“Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end, we’d sing and dance, forever and a day…..” Mary Hopkins (1968)
Lately I have had the chance to tune into satellite radio and catch all the songs that I loved from the 60’s. Bopping down the road, radio blaring, my head is whipping back and forth as I sing along with all the old hits. Anybody watching me from another car might be concerned that I am having some sort of seizure; my lips are pulled back into a rock star grimace and my fists are pounding the steering wheel as I hammer out the 4-4 beat in time to drums and screaming guitars.
Hearing the music I am once again riding a magic carpet with Steppenwolf, convinced I was born to be wild. I am sailing through the sky with Lucy and her diamonds. I cain’t get no respect, along with Aretha or any satisfaction with Mick (but who could?). On the bright side, there are plenty of good vibrations, courtesy of the Beach Boys even if there are sounds of silence coming from Simon and Garfunkle. Oh to be the wild thing that the Troggs were looking for, or the pretty woman that Ray Orbison wants to meet – yes, I believed in magic by the spoonful and regardless of what Sam Cooke said, I never believed a change would ever come.
What were you doing in the 60’s? Do you recall the sounds, the sights, the smells? Yes, the music is unforgettable, but what about the events? This was the decade of JFK, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, racial riots and civil rights movements, the Cuban missile crisis, the Cultural Revolution in China and Mao Tse Tung, global outcries to the Vietnam War, construction of the Berlin Wall, apartheid was alive and well in South Africa. The world was undergoing massive changes and here at home, I was worrying about tie-dyed jeans and whether or not to wear a bra. Yah, real deep.
And of course – boys. Especially one bad boy who was the beck and call of my teen years. HIS beck and call, that is. He would crook a finger, and over I would race. I still get a jolt whenever I smell “Brut” (what else would he wear??) and imagine the rush of adolescent hormones (actually, ANY hormones nowadays would be good!) surging through my body as I recall his wicked smile.
Back in the 60’s there were no worries about tomorrow, no concerns about a recession, no loss, no grief, no regrets. Yes Mary, we’d live the life we choose, and fight and never lose – those were the days, oh yes those were the days.