Thursday, June 01, 2006

All you need is love

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.

14 comments:

Richard said...

I was so much the wrong age. 10 or 12 years too young to be a hippy, 5 years too young to be rocker, a couple of years too young to be proper punk.

What to do? The best of my years should have been the early 80s. How hideous if you were a straight bloke or not into the Smiths or aerosol hair. No wonder I've got a slack record collection.

Frontier Editor said...

One of the things that I truly believe helped me when it comes to remembering America in the 1960's was that I was in England for three years and didn't see riots and Vietnam and love-ins on television.

I do remember an outbreak of hoof-and-mouth disease in th emid 1960's, however . . . .

Pamela Troeppl said...

I am the God of Hellfire..and I bring you....

I love that song, though I was too young to hear it in it's heyday. I spent the sixties in grade school. At least I think I did.

Frontier Editor said...

Fiah!
duh duh DUH DUH duh duh duh
Fiah!
duh duh DUH DUH duh duh duh

kat said...

I also remember having a pretty good time in the late 60's with not much thought given to the then prevailing winds of change. We were then punished with the BeeGees. That should be considered enough payback by any religious/moral measuring stick.

Kevin Carson said...

Apparently you sent me some traffic via the "Next Blog" button. Great commentary.

I prefer to turn up the volume when the Fish Cheer comes on my Woodstock tape.

tom909 said...

Before this thread disappears over the horizon I have to register my full-on participation in the 60s. The 60s rocked and my commitment to love and peace is still utterly with me.
The disillusionment of the 70s did come as a bit of a shock as I took on board that in fact most of mankind couldn't give a stuff. Life goes on and there are a lot of really nice people out there, and we can still have peace, perhaps not the 'garden of eden' type peace that I imagined as a young hippy. For me it's come down to feeling good myself and trying not to add to the chaos of this world.
Vicus, I actually remember you pulling up at my house and doing your Arthur Brown stunt - how about getting the video for us all to watch.

Vicus Scurra said...

Kevin. Welcome. Stay awhile and meet the inmates. Good luck with your political campaigns. You are going to need it.
Tom. You are safe here. A haven of love and peace.

Betty said...

I loved all of the music that was used on the I Heart The Summer Of Love programme, pathetically enough, even the Donovan song ...

"electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase" ...

I think he has always been dancing to the strumming of a different guitar, the daft oaf.

Mark Gamon said...

Gosh, Vicus. Thanks for the review. Can I pinch it for my Bertha sidebar? I need to do something to attract new hitchhikers.

Could not agree more about Donovan. The little jerk has NEVER got over not being as good as Dylan. Not being in the same universe as Dylan, to be more precise. I have a Donovan CD and I love some of the music, but every time I see/hear him being interviewed I wanna curl up and die.

Arthur Brown, on the other hand, we should forgive. He's been dancing around in that fire hat for forty years on the cabaret circuit and probably welcomes an opportunity to earn appearance fees for doing something different. Not that it added anything to the 'debate'.

But the bit of the programme that annoyed me the most was when it got on to fashion. I never in my life saw a hippy in a Mary Quant dress. Totally impractical in the mud.

Still, I liked the footage at the very beginning of John Lennon on acid 'dealing' with autograph hunters by staring intently at them until they ran away. Truly the 'Prince of London', as he saw himself at the time...

Mark Gamon said...

Tom - anytime you wanna stage another 'Be-In' at your place in Devon, count me in. I'll see if I can score some mescalin from this Mexican bloke I know down Brixton Market...

Vicus Scurra said...

Please, Mark, feel free to use whatever you like. Do you really think it will help?

Mark Gamon said...

Not a lot. But I'm so needy. I love it when people say nice things about me. And I do have a spare space in my template, I think...

Geoff said...

I was the same age as Richard. Too young, too old, no fun.

I am the god of elf-hire.