The Worst Psychedelic Rock Bands of All Time

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


We all know that some psychedelic rock bands are better than others. But which ones are the worst of the worst? In this blog post, we’ll count down the absolute worst psychedelic rock bands of all time.

The Doors

Psychedelic rock is often associated with the hippie culture of the 1960s and 1970s and with bands such as The Beatles and The Doors. Psychedelic rock bands often used psychedelic drugs such as LSD to enhance their musical experiences. The Doors were one of the most well-known psychedelic rock bands of all time. The band’s name was inspired by Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, which itself was inspired by a line from William Blake’s poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The Doors were known for their wild stage shows and for their lead singer, Jim Morrison, who was considered to be a rock icon.

Jim Morrison’s antics

Jim Morrison was the Doors’ lead singer and main songwriter. He was also their main source of onstage antics and problems with the law. His onstage persona was that of a sex-obsessed, alcoholic lunatic who would often strip naked, vomit, urinate, and spew profanities at the audience. Offstage, he was known for his heavy drinking and drug use, as well as his tumultuous relationships with women. In 1967, he was arrested for indecent exposure during a concert in Miami. The charges were later dropped, but Morrison’s reputation as a wild man was cemented. In 1969, he was arrested again for disorderly conduct and inciting a riot at a concert in New Haven. He would be arrested several more times over the next few years for various offences including public drunkenness and driving under the influence. In 1971, he was found guilty of lewd and lascivious behaviour after exposing himself during a concert in Miami. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but died before he could be incarcerated.

The band’s lack of musical talent

The Doors were one of the worst psychedelic rock bands of all time. The band’s lack of musical talent was evident in their live performances, which often devolved into chaotic jams. Lead singer Jim Morrison often forgot the lyrics to their songs, and the band’s stage antics were more self-indulgent than entertaining. The Doors’ albums are mostly forgettable, and their legacy is marred by Morrison’s drug-induced death.

Jefferson Airplane

The band’s drug use

The Jefferson Airplane was one of the most well-known psychedelic rock bands of all time. They were also known for their heavy drug use, particularly LSD. The band’s main songwriter, Grace Slick, was a frequent user of LSD, and she wrote many of the band’s songs while under the influence of the drug. The band’s use of LSD led to them being associated with the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

The band’s chaotic live performances

As the Airplane became one of the first American rock bands to achieve widespread popularity, they also became one of the most notorious due to their chaotic live performances. The band was notorious for their heavy use of drugs and often played while under the influence, which led to several onstage meltdowns, botched song transitions, and missed cues. The band’s live shows were so unpredictable that many venues refused to book them, and those that did often required them to sign contracts absolving the venue of any responsibility for damages caused by the band. In 1968, the Airplane were kicked off a tour with The Doors after just two shows when Jim Morrison started a fight with Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen.

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, blues, and jazz. They were one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and their music has been said to embody the counterculture of that era. However, they are also widely considered to be one of the worst psychedelic rock bands of all time.

The band’s long, rambling jams

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band’s long, rambling jams were often compared to jazz, and they became one of the most popular bands of the ’60s psychedelic scene. The Dead was known for its live performances, and many of its songs were written to be played in concert. The band’s fans, known as “Deadheads,” were often as much a part of the experience as the music itself.

The band’s unprofessionalism

The Grateful Dead were notorious for their unprofessionalism, both on and off stage. They were often late for gigs, and when they did show up, their performance was often sloppy and improvised. Their concerts were often plagued by sound problems, and their jamming style meant that their songs rarely sounded the same twice. This unprofessionalism was part of their appeal to some fans, but it also meant that they were not taken seriously by the music industry.


Cream was a psychedelic rock band formed in 1966. The band consisted of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. The band was known for their extended improvisations, eclectic songwriting, and blues-influenced sound. They were also one of the first power trios. The band only released four studio albums but they are considered to be one of the most influential psychedelic rock bands of all time.

The band’s infighting

The band’s infighting was well-documented in the press, and they were often ridiculed for their on-stage antics. Cream was also derided for their use of feedback and distortion, which many critics saw as a cheap gimmick. However, their fans loved them for their raw energy and powerful performances.

The band’s lack of originality

Lack of originality has always been a big problem for Cream. Other than Eric Clapton’s guitar playing, the band was never able to muster much in the way of creativity or innovation. This is most evident on such forgettable albums as 1966’s Fresh Cream and 1967’s Disraeli Gears, which simply recycle the same formulaic blues-rock sound that had already been done better by other groups.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s. The style is characterized by distorted guitars, feedback, heavy use of drug references, and often politically or socially charged lyrics. Psychedelic rock bands often used electronic instruments such as organs and synthesizers.

The band’s drug use

Psychedelic rock bands of the 1960s were known for their heavy use of drugs, particularly LSD. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was no exception. In fact, Hendrix’s use of LSD was so excessive that it eventually led to the break-up of the band.

The band’s chaotic live performances

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American-English rock band that formed in London in September 1966. The band was active until June 1969. Originally consisting of bassist/vocalist Noel Redding, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and guitarist/vocalist Jimi Hendrix, the Experience was augmented by additional musicians for some live performances and recordings.

Hendrix is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. He achieved international fame following the release of the albums Are You Experienced (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968), and his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. His untimely death at age 27 on September 18, 1970, from barbiturate-related asphyxia has been described as one of the greatest tragedies in rock music history.

The Experience were known for their chaotic live performances, which often involved Hendrix setting fire to his guitar or playing it with his teeth. Hendrix often played his guitar behind his back or between his legs; sometimes he played it with his teeth or he would strum it using only one hand while continuing to play melodies on the fretboard with the other hand. The band’s touring arrangements were also unique; instead of having a standard setlist, they would simply play whatever song Hendrix felt like playing at that particular moment. This often resulted in lengthier versions of songs as Hendrix took advantage of the freedom to improvise solos and engage in extended jam sessions with Mitchell and Redding.

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