Sunday, June 11, 2017

Happy 50th, Summer of Love.

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Time flies. You blink once or twice, and suddenly it's 2017 and it's been 50! Years! since the Summer of Love.

My pal Shawn Inmon reminded me about this yesterday when he posted about the anniversary on Facebook. He asked where we were in the summer of 1967, when the hippies were bringing peace, love, and music to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Me? I was nowhere near that scene. I was nine years old and living at home with my parents. But I wore love beads (because Davy Jones did!), and I had a transistor radio tuned to WLS Radio in Chicago -- and really, that was all I needed.

The official song of the Summer of Love was Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco." It embodied the innocence of those days, and called everyone to the city by the bay.


In truth, of course, there was more going on than just a love-in. Drugs got Janis Joplin, as they did many '60s artists. Too bad -- she was a powerful performer. "Piece of My Heart," which she did with Big Brother and the Holding Company, is my favorite of her tracks.


What strikes me is how the music of that time would be sliced and diced into categories today. "San Francisco" would be folk-rock; "Piece of My Heart" would be blues; and the Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" would be...hmm. We don't really have a category today for psychedelic rock. But the kids on "American Bandstand" didn't seem to care.


The British invasion was a few years old by the time the Summer of Love rolled around, and some British bands made the scene -- including the Animals.


And then there was Grateful Dead, whose music still defies explanation. Country? Rock? Regardless, they kept truckin' until just a few years ago.


So where were you in the Summer of Love?

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These moments of rockin' blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.
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