My name is Tim Londergan. I am by profession a theoretical physicist and am recently retired from the Indiana University-Bloomington physics department. My adorable wife and I are the staff for two delightful cats. My research specialty is the fundamental properties of the atomic nucleus with a focus on the quarks and gluons that form the internal structure of protons and neutrons. However, there are many blogs that deal with fundamental issues in physics and astrophysics. So, physics is not the subject of this blog.
Instead, my posts will feature personal commentary on the early history of rock music and its impact on American (and world) culture. These are topics that have long been meaningful to me. My interest in these issues began in my youth in upstate New York in the late 1950s, when I became aware of folk and rock music and played electric bass in my hometown band. Alas, I quickly discovered that my musical talents were exceptionally limited. Although my performing days quickly ended, my fascination with the music and culture continued. The music was also critically linked to the social upheaval of those times, to issues of generational conflict, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War.
On completing my undergraduate studies I was awarded a graduate scholarship to Oxford University, where I was fortunate to experience first-hand the “British Invasion” phenomenon. I was a couple of years too late for the emergence of The Beatles; however, London was a veritable Garden of Eden for live rock and blues. In contrast to watching American Bandstand, which by then consisted largely of artists lip-synching their records, I attended live performances by groups like The Who, The Yardbirds, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Traffic, The Hollies, John Mayall, etc. It’s amazing that 50 years later several of those artists are still performing (so much for Pete Townshend’s “hope I die before I get old”).
So my blog will chronicle a personal journey through the 60s and 70s, presented as commentary on the early days of rock music, in addition to the social and cultural issues affected by that music. Each post will feature an important rock song and contrast the original with one or more “covers” of that song. I will examine different reactions to a basic theme and discuss how each artist treats the material. Obviously one can write entire books on these topics, but I hope you find these short blog posts interesting and informative.