See, the genius of rock music is that it matched the cultural hysteria around it. Not only Dylan, but that kind of scorching electric howl of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison — and these happen to be three people who died early and tragically — as if to provide an answer, as if to present a counterpart to what was happening around them in the streets, in the riots, in the assassinations, in the war in Vietnam, in the civil rights struggle. Rock was the art form that could match that. Not that these artists all made explicit reference to the immediate culture around them. But the music itself was a perfect counterpart to what was happening in our culture — as, for example, jazz was not. I’m a lifelong jazz fan — but jazz was just too cool to be part of that. It had to be rock. Rock just came out of it.
– Don Delillo interviewed by Greil Marcus