Here's another fascinating thing about rock and roll, and this is a recurring theme throughout our course. The evolution of rock and roll has been mostly linear, and that evolution crosses over more than just music styles, it crosses over generations, races, cultures, nationalities, and so on. But the key actually is influence. It is a continuing process of each generation being influenced by their predecessors, and then influencing those who come after them. It's really logical if you think about it. When someone begins to play music, they play things written by others. It's the only thing they can do. They imitate the musicians who inspire them. The one's they most respect. Over time, those students with special talent absorb those musical influences. They internalize them and then they can begin to innovate on their own. There really isn't any other way it can happen. First comes imitation, then absorption, and then innovation. I'd like to illustrate this point with an example, a song called The Train Kept A-Rollin. Now, everybody thinks this is an Aerosmith song because it was made famous by them in 1974. And it still gets a lot of airplay. Let's listen to it. [MUSIC] As I'm sure you noticed, it's an edgy, guitar-oriented hard rock song with a strong beat. But Aeorsmith did not write the song despite popular belief. So where did they get it? The real question is, who do you suppose the members of Aerosmith were listening to as they grew up? Could it have been The Yardbirds? [MUSIC] Wow, that was released ten years before Aerosmith's version. You could say Aerosmith's version is pretty much a straight ripoff of The Yardbirds but on more careful analysis, I think The Yardbirds version is under produced compared to Aerosmith's. It's a little more relaxed and more blues oriented in vocal delivery. What do you suppose The Yardbirds were listening to as they were becoming musicians, as they grew up in the 1950s? Where did they find the song? Perhaps it was here, by Johnny Burnette and his Rock 'n Roll Trio. Released nine years before The Yardbirds did the song. [MUSIC] Well that rendition, of course, is done in the style of rockabilly. Has distinctive guitar work, much less blues influence, and a funky sort of vocal style. Fascinating, right? So what do you suppose Johnny Burnette and his mates had been listening to as they came up? Where did they find the song? Johnny Burnette didn't write it. They probably got it from hearing this version, recorded five years before. [MUSIC] Now that's a jump blues, and it's actually my favorite version of the song. Jump blues by the way is an outgrowth of jazz with piano and call on response type vocal delivery. That version had much more groove. Now I could continue this and, in fact, I will. There are at least a dozen more covers of Train Kept A-Rollin by all sorts of groups from Led Zeppelin to Hanoi Rocks, from Metallica to the Tragically Hip, from Ten Years After to Twisted Sister. Here's one from Motorhead in 1978. [MUSIC] And here's yet another version from an Irish artist named Imelda May recorded in the Bing Lounge and available on YouTube. >> Well it seems that we were talking about rockabilly and influences I think it would be only right and proper to do a good proper Rockabilly from a great artist called Johnny Burnette. So this is Train Kept a Rollin [MUSIC] >> Well now the circle is pretty much complete isn't it? We're back to rockabilly, even if Imelda May doesn't know where the song actually originated. So the linear evolution concept is that rock and roll has advanced through a process of artists being influenced by those who preceded them, and then influencing those who came after them. It doesn't stop there. It's not just about transcending generations in musical styles but also races, cultures and nationalities. The original artist, Tiny Bradshaw, was an African American jazz musician from Ohio. Johnny Burnette was a white hillbilly artist from Memphis, Tennessee. So there is crossover of race and geography, north and south USA. The Yardbirds were from England, and Aerosmith is from Boston. That's crossing over internationally. Different cultures and nationalities. It's fascinating really, and that's why we will hear clips of a lot of cover songs along with the originals. And you will see in here the circle of influence. If you say, that band doesn't sound like anybody else, that's really highly unlikely. First comes imitation. You learn somebody's work, and from imitation comes absorption. Then you establish your own identity. Some musicians are more unique and distinctive as far as identity and innovation are concerned, and that's why many bands end up as one hit wonders and cover bands while a few others take off with their own distinctive identity and are successful for a long time.