People seem to be fascinated by the 1960s. It’s not just the baby boomers who you would expect to maintain an interest in their teenage years. Most teenagers believe the world began on the day they were born. The other generations (X&Y) also seem fascinated.
It usually begins with the music. Ask any 60s teenager and you will learn all great popular music was written and performed in the 60s and by the greatest artists. Talking to a friend about growing up in the 60s in England, he said the The Shadows’ were the background music to his life. I agreed but thought later they were challenged by the Beatles. Since then we either have remakes or songs following those early trends. The 60s also saw the premiere of the classic TV shows; the shows that Hollywood loves to turn into big budget movies that usually fail. The box office flops due mainly to the mogul’s failure to understand that these shows were successful and became classics because they were fresh and new.
The 60s saw the birth of the great movements: the black civil rights movement in America and its cousin, the apartheid struggle in Africa. The contraceptive pill was introduced in 1961 and, although its use took sometime to spread, it had a profound affect on women. It was arguably the start of the women’s liberation movement that gathered momentum in the 70s.
The race for space began and its controversial beginnings funded by the Cold War still sees its value being questioned today. Space travel was dependent on the development of big computers another 60s breakthrough. These machines were the much needed, much maligned tools of the big organisations: defence forces, banks and insurance companies. By the end of the 60s most large government departments were addicted to them. Fortunately, the average person would to wait until the 90s for their turn and for the 00s for addiction.
Christian Barnard pioneered heart transplant surgery in the 60s and, following the normal trend, what was astounding then has become commonplace now. The continuing movement to more and more complex surgery has travelled from hearts to faces.
Will this fascination continue? While the baby boomers live, prosper and have influence, probably they say Hollywood never learns anyway. In the meantime it’s been a hard days night and I should be sleeping not like a log these nights but something close. Remember, you have to make your own kind of music and keep on singing your own special song.
Thanks to Derek for sending this in.
What are your special memories of this time? Tell us below.