Friday, May 18, 2007


All teens are rebellious - each new generation of adolescents tries to create something new, and differentiate itself from anything in the past: that's the definition of the term "modern" and, what teen doesn't want to be modern?
However, I believe the 60's were different. Other generations of youngsters before, and since, tried to (and most did) make their statement of modernism in such easy and obvious fields as clothes, hairstyle and of course, popular music fashion.
In the 60's, for the first and only time, they tried to (and did) make a statement of modernism in the political field, as well as all other fields. This point is arguable, inasmuch as political beliefs have been part of the "modern young fashion" before. Ok, no news there. What to me is new and unique, is the way ALL established "truths" were questioned, including the ego. It's as if they said, "ok, if everything is old, let's strip of everything! - literally: possessions, clothing, the body (gender is just a random accident of nature), beliefs - but wait, there's still the it old? - strip it off!" Or, go look for it!
There's no such thing as race, so - no need to rush! Take it easy, enjoy Mother-Nature, make babies (please don't step on them!), and all things shall in time, fall into place! With a little luck, even dinner will fall on my plate - as long as someone does my communal work on time, or daddy doesn't get layed off...either way, don't bogart that reefer!
Fun times! What happened to Rock&Roll? It got weird: at first it was evenly balanced, up untill the mid-sixties a symmetrical sense of esthetics prevailed, then,... it seemed to start tripping on acid, the beat got rocked out of balance with the roll, which in turn, seemed to fade off...
I would even go as far as dividing the decade into the 1st half and call it the "neck-tie" 60's, and the 2nd half - the "hippy" (or "bohemian" as some would have it) 60's.

All of the rock sub-genres that would develop in the following decades, were born in the 60's - even techno: with the "grandfather" of electronic music hits - sounding quite weird at the time - "Hot Butter Popcorn"...
Another interesting phenomenon was the "incorporation" of rock&roll into the established "serious music", via Broadway Rock Operas ("Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" are the relevant examples), and the so-called Symphonic Rock, covering many sub-genres but mainly, accompanied by classical orchestra instruments.
In the latter part of the decade, Jazz went "free", which means free of any melodic obligations or entanglements.
Suddenly, for the arts, too much freedom brought on an empty void, devoid of meaning, with nothing, staring right at your face...the universe was boiled down to either "good" (positive) or "bad" (negative) vibrations - and that's all you really are: a good or a bad vibration - just like music!

"He's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans, for nobody..." - John Lennon

Of course the genius of The Beatles (mainly Lennon and McCartney) were partly to blame (with a BIG part), but also drugs, (their extensive use), properly fed and hardship-ignoring kids, the horrors of war televised into the living-room, and a "new" (because not practiced) way of understanding love: not romantic, but universal. The 60's generation went all out for a synthesis of all cultures, all religions, all music.
Fun times...when globalization was a left-wing idea. Revolution? "Well, you know...we all wanna change our heads!'s gonna be alright!"
Rock & Roll would never be the same again, neither would society...Peace, Man!
A note on the category: since Rock is a category on its own, under this "label" I chose to include all the popular tunes that marked the decade, even though they are mostly also rock & roll.

Audio Illustrations:
- necktie 60's
Otis Redding - Reach Out (I'll Be There)
Los Bravos - Black is Black
Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Were Made For Walking
Animals - House Of The Rising Sun
- hippy 60's
Scott McKenzie - If You're Going To San Francisco
Melanie - Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma
Sonny & Cher - The Beat Goes On
5th Dimension - Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (from the musical "Hair" score)
- Woodstock soundtracks:
Jimmy Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner
Jimmy Hendrix - Purple Haze (Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky)
Janis Joplin - Summertime

Video Illustrations:
The Mamas And The Papas - California Dreamin'


Anonymous said...

charly, I love the 60's!

Jaggerfan1 said...

OMG, my decade. lol. My mom says I belong in the 1960s, maybe I do, idk. But I loooooooooooooooooove all things 1960s, like the music, the fashion, pop culture, everything. If it's 1960s, I'm gonna loooooooooooove it!

Anonymous said...

I love the 60s music and get to perform some of the bands listed above in my 1960s show