Hard rock is a manifestation of garage rock, surf rock and psychedelic rock, and British blues of the 1960s. It was not until the kinks did this kind of guitar sound begin. Old speakers in London clubs provided a banged-up ratty sound. After a while, the bands started to like the sound the punctured and torn speakers in old amps made. That was a growly sound that would get you fired from a club gig until they started to like it and use it to their advantage.
Listen to what Howlin’ Wolf does with a guitar. Early distortion.
Howlin’ Wolf – How Many More Years – 1951
Link Wray – Rumble – 1958
Distortion, tremolo, and the guitar are dominant. It’s a riff.
Surf and garage coming together. Hard rock is developing.
The Chessman – Cant’s Catch Me – 1966
A hard, customized soundsystem. Volume to kick it in. A disaster at Woodstock and Altamont, crowds moving, in the wake of these two concerts. Rock and roll moves into arenas and out of outdoor parks. You can load up with gear and blast out your music.
Let’s go to Australia. AC/DC doesn’t form until 1973. But there’s a working-class youth that’s coming up that wants out of their lives. The bar scene is about rock music. Sounds a little like mid-70s Foghat.
Carson County Band-Morning Train – 1971
Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs -1971
Now we’re talkin’… That’s starting to sound like hard rock for sure. I love this!
Buffalo – Suzy Sunshine – 1972
The Valentines – Build Me Up Buttercup – 1972
Yea, that backup singer is Bon Scott. Hard to believe that one of the premier voices of 70s hard rock started out singing backup and dressed like that!
Marcus Hook Roll Band – Watch Her Do It Now -1973
Malcolm, Angus and their older brother George. So we’ve got two of the founding members of AC/DC. You can already hear the pull in the band between pop and rock happening.
Their older is working on her sewing machine and looks down at the steel label hammered into the machine that says, AC/DC – (alternate and direct current) and suggests it to Angus as a name for his new band. She also suggested the school outfit for Angus. She said he looked so cute in it but it became a snub at authority and school. He only zig-zagged on stage to dodge the bottles thrown at the bands in the hardscrabble roadhouse bars they played in.
Which brings us here…
There you have it.
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