Music History

This rock family tree circulating on Facebook is freaking some people out

On the shelf in my office is a wonderfully illustrated book called The Complete Rock Family Tree. Exquisitely drawn by Pete Frame, it shows how so much of rock history is related through connections between various musicians and the groups in which they played.

Something similar has been circulating on Facebook and I bring it up here because it shows all the connections and influence Jeff Beck (who died yesterday) had throughout the rock universe, starting with his band, The Yardbirds. It is, however, causing some debate. Thoughts?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37808 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

3 thoughts on “This rock family tree circulating on Facebook is freaking some people out

  • Um. Any family tree that has The Beatles as a terminus, as in absolutely no branches coming from John, Paul, George and Ringo can’t be taken seriously. I stopped looking at it right there.

    • Well I suppose that one could investigate and expand ad infinitum but if you had to qualify inclusion in the chart by being “influential” then we could weed a few of the names that were included. Afa the individual Beatles members… We could say they were solo artists post breakup… Except for possibly The Travelling Wilburys… But even they weren’t particularly “influential.” McCartney was… but again, can’t we say Wings was really part of his solo career?

  • I don’t understand why that would freak anyone out. That is all common knowledge and there have been versions on rock family trees like that one since the 1980’s.


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