So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the “Chatterley” ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.
That’s how Philip Larkin concluded his famous poem, Annus Mirabilis, though why he said life was never better than in 1963 you will have to find out for yourself. Read the poem. See the first line. Now you see why it couldn’t be mentioned here?
Actually, 1963 was too early for me, but never mind. The Swinging Sixties was the most glorious decade reckoning. I didn’t catch the Beatles’ first hit immediately after it came out, but I caught on pretty soon, oh yes,
Love, love me do
You know I love you
(That was their first hit)
And what a medley of hits followed: Please Please Me, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Can’t Buy Me Love, A Hard Day’s Night.
So here they are. I Saw Her Standing There was on the flip side of the US release of I Want To Hold Your Hand, according to Wikipedia.
And let’s not forget the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger & Co began making waves soon after the Fab Four. Remember Come On, Not Fade Away, Carol, It’s All Over Now, Time Is On My Side, The Last Time?
Not Fade Away by the Rolling Stones.
And how can we forget Elvis Presley?
There’s the King, from his 1968 Comeback Special. Wow!
The 60s were historic also for other reasons: the flower power, the psychedelia, Woodstock.
Country Joe and The Fish at Woodstock.
But all that came later, after the Beatles and the Stones and the King.
The Sixties were great not just for the music. There were also the writers: new kids on the block like John Le Carre, grizzled veterans like Graham Greene, old fogeys like PG Wodehouse.
Here is Liverpool Scene performing Adrian Henri’s poem, Love Is. You can read the poem, Love Is, here. I love it.
It’s all history now, but that’s why I am posting this – lest we forget. I want to hang on to the memory.
A couple of days ago, a friend, who is a grandpa now, posted on Facebook that his grandson, not yet five years old, one day wanted to listen to the BBC.
That reminded me how I started listening to the BBC World Service as a teenager. Initially, I was drawn to the pop music programmes. I remembered listening to the Top 20, Scene And Heard, Dave Symonds Show, Dave Lee Travis, Jimmy Savile, Tony Blackburn, Emperor Rosko, but I couldn’t recall all the names. Only later did I recall Top Of The Pops. I never saw the TV show, but it used to be broadcast also on the BBC World Service.
The Stones performing The Last Time on Top Of The Pops.