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Andrew Alden

The First Rock Band

By April 27, 2009

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rock bandI've just learned that rock bands didn't start in the sixties—they had a predecessor back in the eighteen-eighties, the Till Family Rock Band. This was a Lake district family who built and played instruments using tuned stones. They were, a contemporary handbill says, "the greatest novelty of the age!" The band appeared all over Britain and then took America by storm, touring the country for five years and settling in Bayonne, New Jersey.

An extra tidbit of deliciousness for fans of geology is that till, the family name, is also the word for the random assortment of stones and sediment that glaciers create. Some of the instruments in the Till Family Rock Band may have come from till.

For this exquisite piece of history I'm indebted to Robin's tipoff in the Oakland Geology blog.

Geology music
Geology poetry
Earth art

Till family collection

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