1957 Coffee houses, jukeboxes, jiving in swirling skirts, writhing, and diving. The sexual follows the rock 'n' roll revolution as Britain shakes to the new sound. Freedom of expression: how to be young and active. Riots hail the first arrival of Bill Haley from the US on these shores. Forty years ago this month he was rocking around the clock to the screams of a nation's eager young womanhood

Fight back From the black rhythm 'n' blues sounds shipped into the Mersey the Beatles export back a new version. The US goes wild on their first tour in 1964. Being more famous than Jesus challenges a mere King (Elvis). They also have all the best tunes.

Pardon? However, by the 1967 Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band album they've gone from being nice young men in suits to hippies in huge floral print shirts. From being chippy and chirpy to choral and curious. Old-style rock 'n' roll seems to have disappeared. Groups bring out albums inspired by drugs and flower power culture.

Get real Into the 1970s, and we did. The gentle tones of California grooving turned to glam rock - all high heels and high notes - and punk.

By the 1990s Rock is splintered into many factions: house, garage, ambient, jungle, rap. And that's just dance. Guitar-based rock has a collection of golden oldies at the helm. Next week, Bill Haley's Comets perform in Berlin . The Beatles sold more records last year than ever before. Poetry, cookery, anything is the "new rock 'n' roll", but not music. Yet The Daily Mail recently spoke of "the insidious, amoral influence of much modern music". Rock 'n' roll must still be with us ... but it helps if you are over 40.

James Aufenast