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Saturday 2 November 2019


A double celebration for us today, two parties, both with their origins in November 1969. The magazine covers above all date from fifty years ago- Cosmopolitan asking whether you'd rather be his wife or his mistress, Vogue leading with winter fashion and beauty and tarot cards for good measure and Popular Science with jet-packs.

This afternoon we are at a party for my parent's fiftieth wedding anniversary, who got married fifty years ago yesterday. I came along in May 1970- it was quite late on when I worked out the maths on that. Then tonight we are at a friend's 50th birthday party- his birthday was yesterday as well so he was born as my Mum and Dad tied the knot. Here we all are half a century later.

1969 in song gives so many opportunities but I'm going for this from The Stooges, the high octane, electrifying, wild, end of the decade brilliance that opens their debut album. Ron Asheton's wah wah guitar intro and the single hammer bang drum lead in Iggy's 'well alright' and then the group swing in bludgeoning the speakers, Iggy reeling off his stupidly clever lyrics about being twenty two and having nothing to do- meanwhile Vietnam burns and tears the USA in two, Nixon is in the White House, the FBI declares war on the Black Panther Party, Northern Ireland simmers with discontent, men walk on the moon, the hippie tribes gather at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight, the Stonewall riots mark the birth of the gay rights movement, the Manson Family commit mass murder, a coup in Libya brings Gaddafi to power, Brian Jones drowns at Pooh Corner, William Calley is charged with murder following the massacre at My Lai, Scooby Doo, Monty Python, Sesame Street and The Clangers all debut, the USA and USSR meet to talk about nuclear weapon reductions and the year ends with Rolf Harris at the top of the UK charts. 'Oh my and a boo hoo'.


The press didn't take to The Stooges debut album. Rolling Stone said it was 'loud, boring, tasteless, unimaginative and childish'. The Village Voice called it 'stupid-rock'. In retrospect however those criticisms (apart from the bit about it being boring which it clearly isn't) make it sound utterly perfect.


Swanditch said...

Nova isn't a periodical, it's a novel by Samuel Delaney.

Adam Turner said...

Thanks Swanditch. Somehow I got it mixed up with the magazine Nova.

C said...

Your summary of the year is really thought-provoking - a reminder of how the world has always been a total mess. And an article on jetpacks, ha!
Sorry to be picky too, but the cover model on that issue of Vogue looks like Maudie James rather than Twiggy.

C said...

Oh and I meant to add, congrats to your parents on their anniversary! Enjoy your celebrations today.

Swiss Adam said...

Mistakes galore today. I must get a sub-editor or work experience kid, sorry intern, to proof read my posts before publishing them.

Rol said...

I'd rather be in 1969 than 2019, for all that year's flaws. And I wasn't even born till '72!

londonlee said...

Ha! It wasn’t until my sister was 16 that the penny dropped her birthday was in early July and my parents got married the previous December