The early-1960s were some of the best years of my life. When the ’60s started I had turned 16, I had my own money and was working in the city. I’d catch a train to work in the morning and again in the evening when my work was done.
I feel the Animals’ song ‘When I Was Young’ says it all. I remember Eric Burdon singing ‘When I was young, it was more important; Pain more painful; Laughter much louder …”
We had some of the best music in the 1960s. In Australia, where I grew up, there were groups like Ray Brown and the Whispers, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, The Easybeats and more. However, I remember the British Invasion of music and it felt like I was living on a different planet when that happened.
I remember wearing some incredible clothes in the ’60s. Mini skirts and thigh high boots, lots of mascara and a bob style haircut. We were all trying to dress in a way that reflected the music that was blowing us away.
I look at the way the younger generation dresses now and I’m glad I’ve joined the ‘leggings and t-shirt’ group of seniors. Of course, I know there are people my age who dress differently to how I do, but it’s all about comfort. I try not to laugh when I see people wearing jeans with shredded knees. If we saw anyone in the ’60s wearing a pair like that we’d think ‘poor souls, must be really down and out’.
I saw a young man with his pants under his butt recently. It was not a pretty sight.
While there were those who were influenced by drugs, I was in a group of friends who found fun without that need. The drug culture seemed to come at a time when Woodstock and the hippies began to take over.
When I became a mother I didn’t listen to much music. Seeing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and The Easybeats are special moments that will stay with me though. I was watching The Voice on television recently and the songs being sung were not ones I was familiar with, but the audience was singing and dancing along. I was appalled to see one woman not wearing any shoes and another young man only wearing a pair of thongs. Where has their respect for themselves gone?
I know we cannot go back to the ’60s, but if we must go forward can I at least take my old songs and smart fashion with me? Rock on!