Artists, especially musicians, often use their medium as a means to challenge and criticize the existing social and political status quo; this became particularly evident in the 1960s, a decade full of turbulence, violence and disillusionment, caused by an immensely unpopular war, the Vietnam War, ever-increasing brutality towards minority groups, and the emergence of a large counterculture that started to call for change and revolution. In this respect, the era provided an adequate basis for the flourishing of political and topical songs, since many musicians of the time, particularly those of the American West Coast, incorporated contemporary social and political issues into their songs. In doing so, they tried to influence and change public opinion. This diploma thesis investigates the relationship of the West Coast Rock movement, a movement consisting of a group of revolutionary rock musicians that were active on the American West Coast, to the causes of the larger counterculture of the 1960s. To fully understand the musical movement, it is necessary to be acquainted with prevailing social and political issues of the era that led to the emergence of that counterculture; therefore the introductory chapters are dedicated to a review of America's social and political situation in the 1960s, followed by a closer analysis of 60s counterculture, including the different movements of which it was composed and its primary goals. The main part of this diploma thesis, however, deals with West Coast Rock, its origins, major musicians, and guiding principles. To illustrate how the counterculture and social and political issues of the 1960s influenced contemporary West Coast musicians and their work, song lyrics that responded to those issues are analyzed according to the techniques of literary and intermedial studies. While some songs overtly discuss, or rather criticize, the war and other social and political wrongs, others are more subtle in their attempt. However, both types intended to convince people to start fighting against the establishment and existing social injustices, especially when it comes to America's involvement in the Vietnam War. In this respect, West Coast musicians made a major contribution to the achievement of the counterculture's primary goals, which were to put an end to the war in Vietnam and to violence in general. In doing so, they helped to initiate the establishment of a more peaceful and tolerant American society.