Rock music is the heartbeat of the world. Once the sound of the modern transatlantic city, it has since crossed both continental and cultural boundaries to become a genuinely universal language. This book guides the reader through its first sixty years, a period that has witnessed many remarkable changes as rock continues to draw on ever-wider influences and reinvent itself. From its origins in post-war America to its emergence as the siren call for the late-1960s youth revolution, from the theatrical, troubled 1970s to stadium rock and the digital age, rock music has proved to be remarkably resilient and adaptable - and more popular than ever. This book explains, in simple terms, how and why rock music has become such a potent force in popular culture. Organized in roughly chronological fashion, the book's narrative is neatly divided into eras, each with its own key artists and music areas. There are also sideways glances at relevant pop cultural fads and fashions, while an extensive timeline provides an ever-moving thread which binds all the elements that make up the story of rock music together.