popular band The Electric Mob, McGraw helped to shape the sound and style of the Psychedelic Rock genre. With his flamboyant stage presence and Acid Rock anthems, McGraw helped to create the ultimate Psychedelic Rock experience for fans all over the world.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

In the early 1960s, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters popularized the use of LSD with their cross-country bus trips, which they documented in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. These trips were taken by young people who were looking for a way to break away from the conformity of 1950s America.

The Psychedelic Rock Revolution was a musical movement that emerged from this countercultural movement. Psychedelic rock bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix created a new sound that was based on improvisation and experimentation.

Rick McGraw was one of the pioneers of this new sound. He was a member of the San Francisco band, The Great Society, which was one of the first psychedelic rock bands. After The Great Society broke up, McGraw went on to play with Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh in the band Phil Lesh and Friends.

McGraw’s contributions to psychedelic rock have been largely forgotten, but he was an important innovator in this music genre.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. The band was known for its long jams, eclectic songwriting, and live performances that included extended improvisations. The band’s psychedelic sound was influenced by the trippy vibe of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, where they began their career.

The Grateful Dead’s music was a key part of the psychedelic rock scene in the 1960s. The band’s sound was also a major influence on jam bands and improvisational rock bands that followed. In the years since the band’s dissolution, its members have continued to be influential figures in the music world.

The Fillmore West

In the late 1960s, the San Francisco music scene was booming. The Grateful Dead and other bands were packing houses at the Fillmore West, a legendary concert venue in the city’s Haight-Ashbury district. Among the fans who flocked to see these shows was a young man named Rick McGraw.

McGraw, a self-taught musician, was drawn to the vibrant energy of the psychedelic rock movement. He soon began playing in local bands and making a name for himself as a talented guitarist. In 1968, he joined the country-rock band New Riders of the Purple Sage, which quickly became a fixture on the Bay Area music scene.

The New Riders were known for their looseness and improvisational style; they often jamming for hours on stage, playing whatever came into their heads. This approach to musicmaking was very much in line with the ’60s countercultural values of freedom and spontaneity. It was also very different from McGraw’s previous experiences in more traditional bands.

As his career progressed, McGraw began to experiment with new sounds and techniques. He became interested in electronic effects and began using them to create strange and beautiful textures in his playing. He also started using feedback—the sustain created by amplifying a guitar’s strings through its own pickups—to create droning, otherworldly sounds.

McGraw’s use of feedback and other experimental techniques caught the attention of Jimi Hendrix, who invited him to play on his seminal album Electric Ladyland. This exposure helped launch McGraw’s career as a solo artist and session musician; he went on to play with some of the biggest names in rock, including Crosby, Stills & Nash, David Bowie, and Bob Dylan.

In the early 1970s, McGraw’s increasingly erratic behavior led to problems with drugs and alcohol. His health deteriorated rapidly, and he died of an overdose in 1973 at the age of 29. Though his life was cut short, Rick McGraw left a lasting legacy as one of rock’s most innovative guitarists.

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