For decades, and perhaps still somewhat true today, rock music and television have had what Keith Richards describes as “a very weird, unnatural marriage.” From its inception, rock and roll was rebellious, brazen and controversial. Television, on the other hand, was bland, familiar and non-threatening. They had very little in common.
Just as Hollywood and the movie industry ignored, belittled and dismissed rock and roll for many years, television also showed it no respect, at first. Almost everyone in positions of power in TV — the network executives, the program producers and writers, the censors in the “Standards and Practices” department, the established stars and show hosts — all showed a very obvious disdain for rock and roll. With only a few exceptions, it would take TV many years before recognizing the growing appeal and marketability of rock, and even longer to acknowledge its artistic merits.