The Audacity of Rock: Part 35

A case study to bring back the rock flute.

Much like everything else that was good in fashion, film, and ethics, the 80s swept away the rock flute. The flute now remains a forgotten relic of folkier times in rock 'n' roll, laying waste in the hands of gossipy girls in the high school marching band. Let's reminisce about the good times, and prove that this is an instrument that deserves to come back.

"Forty-thousand Headman" by Traffic (live in Santa Monica 1972)

A flute can make a story sound old school campfire legendary.

I love everything about this band: the silk shirts, Steve Winwood's blank eyes, the blue sports jacket, the maracas, and most of all the flute.

"Song for Jeffrey" by Jethro Tull (1969 performance)

When used with gritty vocals and a slide guitar, a flute sounds incredibly earthy.

I'm pretty sure I see this guy on the street daily in Seattle, so where's the rock flute?

"The Musical Box" by Genesis (1972 on Belgian TV)

A flute can make a creepy fairy tale even more haunting. The (prog) rock flute starts at the 1:20 musical break. I recommend sticking this song out to the end. It is transcendent.

Did you stick around for grope-y Peter Gabriel?

"Everyone" by Van Morrison (off the 1970 album Moondance)

Last, a rock flute can make a song sound madrigally celebratory.

Dear people who are in charge of Van Morrison's music, why can't I find embeddable Van Morrison content? Love, a lover of Van Morrison's music.


1. How awesome is the rock flute?
2. What instrument would you like to see make a comeback?

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