|Velvet Tissue Box, 1990
Sunbeams are the scholars who attribute the Velvet Revolution of 1989 to good old rock 'n roll. In 1968, the Prague Spring opened up the west for good to the former Czechoslovakia, despite attempts by the Soviet military to suppress the infiltration. The Beatles' Revolution broadcasted over the airwaves and, most importantly, forged a growing youth resistance around the new, infectious music that was in every sense liberating. Politically conscious bands that formed as a result, like the Plastic People of the Universe, played prominent roles in challenging the Soviet-backed regime.
Twenty years later, as daily protests amassed to half a million people in Wenceslas Square during November, the initial strand of resistance that carried over on John Lennon's words saw the likes of Frank Zappa and Lou Reed coming to aid the newly elected president and playwright Václav Havel. Mick Jagger and company are slated to play a concert in the new Czech Republic months after, as jubilant posters proclaimed "The tanks are rolling out, the Stones are rolling in."