1967 – The year of Roy Harper

1967 was a year of great change. A wave of liberalisation, experimentation and freedom was sweeping around the world.

During the early sixties, Britain had emerged from a long period of conformity and bland conservative values. We turned from black and white to colour and not just on the television…..

The music was the catalyst. 

The Beatles, Rolling Stones and other groups were influencing the mood of young people and then others like Bob Dylan appeared with poetry, serious lyrics which made people wake up and generated radical thought.

In 1967 the youth movement was impacting on governments and changing the world.

Young people became Civil Rights activists and were involved in the Anti-Vietnam War Movement. 

Their music reflected their ideals and spawned a counter-culture that sat at the heart of what was happening. It was an underground movement that reached out to affect mainstream culture. 

They were serious but fun times.

In 1967 I was eighteen years of age and living near London

I was at college – and so had freedom.

I had a motorbike and a car – and so was mobile.

I was in love with a beautiful girl – and so was euphoric.

What could be better?

I was at the very heart of what was happening.

I had a group of like-minded friends. 

I had hair down to my shoulders. 

I had discovered Jack Kerouac and Beat poetry. 

I was a music fanatic with a sizeable collection of albums. 

I was open to all the new sounds and ideas that were coming out of the underground.

What could possibly be better?

It felt like the dawn of something special.

I was feeling society change and I was at the epicenter.

The underground scene was not just the music.

It encompassed an attitude. 

There was social change, politics, philosophy, spirituality and creativity everywhere; chemicals and attitudes to explore, discuss and be part of. It felt like everything had been turned on its head. 

Life was new and full of possibilities. There was excitement and revolution in the air. 

This was the age of liberation – liberation of the mind, sexuality, art, experience and possibility. It was a revolution in the head. 

We could look out and see a different world and we thought we knew how to get there.

1967 was the year when I sat up madly talking through the night, trying to make sense of it all. 

1967 was a time of great freedom for me. Rules were changing. We were making it up as we went along.

My friends and I haunted the Toby Jug, Middle Earth, UFO and the Marquee as band after band blew our minds. We sat in our rooms playing music really loudly and eulogised about what we were hearing and what it all meant. 

It was our year of psychedelics. We were in a world of our own, lost in a bubble – a dawning new reality.

I cannot believe how passionate and idealistic we were. 

1967 was also the year that I discovered Roy Harper.

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