The climax of the Sixties was approaching as the spring of 1969 plodded onward. New President Richard Nixon began the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, though the escalation of the brinksmanship with the Soviets and the war’s expansion into Laos and Cambodia lurked just around the corner. Reasons for hopeful progress could still […]Read more "1969, Part Two – We’re Not Gonna Take It"
I pause at this point to wonder aloud at what point the overall cultural vibe of the Sixties went from light to dark. Depending on who you ask, this momentary thought break of mine could appropriately show up almost anywhere in this chronology from mid-1967 onward. People who experienced the Summer of Love in and […]Read more "1968, Part Four – Inheriting The Earth… Or Not"
Prog rock continued to exert a growing pull on pure psychedelia’s audience as 1968 wore on. Deep Purple helped drive this point home with their inaugural release, Shades of Deep Purple, which melded different song styles into a cohesive whole, always underpinned by Jon Lord’s Hammond organ. Lord eschewed the Moog synthesizer that seemingly everybody […]Read more "1968, Part Three — Moving and Shaking"
I find myself returning to this little musical journey of mine after a three-month hiatus. Too much of a good thing is, well, too much, and I needed to break away from the music of the Sixties for a bit. What took its place in my listening queue? A lot of Motörhead and Iron Maiden, […]Read more "1968, Part Two – Curiouser and Curiouser"
As I commented in the previous post (and as many much smarter people than me have no doubt in the past), it’s clear to me that the passing of the year from 1967 to 1968 represented a significant change in popular music. It was true, almost from the moment the new year dawned. It might […]Read more "1968, Part One – Distant Thunder"
By the midpoint of the Summer of Love, it was clear that the world beyond the confines of popular music was about anything but love. The escalation of the Vietnam War and US involvement in it had led to early predictions in ’67 about the war’s impending end, but these proved to be optimistic. The race […]Read more "1967, Part Two – Summer’s Over"
It’s often been remarked, both within Canada and without, by we Canadians and by others, that we lack a definable national identity. The running joke for decades has been that we define ourselves mostly by being “not American”. It says something that a Molson beer commercial from a dozen or so years ago somehow […]Read more "Gord Downie, The Tragically Hip, and Being Canadian"
After reviewing 1966 in my previous post, I was struck very quickly by the sheer volume of music released in ’67. As in, more than twice as many rock albums as the year before. For the sake of my own endurance and everybody else’s interest, I decided I’m gonna have to break this sucker in […]Read more "1967, Part One – Come On Baby, Light My Fire"
Oh 1966…. fifty years ago this year, that year of incipient hopey-ness and changey-ness. But not too much hopey-ness and changey-ness. Yet. If anything, it was a year of transitioning uncertainly between two extremes: conformity and rebellion. To my mind, there’s no better illustration of this musically than the fact that the uber-patriotic, pre-body […]Read more "1966 – The Year Everything Changed"
Riding the train to work one morning recently in the mid-April sun. Down by the water, heading west between Port Moody and Vancouver. Listening to “The Fool On The Hill”, one of my favourite Beatles songs. Heading upstairs from the platform at my destination, a lone coyote crossed the tracks down below. Wow. Look at […]Read more "A New Rock History Project…"