The sixties was a watershed. Those young people born in the wake of the Second World War with all its death, austerity and destruction were brought up in a drab world of rationing, poverty and greyness.
Somehow they lost their respect for the older generation and their ‘wisdom’.
We were young, free and wanted something more out of life. We did not want more of the same.
Before the war the establishment controlled things. The class system was entrenched and everyone knew their place. Perhaps it was the TV that opened things up. Everyone could see how the other half lived. It was not fair or just.
Kerouac and the Beat generation had revealed a world of kicks, fun and meaning. It seemed a lot more appealing than the vision of a career, boredom, and cleaning the car in suburbia.
I looked at my old man who life was commuting, working and collapsing. He had no fun. I wanted something more. I looked at his boring grey suit and I wanted colour. I looked at the lip-service and hypocrisy of religion and I wanted some meaning to life. I looked at their boring, empty life and I wanted excitement.
That’s what I found in London in the sixties. To stay up all night discussing every aspect of life, infinity and the universe. To discuss politics, revolution, black power, civil rights, equality and freedom. It was alive!
To go to see bands, play music and feel the vibe, hear the message, and be awakened!
We were changing the world and we knew it. We were riding a great zeitgeist of change that was blowing everything before it.
We were bringing in a new age of freedom, fun, meaning, thought, colour, music and equality that was going to blow away the old ethos of class, inequality, greed, selfishness and war.
We thought we could be universal – peace, love and happiness.
Unfortunately the establishment rallied, bought up the shares and sold us our revolution. They took over the music, fashion and even the ethos and pedalled it back to us. We were bought and sold while our own Rock Star heroes bought in to the establishment and became part of the problem.
Still – Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Civil Rights, Women’s lib and a host of other liberalising ideas came out of it.
The world’s more colourful but the greed, selfishness, elitism and belligerence still rule.
If you want to hear more check out my book: The Diary of a Sixties Freak.
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