Bibliotherapy Jukebox: India Psychedelic

For your listening pleasure... a collection of aural gems discovered courtesy Sidharth Bhatia's fascinating effort at shining some light on the rock music scene in India of the 1960s and '70s, full of anecdotes and memories from the pre-pre-Internet era, amassed through tons of interviews and diligent research.

To ensure that these legends get due attention (much well-deserved), I would be showcasing only a couple at a time. Stay tuned to this space for regular updates :)


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“A pack of youngsters clustered outside the Shanmukhananda Hall in Bombay's King's Circle area, waiting impatiently for the doors to open. . They were dressed in the fashion of the day, their batik T-shirts and bell-bottomed pants a cheerful, colourful splash on that pleasant Sunday morning. Passers-by staring at the long haired boys and brightly attired girls probably wondered which species these strange creatures belonged to. . Some of the assembled young people looked back equally wonderingly at the staid locals going about their morning chores. In this conservative neighbourhood, though, it was the young outsiders who were the misfits. . But mostly their minds were on what was to come once the doors opened. It was the finals of the Simla Beat Contest, where the best beat groups from all over the country would play and sing their hearts out-a much-awaited event for music freaks. . The year was 1971…” . - Sidharth Bhatia India Psychedelic: the story of a Rocking Generation (2014) @harpercollinsin . ‘The never-before-told story of the rock music scene in India of the 1960s and '70s’ by the founding editor of The Wire and a die-hard audiophile. . A fascinating effort, full of anecdotes and memories from the pre-pre-Internet era, amassed through tons of interviews and diligent research. . . Also, watch ‘Standing By’, an excellent six-part documentary on the history of independent music in India, created by Arjun S. Ravi in association with @onlymuchlouder .. Available to stream on YouTube. . . Did you know? - The refrain of the most popular song, PSP 12'' by one of India’s best rock ensembles, Zero, is just the words “Standing By” repeated 21 times. . . PS. 2018 was the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ trip to Rishikesh, India. Coincidentally, the same year when this fan of Indian origin got to visit their origins in Liverpool. But that's another story :) . . . #indiapsychedelic #sidharthbhatia #thewire #rockmusic #indianrockmusic #independentmusic #booksaboutmusic #simlabeat #standingby #loumajaw #ledzeppelin #redbullmusic #OML #thebeatles #beatlesinindia #thecavern #beatlesstory #magicalmysterytour #liverpool #myantinationalbookshelf #ProjectBibliotherapy

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For a raw glimpse at the music scene in India five decades ago, no better place to start than Simla Beat '71.

Stream the mixtape here...

Atomic Forest

"Atomic Forest would have been a truly great band had it held together as one, unchanging unit for even a few years, but that did not happen. Yet, it has left a mark in the history of rock bands in India as a flag-bearer of the psychedelic '70s." ~ Sidharth Bhatia

One of the very few bands from the early days of Indian Rock whose full albums are available to stream on Spotify...

Add their mix of originals and covers to your playlists - Totally recommended.

Lou Majaw

The 48th Bob Dylan celebration happened this summer...

And a personal favourite - Lou rocking hard one of the few top-notch performance venues in the capital once upon a time, long long ago...

Studio albums for your aural pleasure...


Bonus Essential Reading - What me worry?

Also penned by Mr Bhatia, a brilliant ode to Alfred E. Neuman...

Name. One book/author/topic on your reading list for 2021. Email. Phone number (optional). That’s all.
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