We weren’t there, but we heard that…
If you can remember the 60s, then you weren’t really there. Or so they say, “they” in this case allegedly being Robin Williams, though it seems most people are a bit hazy on this too. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll will do this to you. Well, the drugs will, at least. Or so they say.
The Swinging Sixties has achieved iconic status. Its music lives on, as do, against all odds, most of the musicians who gave us some of the greatest songs of all time. Bob Dylan is still going strong, as are members of The Rolling Stones (Keith Richards, by now, is pickled and will live forever more, amen), The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
The fashion of the 60s keeps making a comeback. The fashion industry, it would seem, is one of the best at recycling, bringing back Mary Quant’s mini skirts and the hippie chic of the late 60s every time they run out of ideas. If you want my opinion (and even if you don’t, you’ll get it anyway, since this is my blog and I will opine if I want to), the Sixties styles are infinitely preferable to those of the 80s, which didn’t look good then and certainly don’t now.
From descriptions of the 60s, the decade sounds like one long psychedelic party that morphed into the summer of love, saw men walking on the moon, and culminated at Woodstock, the music festival that set the bar for all festivals since. But, since those waxing lyrical about the decade obviously remember it well, it stands to reason that they weren’t actually there. Which is why, when the history books are consulted, the dark heart of the 60s emerges.
The Cold War and its constant threat of nuclear attacks meant that bomb shelters became as standard as garden furniture. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was the closest the world ever came to full on nuclear war. Thank God someone blinked. The Berlin Wall was built and a city divided, America took on Vietnam, and Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison. John F Kennedy was assassinated, as was Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F Kennedy.
Whichever way you look at it, the Sixties was certainly memorable. But, I can’t possibly comment. I wasn’t there.