130 Rock and Roll Quotes Music Fans will Enjoy

These rock and roll quotes show us how rock and roll music is a uniquely American creation with an often misunderstood past.

Looking around and seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll marathon, and Rock and Roll Sushi it’s easy to see how rock and roll are everywhere in American culture.

According to Statista, Rock and Roll is one of the most popular music genres worldwide, with over 60 million fans in the United States alone.

The energetic rhythms, iconic artists, and fantastic rock and roll quotes continue to attract generations of fans who enjoy its unique sound and cultural impact.

Historian Daniel Boorstin said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

Rock and roll are often associated with white American culture, and many white artists have pioneered the genre.

However, rock and roll is music created by African Americans, and like many uniquely African American creations, it was taken and re-imaged into mainstream culture.

Pioneers such as Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe pioneered the transformation from blues to rock.

Check out these rock and roll quotes to learn about its evolution into a global phenomenon.

Don’t forget to also check out these music quotes on how it heals our soul.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Rock & Roll quotes about its origins

Grand View Research reports that the global rock music market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% from 2020 to 2027.

This growth is likely to be driven by factors such as increasing music festivals and concerts, growing online music streaming services, and the rising popularity of classic rock and roll quotes.

1. “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.” – John Lennon

funny Rock & Roll quotes

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2. “Elvis may be the King of rock and roll, but I am the Queen.” – Little Richard

Rock & Roll quotes about elvis

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3. “Rock and roll is not just music, it is a way of life, it has its own spirit.” – Anupam Roy

Rock & Roll quotes about life

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4. “Jazz, rock and roll, movies and comics are the culture of America.” – Bill Griffith

Rock & Roll quotes about culture

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5. “I am the innovator. I am the originator. I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock ‘n’ roll!” – Little Richard

Rock & Roll quotes from Little Richard

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6. “I always felt rock and roll was very, very wholesome music.” – Aretha Franklin

Rock & Roll quotes about the music

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7. “I was always drawn to gospel music and the roots of African-American music. It’s the foundation of rock and roll.” – Hozier

Rock & Roll quotes about its foundation

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8. “Most of modern rock and roll is a product of guilt.”- Captain Beefheart

modern Rock & Roll quotes

9. “I grew up on the precursors to rock and roll, rhythm and blues.”- Bobbie Ann Mason

rhythm and blues and Rock & Roll quotes

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Quotes That Sum Up Rock & Roll

The Guardian notes that rock and roll have significantly impacted popular culture, with its influence felt in fashion, film, and other entertainment areas.

For example, rock and roll quotes have inspired countless fashion trends, from leather jackets to ripped jeans, and their rebellious spirit has been depicted in numerous films and TV shows.

10. “Rock and roll is – and should be – a kid’s place.”- Ben Folds

short Rock & Roll quotes

11. “I didn’t think you could just become a rock and roll singer.”- Tom Petty

Rock & Roll singer quotes

12. “Rock and roll: music for the neck downwards.”- Keith Richards

insightful Rock & Roll quotes

13. “Rock and roll is the hamburger that ate the world.”- Peter York

short funny Rock & Roll quotes

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14. “Prince presented us at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”- Bernie Worrell

Rock & Roll quotes about prince

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15. “If it’s illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail!”- Kurt Cobain

Rock & Roll quotes that will make you smile

16. “To me, rock and roll is like an ethos or a state of mind.”- Kevin Parker

deep Rock & Roll quotes

17. “If you want to release your aggression, get up and dance. That’s what rock and roll is all about.”- Chuck Berry

Rock & Roll quotes about dancing

18. “The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.” – Elton John

Rock & Roll quotes from Elton John

19. “There will never be another Freddie Mercury, one of the greatest rock and roll singers.” – Dave Clark

Rock & Roll quotes about freddie mercury

20. “It was always my belief that rock and roll belonged in the hands of the people, not rock stars.” – Patti Smith

famous Rock & Roll quotes

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Rock & Roll Quotes To Make You Smile

21. “You can’t have rock and roll without drugs, you can’t have rock and roll without sex.”- Rick James

famous Rock & Roll quotes and sayings

22. “I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast, but I can sing every single word of rock and roll.”- Patty Duke

Rock & Roll quotes about singing

23. “I was 12 in ’55 when rock and roll hit. It just completely transformed me.” – Robert Quine

Rock & Roll quotes about its origins

24. “Rock and roll might be summed up as monotony tinged with hysteria.”- Vance Packard

Rock & Roll quotes and sayings about its origins

25. “Rock and roll is a contact sport. I enjoy playing the tunes that really get the people going.”-Richie Sambora

Rock & Roll quotes for every fan

26. “Well, all rock and roll is based in artifice.” – Billy Corgan

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short Rock & Roll quotes to inspire you

27. “Rock and Roll has no beginning and no end for it is the very pulse of life itself.”- Larry Williams

Rock & Roll quotes about life

28. “I loved being a rock and roll star, but it wasn’t what I wanted in life.”- Patti Smith

Rock & Roll quotes from patti smith

29. “Energy is so important. If you don’t have it, don’t bother with rock and roll.” – Yoko Ono

Rock & Roll quotes to motivate you

30. “Rock and roll stars have it much better than writers when they’re on a tour.” – Neil Gaiman

Rock & Roll stars quotes

Rock & Roll quotes about its impact

31. “I like to rock and roll, but I’m a mushy guy, too. I want to be the guy that all the girls love and all the guys want to hang out with.”- Kenny Chesney

32. “I mean, there’s times to rock and roll, and I love that too. But I think my first love is acoustic music.”- Graham Nash

33. “I’ve always played every amp I’ve ever had full up, because rock and roll is supposed to be played loud. Also, that’s how you get your sustain.”- Ritchie Blackmore

34. “The whole world loves American movies, blue jeans, jazz and rock and roll. It is probably a better way to get to know our country than by what politicians or airline commercials represent.“- Billy Joel

35. “My mom passed away a day before high school started, and her dream was for me to be a full rock and roll guy, and play drums in a band.”- Travis Barker

36. “I’m not terribly happy about rock and roll. Certain rock music is uninspiring, numbing; it makes you feel like an idiot.”- Manuel Puig

37. “And, as soon as I could put together the, you know, three or four notes that made up, like, sort of a rock and roll lick, you know, like a Chuck Berry kind of thing, I was off and running. Just completely taken over.” – Slash

38. “In my opinion, hip-hop has a lot to do with rock and roll, because at one point it was considered an alternative – edgy, independent. Hip-hop is pots and pans the way that punk is garage. You make something out of nothing.”- CeeLo Green

39. “The old-timers schooled me good. They brainwashed me to respect music, whether we were playing rockabilly or blues or rock and roll.”- Dr. John

40. “I look back on my life, comin’ out of Macon, Georgia – I never thought I’d be a superstar, a living legend. I never heard of no rock and roll in my life.”- Little Richard

41. “Rock and roll music – the music of freedom frightens people and unleashes all manner of conservative defense mechanisms.”- Salman Rushdie

Celebrating Rock & Roll Quotes

42. “I take my job as a rock and roll sax player very seriously. To do it the way that I must do it, I must be in good condition. The better shape you’re in, the harder you can rock.”- Clarence Clemons

43. “I love classic rock, rock and roll, that’s the top-notch. I love soul – bluesy music as well.”-Haley Reinhart

44. “There’s a hell of a lot of freedom in this rock and roll circus… it’s where all the freaks go – it’s the environment for me.”- Brian Molko

45. “Every 15, 20, 25 years, a new rock and roll record needs to come out and a new rock and roll band needs to come out.”- Steven Adler

46. “What are the symbols of American strength, wealth, power and modernity? Certainly not jazz and rock and roll, not chewing-gum or hamburgers, Broadway or Hollywood. It’s their skyscrapers. Their Pentagon. Their science. Their technology.”- Oriana Fallaci

47. “I have a saying, which is, ‘Crazy is good for business.’ I think rock and roll really is about being a bit crazy.”- Billy Corgan

48. “The whole idea of rock and roll lifestyle is a cartoon. It’s a caricature. And at times, it’s made up of people emulating others; a few who actually live that lifestyle and many who claim to live that lifestyle.”- Paul Stanley

49. “When the fearsome foursome of rock music, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis, decided to show up in Toronto for a rock and roll festival, I knew we had to go there to try to get them all on film.”- D. A. Pennebaker

50. “The Ramones are an original rock and roll group of 1975, and their songs are brief, to the point, and every one a potential hit single.”- Tommy Ramone

Fancy Rock and Roll Quotes For Music Lovers

51. “Rock and roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no one is allowed to be magnificent.” — Kim Fowley

52. “Rock’n’roll will never go away completely because it’s so fundamentally attractive.” — Alex Turner

53. “Rock and roll is here to stay.” — Neil Young

54. “Rock n’ roll is a poison put to sound.” — Pablo Casals

55. “Rock & roll is like a painting. Can great paintings still be done? It depends on who holds the brush.” — Patti Smith

56. “I have Rock ‘n’ Roll pumping through my veins.” — Kesha

57. “If you think you are too old to rock ‘n roll, then you are.” — Lemmy Kilmister

58. “Rock’n’roll starts between the legs and goes through the heart, then to the head. As long as it does those three things, it’s a great rock song.” — John Mellencamp

59. “Rock and roll has probably given more than it’s taken.” — Charlie Watts

60. “Rock ‘n’ Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them.” — Pete Townshend

Rock and Roll Quotes For Fun Times

61. “If you really want to annoy me, ask me when I’m going to retire from rock n’ roll.” — Bruce Dickinson

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62. “In pop music, you say, ‘You can do what you want to me.’ Rock ‘n’ roll says, ‘I’m gonna do what I want to you.'” — Joan Jett

63. “I’m not much of a political person and even if I was, look, Rock ‘n’ Roll is supposed to be fun and sexy and a little bit dangerous.” — Lita Ford

64. “Rock n’ roll unchained a nation and revolutionized radio and the record industry, not to mention the motion picture business.” — Henry Rollins

65. “The reason kids like rock ‘n roll is their parents don’t.” — Mitch Miller

66. “I think a lot of people came into rock n’ roll to try to change the world. I came into rock n’ roll to make music.” — Steve Winwood

67. “Anyone who tells you they got into rock’n’roll for reasons other than girls, fame and money is full of s***.” — Gene Simmons

68. “I’m very fit on tour. I try to eat well, try to sleep. But it’s still rock n’ roll.” — Rufus Wainwright

69. “A rock’n’roll band needs to be able to get under people’s skin. You should be able to clear the room at the drop of a hat.” — Paul Westerberg

70. “Rock ‘n’ roll will never die. There’ll always be some arrogant little brat who wants to make music with a guitar.” — Dave Edmunds

Rock And Roll Quotes To Uplift Your Enthusiasm

 71. “I’m the greatest rock and roll drummer on the planet and you suck.” — Tre Cool

72. “Rock and roll keeps you in a constant state of juvenile delinquency.” — Eddie Spaghetti

73. “From this moment on I’d dedicate my life to rock and roll and take as many drugs as possible. What could possibly go wrong?” ― Craig Ferguson

74. “We are Motörhead. And we play rock and roll.” ― Lemmy Kilmister

75. “For me rock and roll is about the freedom to express yourself very loudly.” — BOB GRUEN

76. “If I hadn’t heard rock and roll on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet.” — Lou Reed

77. “You see, rock and roll isn’t a career or hobby – it’s a life force. It’s something very essential.” — The Edge

78. “I soaked my soul in Rock and Roll” ― Stuart Blythe

79. “Rock and roll is not one music but many.” — Robert Palmer

80. “Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.” — Elvis Presley

Thought Provoking Rock and Roll Quotes

81. One who sings with his tongue on fire, gargles in the rat race choir.” ― Bob Dylan

82. “Raise your hands in the air, pump your fists, and solemnly swear to rock the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” ― Kool Moe Dee

83. “I have never been accepted. I’ll never make the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They’re never going to let me in.” ― Nancy Sinatra

84. “Out stretched hands and one night stands, still I can’t find love.” ― Kid Rock

85. “Over to the jukebox I staggered for a love song to scatter my body before her.” ― Kim Mitchell

86. “Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words, killing me softly with his song.” ― Roberta Flack

87. “There’re songs to make you smile, there’re songs to make you sad. But with a happy song to sing it never seems as bad.” ― Stevie Wonder

88. “There was rock and roll across the dial, when I think of her it makes me smile.” ― Tom Petty

89. “The big corporations and the big companies turned musicians into factory workers on an assembly line.” ― Ray Davies

90. “I started recording the album four years ago. It was very different then – totally rock and roll.” ― Paris Hilton

Rock And Roll Quotes To Help You Understand The American Music

91. Rock music was never written for or performed for conservative tastes.” ― Frank Zappa

92. “Until I realized that rock music was my connection to the rest of the human race, I felt like I was dying, for some reason, and I didn’t know why.” ― Bruce Springsteen

93. “Music is the only thing in this world, with the exception of sneezing and looking at the sunset, that takes you to a place that’s above the mundane.” ― Stephan Jenkins

 94. “Rock and roll doesn’t necessarily mean a band. It’s that question of trying to be immortal.” ― Malcolm Mclaren

95. “A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ‘n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that kind of music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing like Fats Domino can. I know that.” ― Elvis Presley

96. “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.” ― John Lennon

97.  “Rock ’n roll is really swing with a modern name. It began on the levees and plantations, took in folk songs, and features blues and rhythm. It’s the rhythm that gets to the kids – they’re starved of music they can dance to, after all those years of crooners.” ― Alan Freed

98. “No change in musical style will survive unless it is accompanied by a change in clothing style. Rock is to dress up to.” ― Frank Zappa

99. “Through Kurt I saw the beauty of minimalism and the importance of music that’s stripped down.” ― Dave Grohl

100. “The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns.” ― Dave Hickey

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Iconic Rock and Roll Quotes That Shaped Music History

101. “As I said to Ringo, I was in a successful Rock N Roll band. He was in a band that changed the world. That’s the difference.” ― Greg Lake

102. “There’s an edge to real rock ‘n’ roll. It’s all that matters.” ― Neil Young

103. “Rock n’ roll can get quite overwhelming. You can get caught up in the cycle.” ― Grace Jones

104. “My generation had the best years. We missed the Second World War and caught the outburst of rock ‘n’ roll.” ― Georgie Fame

105. “You know, you’ve got to be careful with how you educate your kids in rock’n’roll fashion.” ― Scott Weiland

106. T-shirt and jeans style now is where I’m at. Maybe a little rock ‘n’ roll T-shirt and jeans.” ― Josh Hutcherson

107. “I thought everybody got into rock ‘n’ roll because they didn’t want to follow instructions.” ― Mos Def

108. “I don’t really inject the rock ‘n’ roll thing, what I take from rock ‘n’ roll is probably the melodies and the musical behind it.” ― Cedric Gervais

109. If I’m boxing, I’ll probably have rap on, or something a little more angry. If I’m lifting, maybe some rock ‘n’ roll. If I’m doing some cardio, something fast paced.” ― Steven R. McQueen

110. “I grew up listening to blues and rock ‘n’ roll and other music, but, legitimately, the Stones is one of my favorite bands in the world.” ― Ato Essandoh

Exploring the Spirit of Rock and Roll Quotes

111. “Rock ‘n’ roll was two pegs below being a prisoner of war back then.” ― Ronnie Hawkins

112. “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame was a great idea when it started, but I think they ought to close it, I think it’s full.” ― Iggy Pop

113. “Anyone who says rock ‘n’ roll is a passing fad or a flash-in-the-pan trend along the music road has rocks in the head.” ― Alan Freed

114. “I tried to stick with what I knew best, which is writing rock n’ roll songs and melodies. I am as passionate as I was when I was 20.” ― Gary Cherone

115. “I’ve never stuck around long enough to know if anyone would miss me. That’s rock ‘n’ roll, though. Here today, gone tomorrow.” ― Jeff Beck

116. “Biggest lesson I’ve ever had in life is that blues had a baby and they named it rock ‘n’ roll.” ― Sinead O’Connor

117. “I can see more naturalness in basic blues, basic R & B, basic rock ‘n’ roll.” ― Van Morrison

118. “Rock is gut level and it just gets to people. I think there’s far too much emphasis on intellectualization, especially in rock ‘n’ roll which is a primitive form.” ― Van Morrison

119. “This is rock’n’roll, not classical music. It’s about people working together.” ― Cass McCombs

120. “Most of the people who are given these Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame things sell millions of records, so it’s kind of like a trophy for them.” ― Tommy Ramone

121. Obviously the people that I admired, like the Beatles, were really into rock’n’roll, but it was already a little past rock’n’roll when I started listening and making my own choices about music.” — Elvis Costello

122. “Detroit was kind of a random thing where it was like a chance to be in a rock ‘n’ roll movie.” — Edward Furlong

123. “People who listen to my records expect the ballads from me. The rock ‘n roll is on there because it’s another mode of expression.” — Dan Fogelberg

124. “I see the crowd singing ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ or ‘Back Road’ at my concerts… they are anthems and they lift up your life.” — Rodney Atkins

125. “And it’s a – it’s a term that’s based on contempt; it’s a term that’s based on fashion, style, elitism, satanism, and, everything that’s rotten about rock ‘n’ roll.” — Iggy Pop

126. “I’m trying to bring danger back in to rock ‘n’ roll and there are no limits and no laws and I break down every barrier put in front of me till the day I die.” — GG Allin

127. “Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages.” — Frank Zappa

128. “It turns out a lot of people don’t get it. Wikipedia is like rock’n’roll; it’s a cultural shift.” — Jimmy Wales

129. “When it came to music growing up, it wasn’t just gospel and R&B. My uncle brought rock ‘n’ roll to me when I was younger, and I loved it. I was open to all music.” — Aaron Dontez Yates

130. “What really is wild about rock ‘n’ roll? Nothing. It’s so banal and so part of corporate culture. It threatens to lose all its life.” — Ezra Furman

Which of these Rock & Roll quotes is your favorite?

In a 2015 piece chronicling the history of rock and roll in The NewYorker noted that “Rock and roll are usually explained as rhythm-and-blues music—that is, music performed by black artists for black listeners—repurposed by mostly white artists for a mostly white audience.”

The article provides an in-depth history of the racial bias in the Billboard charting system and describes in detail how the Billboard system and the radio networks were predicated on segregation.

In spite of these obstacles, many African American artists pioneered taking the blues sound and transforming it into what we know as rock.

Little Richard described the process as “The blues had an illegitimate baby and we named it rock ‘n’ roll.”

Later on, Hall of Fame artists such as Jimmy Hendrix and Prince would carry on the tradition.

Do you have a favorite rock and roll quote?

Let us know in the comments.

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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