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Looking back at the history of rock music in India

Rock culture isn’t new-born in India. The history of rock music is largely untold. This is a subculture that has been mostly ignored by mainstream media though.

Back in those days, the bands playing rock music in India was known as the beat group.

In the 60s and early 70s  bands like the Thunderbirds, Mystiks, Beat-X, and Flintstone made their mark in this genre.

Around that time, well-known western bands began producing music that had a heavy influence of Indian classical music. While George Harrison made Norwegian Wood in 1965, The Beatles came up with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.

Rock music had entered into Bollywood numbers by the 70s. Composers dared to try this style, and the audience embraced it willingly.

Indian musicians were going beyond fusing rock with traditional Indian music.

Then as now, bands that performed covers demonstrated skill, but those that performed original compositions invited curiosity and awe. Some toured clubs and hotels in major cities, attempting to live off the music they made. Luckier ones rode on the blessings of wealthy benefactors, cut demo records and raised enough money to break on through to the other side, taking the long, hard route to Europe where they busked, slummed about and chased the big break.  

Rock culture slowly but now has permeated into the lives of the Indian Audiences far and wide. Bet it regional, on a national level or in movies, music composers throw in a dash of rock and punk fearlessly.

But be it a digital medium, your iPod, your father’s radio set or your grandma’s gramophone, music is just as wonderful. And rock will always rock. 

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