Against my instincts, I watched a television programme that I recorded, called “The Summer of Love”. It was part of a series on BBC about events of 4 selected summers. I won’t be watching the rest, but had made up my mind about that before I watched this one. The show consisted of archive film and soundtracks from 1967, together with some commentary about stuff that happened that summer. Nothing new, but nice and fine so far. Unfortunately, it was interspersed with people talking about it.
The most bizarre bit was Arthur Brown discussing those times. It put me in mind of the village idiot sketch from Monty Python. The point is that lots of good stuff happened to us in those years, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything; however, the point was to enjoy it, not rationalise and theorise about it all for the rest of your life. As my new friend Frontier Editor points out, mankind is dumber than rocks. We were dumber than rocks before, during and after 1967. So, Arthur, set your hair on fire and dance around like a twat. You were really good at that, and some of us loved you when you did it. Having the ability to turn up the speakers in my car to maximum just before you announce that “I am the God of Hell-Fire” is one of the little pleasures that I indulge in, particularly when there are unsuspecting folk around.
Donovan is quite clearly dancing to the strumming of a different guitar. I hope that he is aware of it. Maybe it is an act. I hope so. I really, really hope that he was not taking himself as seriously as he appeared to be.
Apart from Germaine Greer, for whom I must confess a deep fondness, the rest of the contributors were a mixture of those with nothing to say, and others who had nothing to say but clearly did not realise that, and insisted on name dropping at every opportunity. “I sat behind Mick Jagger”. Bollocks. “I was Twiggy’s boyfriend. Everyone thought I was brilliant”. Asshole.
I am not nostalgic for those times. They were good. I had a blast. Sometimes I was very naughty. I was no different, except in my own head, from others of my age who were caught up in all of it. I am glad I was a hippy, and not a teddy boy, punk, mod, rocker or accountancy student, but I don’t want to get into discussions about the meaning of it all. Go over to Mark’s pages and read about Bertha. It is a chronicle of the time, and is well written and interesting, and devoid of hype.