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Old 05-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #1
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Indy: Rock Music, The '50s, and the Post War World

Given that this film takes place in the late '50s--already into the Rock N' Roll era, and rock features quite a bit on the soundtrack--I have to ask:

How do you think Indy feels about rock music? In the YIJC and Bantam novels, it is firmly established that in his youth, Indy was a HUGE fan of Jazz music, even learning how to play the saxophone. Rock, especially the rock of the late '50s, was very much inspired by Jazz, but was amped up, and a whole subculture went along with rock that didn't exist with Jazz.

It just makes me wonder how Indy as a character felt about Rock Music, the Beatnik & Greaser movements (which were huge in '57), the Second World War, Korea and the Post-WWII era in general. I ask this since the YIJC established him as more than just a simple, one dimensional adventurer--He was a guy with opinions on his world, political, cultural and whatnot. He seemed to anticipate a second Great War, at least in 1919.

I just wonder if as he became older he became (as some do) more conservative, and thus, less happy about the changing times, or if, having seen as much as he'd seen, accepted it.

In some ways, I do kind of wish the films or novels would touch on Indy as a PERSON, like the YIJC did, rather than simply as a one dimensional action hero. I think Indy's probably one of the most fascinating, from a character and psychological perspective, action heroes to ever grace the silver screen. He's not a Zorro or a Robin Hood--he's not fighting against evil because he feels a calling too; Usually, he's sort of pushed by some external force into being a hero, and even then, he's not trying to BE a hero--Like Zorro or Robin Hood do, they actively try to be heroic and inspire and help people--he's just trying to get the job done; Zorro and Robin Hood on the other hand are much more clean cut in why they do what they do. The only time in the series he can legitimately be called a true, selfless hero is in TOD with the slave children. He could've easily returned without them--would've been much safer for him to. Instead, he gets a vicious beating and nearly gets killed saving the kids.

Even down to his choice of his name and attire, there's a lot of psychology and depth there. Superman, Batman and Zorro just wear their costumes to simply hide their identities, as the world knowing who they really were would hurt their agendas. But Indy is different. He doesn't NEED to rename himself INDIANA Jones or wear the same clothes as Fedora, his obvious inspiration, did. There's a lot of depth to it, to the birth of Indiana Jones from the foundation of Henry Jones, Jr. I'd love if we could talk more about this--Indy's human, psychological side--since both the YIJC, LC and KOTCS to a lesser extent set the precedent for this--An action hero with real depth and complexity.

Last edited by Raiders112390 : 05-04-2011 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Raiders112390
Rock, especially the rock of the late '50s, was very much inspired by Jazz, but was amped up,...
3 chord progression/12 bar Rock'n'Roll songs of the '50s derived from the Blues.
Originally Posted by Raiders112390
...and a whole subculture went along with rock that didn't exist with Jazz.
That's debatable...You mentioned beatniks. Jazz was popular with the Beat Generation, the so-called 'Beatniks'.

I used to think that Indy would have disliked Rock'n'Roll (much like the '60s film version of James Bond didn't like The Beatles) but taking the Old Indy bookends into account, he doesn't mind Rock music as long as it's done well.

Spike: "Grandpa, I'm practicing. Let's talk later."
Old Indy: "You've been practicing for 2 years! Do you feel there's been any progress?"
Spike: "Yeah, 2 years ago, I knew 3 songs. Now I know 30."
Old Indy: "Quantity is not what I'm talking about! You may know 30 songs but you play them all equally badly! I hate to tell ya this kid but ya sound like a bunch of cats on a hot, tin roof!"
Spike: "Ya don't have to be good to be famous. All we want to do is be famous!"
Old Indy: "Now wait a minute. In music, the music comes first..."


Spike: "What's goin' on? Grandpa, what are you doin'?"
Old Indy: "The neighbours are complaining."
Neighbour 1: "If you don't stop, I'm going to call the police."
Spike: "You don't understand what we're trying to do. Grandpa, we're pushing the envelope!"
Neighbour 2: "You're pushing us!"
Old Indy: "I know, I know. Don't think I don't understand. I had some friends in Chicago in 1920..."
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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I always think older people wouldn't mind the change in music, film, television, and culture in general if it didn't come associated w/ the bad connotations often associated w/ the young people of that generation. I could see Indy not minding the music itself, but not caring for the greasers and the jocks, etc.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Thought this topic was a good one I made and deserved a bump...I'd like other perspectives....
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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I think something from Lerner and Loewe's '57 catalogue would be more up his street.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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Sinatra, FRANK Sinatra.
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