The history of Indian rock music is a largely untold one. This is a subculture that has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media though, it emerges, its antiquity in India dates back to the early 1960s when it attempted to sing in tune with the beat that swept the West. Sidharth Bhatia has authored a new book, India Psychedelic, on this theme, which comes close on the heels of Naresh Fernandes’ Taj Mahal Foxtrot, a history of India’s jazz scene. Though I found Bhatia’s book interesting, I felt it confined itself to a narrow era – the decades of the 1960s and 1970s – and just about pays lip services to the years thereafter. My interest, on the other hand, has been focused on the 1980s and particularly the 1990s, when Internet technology paved the way for musicians and artists to assert their right to be heard sans borders. It dwells, also, on my area of interest: the evolution of the Bangalore rock music scene beginning with the Bangalore Music Strip.
This article, written for Yahoo Originals, attempts to colour in the grey areas left by Bhatia’s book, as well as etch a fresh canvas of perspective.