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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Chick-N-Picker, Mar 13, 2018.
Just a point on perspective from a small town /rural, life long mid westerner ! It was told to me when a teen that the mid west was 20yrs behind the times in comparison to the east and west coasts and for the most part it rings pretty true! but while the Watts riots were happening in calif., 45 miles from our small town of a 1000 pop.we were seeing regularly on the nightly news of the rioting in Waterloo Ia.
all i can say is, the locals were all perplexed at what the heck was happening then, my young self included!
all these years later we find the low sink of lifestyles has now found rural america! and most of the locals are still perplexed at what is happening!!
I know I spent the colorful, flower-power '60s in grade school, excited that I would soon be old enough to be a part of it. But when I got there, it was the weatherbeaten brown, macrame & hemp-laden '70s-hippiedom wearing huaraches, which quickly gave way to glitzy, cocaine-y disco, neither of which held any appeal for me. I felt cheated.
I enjoyed the '80s a lot more, listening to post-punk and 60's-revivalist paisley stuff. Seems like I wasn't alone in missing the '60's.
I always knew he was guilty.
^^^ Straight up.
Good point about different perceptions. The 60s era has been a huge topic with my boomer generation and depending on exactly how old you were and where you were living gave you a different enough perspective to make this subject so interesting. Living on the S.F. Peninsula was a different experience than the same age kid in the Midwest. Also, my parents were somewhat liberal as opposed to some parents were more conservative, which I think we all thought our parents were FOS, but they had their influences on us regardlessly.
I can't remember
The drugs today maybe stronger but people medicated and abused substances 150 years ago. Its about the behavior not the substance.
One thing for sure – you had to have been there. I read some of the bitter reactionary thoughts of non-boomers and while I agree that the whole regurgitation of the 60’s era has been overblown, overdone and overthought, I feel kind of sorry for them not being able to realize that they would have been just as affected as anyone else was – in the thousand different ways we all were.
There really isn’t one way to boil it all down.
I grew up in a small university town in Colorado. I turned ten into that decade, playing baseball and football and taking advantage of every chance I could getting up into the mountains. Fishing, hiking, skiing. Good stuff.
I was on safety patrol at my elementary school when the news came that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Wearing a blue badge and white belt, I was called back into the classroom by our 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Wolfe, hardcore elementary, who had me retrieved to listen to the radio reports. If I have survived any process that required academic discipline, that would be largely due to Mrs. Wolfe and my mother, an English teacher.
At that time, I played clarinet in the school orchestra; I wouldn’t discover the joy of playing guitar until two years later – about the same time as trying to develop relationships with girls. Yeah, I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but that alone didn’t convince me to forget the clarinet. What was amazing was watching so many girls lose their minds over the Beatles. I hadn’t seen that before and haven’t seen it since.
Yeah, Elvis and early rock – missed out on that when Elvis was fresh; he was bloated top 40 pop by the time he tried to come back, but that’s just the way it looked to me. Every Friday in 1964, I stopped by a record store walking home from school and picked up the Top 40 hit parade, published by KIMN, the AM radio station in Denver that was considered a rock-and-roll station, before the advent of FM radio. The first 45 record I ever bought was “She’s Not There”, by the Zombies. My older sister had a 45 record player.
In 1965, FM radio stations started up, at least in my part of the world, almost as underground radio. I can recall hearing early Lep Zep, the Byrds, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and yeah, the Beatles, too, everything that was anything and it was commercial free. Seems like FM radio was the first free platform, the earliest free-streaming of music.
It was about this time that I first heard some blues records – mostly B. B. King, from what I remember.
My first radio was an 88-cent store egg radio, clear plastic, tiny transistor, tuned by a bolt screw antennae, with an ear bud for listening. In the evenings, I could get KOMA, a long-range radio station from Oklahoma. I remember the smell of dust burning on tube amplifiers. Good memories.
To write it all off as a selfish reaction is a pretty limited view. There were quite a few other values involved and some very positive ones, at least in my opinion. Your own perception and choices make as much a difference as anything else. I have always been suspicious of folks who want to peddle life-style choices or who believe their version has some inherent superiority.
I missed serving in Vietnam by the luck of the second lottery. A long-time friend and neighbor came home in a body bag. His parents, who had been gung-ho Nixonites changed their tune overnight.
Maybe it was realizing how insular it was or could be; sure, it was a shock seeing some college students gunned down by our own military, but then realizing how groups like the KKK had regularly burned and bombed churches and murdered ordinary citizens, with law enforcement turning a blind eye, or joining in - that could change perspectives as well. That’s history, not politics.
At that time, I had a flattop Harmony Sovereign. Bought it used. Even though I always had some kind of job income, didn’t feel comfortable spending too much. It was just a thing. A friend had a white Gibson SG custom – that was the first electric guitar ever I played. It was nice. He had bought it in a pawn shop for something like $130. It was mind-blowing how much fun that was to play.
I don’t see my time and experience as anything particularly special. It was wonderful in many ways. I think you always have to find your own way (Captain Obvious, right?) – for example, rather than marching as a protestor, I helped with the Red Cross treating ordinary working folks and the protestors for the effects of tear gas during the May Day marches in Washington D.C.
The music of the times sure burned deep into my soul, though. All of it. Rock, Motown, folk, jazz, R&B. Bluegrass and country would come later, with all the other stuff like Punk and New Wave and alt-rock and on and on. That’s just the way it got to me. To me, it was disco and cocaine and soft rock and over-lionizing the whole scene that justifiably put the nails in the coffin.
My two cents.
Fine, but if we're in a crisis like we are today, the bottom line is to do something about it, not just say it's this or that.
I was three in '64 so that's a little fuzzy, but I started school in '67 and I remember that all too well.
Now keep in mind this is from the view of a elementary school kid in a small college town just below the Mason Dixon, so my perspective is different then that of a teen ager or college student, especially one in a urban area. Some of these things may be controversial, but that was the way things were..
County schools had just been desegregated after years of hemming and hawing & fighting w/ the state & feds, in fact my elementary school had been the segregated high school for the whole county a year or two before, segregation and racism was still the defacto standard; the KKK was still alive and well, my neighbor was a "grand exalted" something and did nothing to hide it. Teachers routinely made statements about intelligence, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background that were inappropriate then and actionable today. Coporal punishment was openly encouraged, I was routinely slapped, by both teachers and other adults and I was pretty much a straight arrow. I can remember kids being sent to the hospital after running afoul of a over zealous teacher, or coach. The college kids were not "Hippies" the whole town was about 5-10 years behind the times; I don't remember any protests of any type anywhere. Music was mostly country, the Golf & Tennis club might bring in a "society group" that played standards, rock was almost unheard of except at the college, and from a few garage bands, and it was mostly pop and surf, I can remember the neighborhood garage bands big number being "Hanky Panky" folk was still a "college thing" You would have never know Hendrix, Cream, The Dead or J. Airplane existed, the Beatles were about the wildest thing going.
Imported cars were rare a few VW's and UK sports cars at the college but that was pretty much it, I still remember a local MD buying a Mercedes.. had to go 50 miles to DC to get it..people were either amazed or agast
The local music store had Fender/ Martin/Gibson, lots of pianos (having a piano in the living room was a sign of success) and old guys in suits. Everything was list +10% "to cover misc. charges" (i.e. freight, set up and advertising) Only adults who played in the working bands had such things, every one else ordered from Sears etc. or bought at Woolworth, or similar places.
By the mid '70s things were a bit more relaxed, (drugs were a '70s thing in those parts, think "Dazed and Confused") I still couldn't wait to get out, and did, but I still occasionally have work in the area, and it's still very "stuck in the '50's" Think of the "town meeting" scene in "Field of Dreams.."like that.
Too much to the point everything became a moot point. 1968 when everyone tried to be cool and groovy was commercialized.
I was about 10 when Woodstock happened, a 14 year old friend of mine hitchhiked to it, I wish I had gone too.
It was the first six weeks of my life, so... "mom".
THe 60's was a time of hope for the future with no expectations it would turn out like what we have today. THe people were nicer and the pot was better.
Rode my bike everywhere, turned the antenna to catch other stations, liked the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, The monkees, missed Vietnam, was frightened of an 8trk by DOA, had shake and bake chicken and hot dog Chef Boyarde pizzas, CSN&Y Deja Vu and James Gang Rides Again intrigued me, did not understand the Allman’s, wore cut-off jeans, and was much less stressed. Life was truly easy.
Having been all Dr. Doom about this era's descent into jaded excess in prior posts, here are good things:
Some of the women's fashions. Not the maxi dresses, the awful bell bottoms, or the boringly straight/face-hiding hair. But the mini skirts, the cut-off jeans, the eye make-up, the sun tans. The good stuff damaged me with imprinting, but life is better for it.
More curiosity about foreign music, foods, cultures. Less close-mindedness. Granted, a lot of this expressed a close-minded rejection of all things traditionally American. But you could get some real burritos, and someone being from Somewhere Else was, increasingly, an interesting thing.
Ditto less close-mindedness about race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. It would have been great had we kept the dignity of the individual principle clear as the reason why racism, etc., are bad. But we did jettison a good measure of prejudice's poison during this era.
Environmental consciousness. Kind of a no-brainer when the Cuyahoga River caught fire, DDT was making bird eggshells deadly thin, etc. But we did wake up a lot in this era.
Conversely, the cars! Mighty V-8's until the (needed) pollution controls choked them down. And '64 was, I think, the last really good styling year for American cars. After that, they turned into bell bottoms on wheels.
Though violent crime was on its way to doubling, and this may have been obliviousness more than innocence, being free all day on your bike, and later in your cheap, easy-to-fix car or friend's car--loads of fun. Dodging the cops kept you so busy you weren't even aware of predators.
Playing outside. TV was so limited, and so dependent on you surrendering to TV's schedule, that it was easier and funner just to make your own fun.
Did I mention some of those women's fashions--the eye make-up and short skirts...?
My first wife and I "lived together" during college, though we carefully hid that fact from her parents using various elaborate ruses.
Her dad was a retired Berkeley policeman. He'd been on the lines at the demonstrations in "People's Park", which had prompted some famous comments from a prominent personality of our times. . .anyway, I remember sitting on his porch with him, asking for his daughter's hand in marriage.
He said, "Well, you might guess that her mother and I think you two are awfully young to be getting married," then I about lost bowel control as he continued, "but I am violently opposed to couples living together outside of marriage. . . ."
We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.
I'm still laughing...
Made me drop my "Little Red Book.."
The 60s ethos including the anti-war movement, brotherly love. etc. was co-opted by the media and became mainstream, as someone else pointed out. Unfortunately, once that happens, the core belief is marginalized by its commercialization. The ethos still exists for a portion of the populous, but the marginalization makes it easy to satirize.