Thursday, January 21, 2010

Honey, I think the Sixties are over


© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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31 Comments:

Blogger John McFetridge said...

Is it at least a travel version so you can play it in the VW van on your way to the next concert?

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm thinking an "app" that will let today's busy Deadheads play on their Smartphones.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Dana King said...

I'm married to a Dead Head. You may have solved my birthday gift dilemma.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Can't see you as the disillusioned ex-hippie somehow, Peter, anymore than a sad ex-punk. Are you taking the piss out of those poor sad bastards who thought peace, love and understanding was just around the corner?

As far as commerce doing in romance goes I think Yeats said it best in his poem September 1913:

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone?
For men were born to pray and save:
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Promise: Last time I'll qoute poetry at you.

I was nine when the sixties ended and I've come to love a lot of the music from that period: the Beatles and the Stones, Dylan and the Doors, Sly and the Family Stone and the Norman Whitfield inspired Temptations but I could never understand those Deadhead's devotion to the GD. Maybe it was a live thing.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No better way to celebrate The Dead than with a game based on capitalism.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous John H said...

Here's how I see it solo,

Being a Dead Head was simply being a cult member. They worshiped the music more than listened to it. The concert followers were the worst or most devout. All in all very pleasant people. Surprisingly to me they still exist out there.

I have a Jerry Garcia tie I bought many, many years ago. I think watches were available too. As I recall the Dead made most of their money on tour rather than recording. This encouraged their faithful followers because they were always putting on a concert somewhere.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Thanks John H.

Being the ignoramus that I am, I was unaware that Jerry G. had moved into the rarefied profession of tie designer.

I'd no idea what I was missing. That 'Emerging Elephant Purple Silk Neck Tie' is so me, although the $34.95 price tag is so not me, I'll have to wait until one of my rich aunts passes on before I get my hands on it.

I wouldn't be surprised to find Deadheads were nice people. Even though I'm making a little bit of fun with them here and Peter is pointing up Deadopoly, the commercialism attached to them is probably less than most other bands from that time.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous Jerry House said...

The Sixties over? Not until they pry the long-dead flower from my cold, cold hair!

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana, I like the idea of your wife and her Deadhead friends buying up property and forcing each other into jail and bankruptcy. I wonder if players build houses and Mars Hotels in this version of the game.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, we could use more Yeats here.

I'm no disillusioned hippie or sad ex-punk. On the other hand, I'm no young tech-head blissfully unaware of the extent to which my technological gimcrackery binds me to big corporations. And I'm too young to have known people who believed that crap about peace and love. I have, on the other hand, met several people who claim to have been at Woodstock.

I'm taking the piss out of Deadheads and smiling at the vicissitudes of commerce. I saw "the Dead" once, and they were all right, I guess, but I can't figure out what the fuss was. The camaraderie, I guess.

I'll take early Who or Dylan over the Grateful Dead any day.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Anonymous said...
No better way to celebrate The Dead than with a game based on capitalism.


First Jerry Rubin, then the Grateful Dead.

Of course, the Economist wrote years ago that punk was not aboyt rebellion, but rather about style, fashion and making money. Johnny Rotten was an entrepreneur.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John, I had one amusing experience related to my one Grateful Dead concert. Cars full of Deadheads had jammed the highway exit to Providence, R.I., and all the Deadheads were shouting greetings at each other. In the middle of all these cars was one old man who appeared panicked by all the camaraderie around him and rolled up his window.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, I remember the price of the Jerry Garcia ties as my first clue that the boys were truckin' their way to consumer capitalism. That, and that I don't recall that Garcia actually designed the ties, though I think he did a bit of painting in his time.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jerry House, I plan to visit San Francisco in November. I'll be sure to wear some flowers in my receding hair.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter, if I hadn't been looking at YouTube recently I'd have missed your pun on the GD 'truckin' their way to capatalism.

But that's not the kind of thing that bothers me. 'Start Me Up' was one of the last good Rolling Stones songs. The fact that they gave it to Microsoft didn't make it any less of a good song in my opinion. If it's good it's good, however ugly the associations.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Well, I didn’t make it to Woodstock (too far from L.A.) but as a teenybopper I did make it to the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967s “Summer of Love.” The Who was one of the bands. My girlfriends Leslie and Marilyn and I have a brief crowd-scene appearance in the 1968 documentary; it’s more than a tad depressing to view 40 years on… I was never a Dead Head, but knew folks who were. We had gone to Monterey expecting to see the Stones but they were no-shows.

And even back then I knew that “peace and love” was just a racket.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, I was thinking about the Rolling Stones today for some reason. A couple of years ago, I asked a friend who's much more up on rock music than I am what the last great Rolling Stones song was. He had to think for a while, and I don't remember what he came up with. But then, they ought to be allowed to allowed to lapse gracefully into old age like anyone else.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, after you come up here, I'll rent the movie and look for you. But the Stones were no-shows? Wasn't it Monterey where Hell's Angels hired by the Stones killed a man? Somehow the Stones appear to have escaped blame for that. ... Nope, that was Altamont. Never mind.

I'm at the P&P as I write this, and my string of pleasant evenings here been brought to an end by a pair of stronzo lawyers singing off-key and accompanying themselves on percussion, banging on the bar with thier knuckles. "A little Zevon? A little `Guns and Money'?" ****holes.

And now they're playing "Uncle John's Band." I'm not making that up.

The '60s are over.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

A friend of mine, very TAV (traditional American values), calls the '60s The Dark Decade, and some of his talking points are valid, but I think the '70s was The Really Dark Decade. Proof? The '60s get blamed for so many things that really happened in the '70s. "Uncle John's Band" was released in 1970 (although, according to Wikipedia the Dead introduced it in concert in late 1969). "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" was released in 1978. On the plus side, the '70s had Led Zeppelin.

January 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have a confession to make about those stronzi I mentioned above: I didn't know they were lawyers when I wrote the comment. But they turned out, in fact, to be lawyers. My instinct for loud, oblivious, self-important blowhards was unerring.

"Uncle John's Band" is not a band song, and Warren Zevon was not a bad performer. But these guys would pollute anything they touched.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous John H said...

Yeppers Elisabeth the 60s got a bad rap for a bunch of 70s stuff. It merely got things going for the bad 70s. "Sweet Virginia" was a Stones tune in the 70s and I am still fond of that Zevon tune. The 60s were just a warm up. BTW which one of those hot babes in the movie were you? Yeah, peace and love was fine til somebody got in your face then it was out the window. All the babes at Monterey were hot that summer.

January 21, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

John H, thank you, it's been a long time since I was a "hot babe," or "dead fox" per the moniker of the time. If you actually ever see the film, and it's almost worth watching just for the wardrobe (the '60s was a great clothes decade, the '70s was arguably the worst in the entire history of costume), the camera kind of meanders up an aisle and (as I recall -- I haven't seen this film in 10+ years) we are leaning up against a wall or some kind of barrier. Honestly, you'd probably have to know who you are looking for. I vividly recall my friend Marilyn screeching "Look! There we are!" when I saw the film in the theater and then we had to sit through it again to glimpse our less-than-15-seconds-of-fame. I was a minor at the time, my parents didn't know we had driven up to Monterey, and I pointlessly worried about my parents spotting me in this film (as if!) and getting grounded until I turned 18.

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think of Woodstock as three days of bad sanitation, miserable weather, and lying about the sex you didn't have. It was only years later that I finally admitted to myself that an arena was a terrible place to hear music. An open field with hundreds of thousands of people must have been incomparably worse.

Someone once wrote that Harvard may not be the best school in America to go to, but it sure is the best to have gone to. Well, I don't begrudge the people who were at Woodstock the pleasure they take from having gone there, because I suspect they had a miserable time when they were there. Or am I just jealous because I'm not a disillusioned ex-hippie or a sad ex-punk?

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I was a teenager in the seventies, which may be why I never related to my own decade much. I bought Fleetwood Mac records, but what I really liked was Dylan and the Who ca. 1962-65.

The '70s brought to fruition what in the '60s was only potential, at least as far as clothes, I think. It was probably the early seventies once popular culture figured out how to make money off the sixties.

I was just eight years old in the Summer of Love, but when I was about ten, I did have a Nehru-jacket-type shirt and another shirt in day-glo colors, and I probably owned a tie-dyed T-shirt or two. I caught the last bit of 1960s bath water as it gurgled down the drain of the bath tub of time.

January 22, 2010  
Anonymous John H said...

I had the chance to go to Woodstock and didn't. My friends that did came back with wonderful stories about it. I was to cheap to go.

Peter, never ever, ever, ever admit to having anything Nehru ever again. Tie-dye is OK but not the Nehru stuff. 40 years is a long time but Nehru? Sorry but some things should just not be spread around. This is the internet age you know.

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

If anyone produces photographic evidence (and no one ever will), I'll just say it was a regular shirt and that I put it on backwards, irrepressible youth that I was.

January 22, 2010  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

Th radio is playing some Dead right now (Touch of Gray, maybe the most radio-friendly).

This discussion came at a time when I'm looking into the sixties and the 'legacy' a little and I wonder - was that the period in which most people started to believe what they wanted? Was that the end of the official story?

It seems that maybe the legacy of the sixties was that we finally startd saying out loud and quite openly that everyone was lying to us - the government, the police, the army, the corporations, the professors - everyone was lying or covering-up something.

And now we're really starting to feel the consequences of everyone having their own truth.

Or am I way off base here?

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elisabeth, I forgot to mention that I had never heard the term "dead fox" before. Thanks for enlarging my vocabulary.

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John, you sound like a wise old head ruefully considering his times.

I'd say you're right that official lying became expected in the 1960s. ANd maybe one result of being lied to about everything means that some people grew prepared to believe anything.

Back to music. Someone talked about the 1970s. Well, there was plenty of bad music in the 1980s, too. At one of my local cafes, the counter woman was playing good stuff when I came in today, old sixties soul and so on. Then the bosses came in and started playing their usual noxious mixture of ondistinguishable '80s arena-rock ballads: Heart. Pat Benatar. Over-emoting, self-serious crap all.

Oh, God. Madonna.

January 22, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

“..the legacy of the sixties was that we finally started saying out loud and quite openly that everyone was lying to us - the government, the police, the army, the corporations, the professors - everyone was lying or covering-up something.” Well, if that’s so, then a Who song comes to mind: “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and the lyric “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” The generation that thought everyone else but themselves was a liar now fills all those positions in gov’t, police, etc. That’s why they need a Jerry Garcia tie; so they can pretend they are still part of a counterculture when they are just the “same as the old boss.”

I loathed arena concerts, too. Partly because several of the bands I saw in them I first saw in smaller, far more intimate clubs. That said, there was something kinda thrillingly communal when about several thousand people simultaneously flicked their lighters as Led Zeppelin launched into those familiar strains of the opening to “Stairway to Heaven” at the Forum.

Peter, it’s OK to wear a Nehru jacket, just don’t pair it with a Cossack shirt.

And “dead fox” may have been a SoCal term.

January 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I read somewhere that kids hold up their cell phones instead of cigarette lighters these days. I saw Led Zep at the Montreal Forum. John Bonham's endless drum solo in lieu of an intermission was my first clue that maybe rock and roll's being here to stay was a mixed blessing.

Pete Townsend, needless to say, was a more incisive songwriter thn Jerry Garcia, and the closest thing I ever saw to an arena concert that I liked was the Kinks in your very own Universal Amphitheater. OK, the Rolling Thunder Review in Montreal, Dec. 4, 1975, had its moments, too.

Now that's you've pardoned me for having worn a Nehru shirt, you dead fox, you, I'll have to atone for that unforgiveable haircut I had in 1974.

January 22, 2010  

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