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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our ninth calendar year
    PCR #454  (Vol. 9, No. 49)  This edition is for the week of December 1--7, 2008.

"Cadillac Records"  by Mike Smith
Time Warp Toy Box '08: Part 1  by ED Tucker
The Juice Isn’t Loose Anymore .... Will Monte Volunteer? .... Plaxico Shoots Himself .... NFL Picks  by Chris Munger
Forrest J Ackerman Is Gone .... NFL Legal Blues .... Nibiru .... Fantasy Football Heaven  by Matt Drinnenberg
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Part Three: Late 1960's: 1967-1969

The transformation from the early 1960's to the late 1960's was one of the most profound series of changes in American history. The "Summer of Love" of 1967, largely centered in San Francisco was evidence that the "Baby Boomers", those born after the Second World War, had not only come of age, but were beginning to take over the reigns of popular culture. Much of the nation's youth shunned the conservative values and dress attire of their parents.

Dissatisfaction over the war in Viet Nam and the inequality of blacks brewed over into campus demonstrations and riots in the streets of major cities. Youth-based "Counter Cultures" were embracing drugs, casual sex, and rebellion that many proponents said were necessary to begin a "revolution" in opposition to the dismal results of blown foreign policies and equal rights that their parents were responsible for.

Revolution is in large part what happened between 1967 and 1969. Big band entertainers from the 30's and early 50's rarely had hits on AT 40 radio. Jet aircraft had in large part replaced piston aircraft and almost every home had a color television. Album covers went from Madison Avenue advertising agency renditions to surrealistic works reminiscent of Salvador Dali or the Art Nouveau works of Alphonse Mucha, William Morris and Maxfield Parrish. Long hair and jeans replaced short hair and suits and ties. Almost every socially value was explored, questioned, altered and in many cases vilified.

After 1967, things would never be the same.


Rock N' Roll: Bubblegum, Sunshine, Psychedelic, Heavy Metal, Acid

The Beatles:
The Beatles truly revolutionized music and society after their 1964 arrival to the United States. Signs of their own signs of artistic growth and exploration started in many ways in the 1966 album "Revolver", but the turning point was the 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that saw the Beatles no longer in suits and ties, but with mustaches, granny glasses and dayglow satin clothes. This was a signal to freaks everywhere that they could come out of the closet and they did in the likes of Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and a procession of countless others. Here's the title song from the album that validated unrestricted innovations in recording.
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", 1967

The Moody Blues:
Although this British band had a major hit in 1965 with "Go Now", like so many artists of the late 1960's the Moody Blues began their own exploration into breaking traditional barriers with this classic rock and classical fusion song. Originally issued in 1967, the song was reissued again in 1973 when the group was its most popular in the United States.
"Nights in White Satin", 1967, 1973

The Buckinghams:
Burning out on Garage Band and Raunch Rock of the mid-1960s, many garage bands toned down the sound and content and moved into more harmonious ballads known as "Sunshine Rock". The Buckinghams of Chicago, Illinois were one such act to make this transition. This group's first major hit was "Kind of A Drag", followed by others such as "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and "Susan". Here the band is seen performing on The Smothers Brothers Show in 1967.
"Don't You Care", 1967

Spanky and Our Gang:
Another Sunshine Rock group that got its start in Folk Music was Spanky and Our Gang who offered beautiful harmonic songs such as "Sunday Will Never Be the Same" and the following two songs: Dig those crazy threads in the second video!
"Lazy Day", 1967

The Association:
One of the most harmonious groups of the late 1960's was The Association, who in 1966 produced their first major hit "Along Comes Mary" that was presumably a veiled tribute to the virtues of marijuana. What a beautiful and happy song the one you're about to hear is. "Windy", 1967

The Fifth Dimension:
The undisputed Royalty of the Sunshine Rock genre belongs to the The Fifth Dimension. Their harmony is almost unparalleled in music history. Their first hit "Up, Up and away", produced in 1967 catapulted the group to world wide fame and within months landed them a contract to sing the song for Trans World Airlines. Probably their most well known hit was "Aquarius, recorded in 1969 for the musical "Hair".
"Stoned Soul Picnic", 1968

"California Soul", 1969

The Hollies:
A British band that introduced Graham Nash, later of Crosby, Stills and Nash, to the United States, The hollies also had a touch of Sunshine in their music. Notice the psychedelic studio set.
"Carrie Ann", 1967

The Mamas and the Papas:
This California foursome's first major hit was "California Dreamin" in 1966. The Mamas and the Pappas were one of the first major popular acts to publicly admit to indulging in psychotropic drugs. Although many of their tunes were veiled tributes to drugs, they had many beautifully harmonic songs as this tune demonstrates. I always dug John Phillips' Russian fez, and boy was his wife Michelle hotter than a two-dollar pistol! I also love the sports cars in this video.
"I Saw Her Again Last Night", 1966

The Blues Magoos:
This is a prime example of a garage band morphing in this instance to early Psychedelic Rock. Half the members are in suits and ties, the remainders in turtle necks and leisure jackets. Yep, some kind of change is goin' on here.
"We Ain't Got Nuthin Yet", 1967

The Electric Prunes:
This incredible clip from the Mike Douglas features this Psychedelic Rock band perform their great song "I Had to Much to Dream Last Night" filled with every guitar trick known up to that time - fuzz, reverb, backward tracking and tremelo. The second number has the adorable Barbara Feldon of "Get Smart" on drums, we see several seconds of Cab Calloway, and I see my favorite plane of all time, the Delta Air Lines DC-8 in an ad!
"I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night", "Get Me to the World On Time", 1967

The Jefferson Airplane:
Nothing said 1960's Psychedelia, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco and Acid more than the Jefferson Airplane. Seen appearing on The Smothers Brothers this band led in large part by singer Grace Slick and guitarist Marty Balin the Airplane would later morph into the Jefferson Starship and lastly the Starship, giving Rob Reiner ammunition for his 1984 movie "This Is Spinal Tap" where as things look bleak for the group they changed their name to "Tap". Dig the psychedelic video graphics...
"White Rabbit", "Don't You Want Somebody To Love?", 1967

The Jimi Hendrix Experience:
Here's where change becomes pretty major. Born James Marshall Hendrix in Seattle, Washington in 1942, no one person probably innovated the possibilities of the guitar and changed the sound and perception of music more than Jimi Hendrix. If there was ever the "ultimate freak", this man was probably it. As the United States was not ready for a black freak to lead the charge, Hendrix was discovered in England where he was teamed with Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966. His best known hits were "Foxy Lady", "Purple Haze", "All Along the Watchtower" and his live version of the "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock in 1969. Here is a sampling of this man's incredible, if not controversial and often disputed and even hated sounds.

"Look Over Yonder", 1969

Iron Butterfly:
Riding the emerging wave of Acid Rock, a more metal and intense sound than Psychedelic was the Iron Butterfly who debuted in 1967 with the album "Heavy". Their major hit was 1968's "In a Gadda Da Vida" Which brought Acid Rock to the mainstream. This is their theme song from the album "Heavy". Artwork by Boris Velejo
"Iron Butterfly Theme", 1967

"In a Gadda Da Vida", "Iron Butterfly Theme", 1968
From Hugh Hefner's "Playboy After Dark" television show.

Deep Purple:
Deep Purple, a band from Great Britain can probably be attributed as being the first Heavy Metal band. Their work persisted well into the mid-1970's resulting in other major hits such as "Highway Star", "Space Truckin'" and "Smoke On the Water".
"Hush", 1968

Cream was a collection of Britain's creme de la creme rock musicians. Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Jack Bruce on bass and Ginger Baker on drums. In addition to "White Room", "Sunshine of Your Love" ranked amongst the most immortal of the short-lived but exceptionally important group's hits.
"Sunshine of Your Love", 1968

"Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysseys", 1968

The Doors:
No review of late1960's music would be complete without paying homage to the Doors. Lead by the rebellious native of Melbourne, Florida, Jim Morrison this group's first major hot was "Light My Fire" in 1967. Their sound centered around the musings of Morrison and as a result is difficult to define. Elements of acid, psychedelic, heavy metal and even art rock can be found in this group's material. "Hello, I Love You", 1968

Fever Tree:
This Houston, Texas group produced what is one of the prettier songs of Psychedelia with this number. "San Francisco Girls", 1968

Led Zeppelin:
Deep Purple may have fired the first volley in the world of Heavy Metal, but no group popularized the form and defined it better than Led Zeppelin. This British foursome consisting of Robert Plant at lead vocals, John Paul Jones at bass, John Bonham on drums, and virtuoso lead guitarist Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin's hits are legion and all classic, most notably their American break through hit "Whole Lotta Love" in 1969.
"Dazed and Confused", 1969

It's A Beautiful Day:
1969 closed out with the Maxfield Parrish inspired cover for San Francisco group It's A Beautiful Day. Led by David LaFlame, their most well known hit was "White Bird" in 1969 and part of 1970. Here is a collection of three songs from their first album, "It's A Beautiful Day Today":
"Hot Summer Day", "Wasted Union Blues", 1969

"White Bird", 1969

Folk and Country:

Glen Campbell:
As the country youth steered more into rock, country music hits became less frequent on AT 40 stations, but there were some notable exceptions such as this beautiful song by country artist Glen Campbell.
"Wichita Lineman", 1968

A profound, poignant and touching song, this song probably best described people's grief and exasperation over the death of leaders who meant to set American on a more enlightened and humane course. Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy. A moving video tribute of four lives and four violent deaths all of one of which occurred in the 1960's. "Abraham, Martin and John", 1969

Simon and Garfunkel:
Like country music, even folk music was beginning to be shunned by younger audiences for the heavier sounds and lifestyles of rock. A notable exception was Simon and Garfunkle's "Scarborough Fair', a hauntingly beautiful song.
"Scarborough Fair", 1968

All That Jazz:

Even jazz began to feel the effects of the profound changes of the late 1960's and to the chagrin of many "purists", found itself morphing in many cases into jazz-rock fusions and acid jazz.

Miles Davis Quintet
One of the leading innovators of jazz-rock fusion and free form jazz was Miles Davis seen in this 1967 video.
"Walkin'", 1967

Brian Auger and Trinity
On the other side of the Atlantic, London musician Brian Auger made many innovations in jazz-rock fusion as evidenced in this beautiful 1968 song featuring the vocals of Julie Driscoll.
"Road to Cairo", 1968

"This Wheel's On Fire", 1968
From Great Britain's "Top of the Pops":

Summary of the 1960's:

Beginning: 1960
"Music of the 1960's" A great video of Baxter and his Orchestra and Chorus. Probably 1960. Little did he know that the music of the '60's would end with Jimi Hendrix playing his version of the "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.

Ending: 1969
"Star Spangled Banner", 1969 Woodstock is where the 1960's ended. What an incredible journey! Here Jimi Hendrix recreates the rocket's red glare and the bombs bursting in air, with some "Taps" through the courtesy of the Fender Stratocaster, the Univibe, Baby Tears Wah Peddle and Marshall amplifier.

Pop Culture:

Movie: "The Blast Off Girls", 1967

Television Show: It Takes A Thief, 1969
Theme by Dave Grusin.

Movie: "The Astro Zombies", 1968
Tara Satana and John Carradine in their sleazy best.

Moon Landing, 1969
Well, not all of the 1960's ended on a bad or a weird note! After close to two decades, the U.S. finally won the Space Race by landing on the Moon in July 1969. Only problem is that it wasn't at all like it was in the neat '50s and '60s sci-fi movies. Proof that the imagination is often more powerful than reality! Major accomplishment that it was, when most people saw the lifeless terrain and thought about the costs involved, thought, "Maybe this planet we live on ain't a bad place after all, and maybe this is where we need to concentrate on solving our problems!"
Moon Landing:

"La Floridiana" is ©2008 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.