Turn it up to 11: tech's contributions to rock and roll

Many of rock's greatest moments hinge on shifts in music technology. Here is a chronology of some of the highlights.

Liquid and Laser Light Shows (1960s, 1970s, 1980s)

Whether the focal point of attention was the gyrating hips of Elvis or the big suit of David Byrne (of Talking Heads), rock concertgoers appreciated a visual counterpoint to the aural stimulation. The eye-catchers of choice during the 1960s and 1970s, were liquid light shows. This example features Frank Zappa's band, the Mothers of Invention.

The technology for these shows involved moving coloured oil-based and water-based dyes together on convex glass plates, and using overhead projectors to display the resulting images to mind-blowing effect.

Eventually liquid light shows went the way of the lava lamp, as advances in laser technology permitted increasingly sophisticated laser light show. The first efforts to harness the laser for this purpose occurred in the 1970s, and laser light shows became a staple of 1980s rock concerts.

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