BY bryson inman
There are many different ideas of where and how the idea of psychedelic rock was first
brought about. All sources say that psychedelic rock came about in the midst of the 1960s
bringing with it new and experimental sounds and lyrics. These ideas of experimenting with
music and warping the creations to something never heard of is, what the genre is about. It was popular in the 60s and through the 70s and was an idea created by “mind-expanding” drugs such as LSD and marijuana.
The genre has been in a debate on who was the first to have or the band to be considered
the first psychedelic band. The first band to use the word “psychedelic” was The Holy Modal
Rounders but was not considered psychedelic. The band to use the word “psychedelic” in their band name was The Psychedelic Rangers which some members like John Densmore and Robby Kreiger would go on to be part of The Doors in 1965. Some notable bands in 1965 who were making psychedelic music were The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix
Experience, The Charlatans, etc.
This debate of who started the genre or led the genre could go multiple ways. However,
there is a group that is seen as the helm of the psychedelic genre that is barely mentioned in most areas of debate. That being Jimi Hendrix or the Jimi Hendrix Experience. This was a man who mastered the ideal look of what psychedelic rock and psychedelia should be. From his use of multiple styles of playing guitar to his right-handed fender with switched strings to match his being left-handed. His grasp of what he envisioned for his music. The use of color in his music conveys emotion in his album Axis: Bold as Love. Examples of his music being mind-expanding are Purple Haze, Fire, Wait Till Tomorrow, Little Wing, Castles Made of Sand, and All Along the Watchtower.
Hendrix was on psychedelics while recording and writing the lyrics for most of these
songs. He was one who changed the genre of rock and in the process refined psychedelic rock as a whole. Giving a new voice and music that was never before seen in the genre. Even Hendrix would go on to be prolific in his style of music and experiment with each song, neither of them sounding the same, but instead were forever unique in their own forms. That's why his band is The Jimi Hendrix Experience, because each new song or album, was something new to experience. This is why Jimi Hendrix in my opinion is the leader of the psychedelic genre.