Ah the 60’s. The music, the fashion, the freedom. It was the best of times. No, it was the worst of times. I’m mis-quoting but it’s honesty I’m after not nice phrasing! So let’s plum for the “good” old, bad old days.
Born in 1962 to older parents, I managed to miss almost all the music the 60’s offered. What did we listen to? Jim Reeves? On occasion. Val Doonican? Every Saturday night on primetime tv. But no. The music of choice in our house was Hank Williams. Haven’t heard of him? Bear in mind that this wasn’t music of the 60s – it was just in the 60s. he was a 50’s American country and western singer. If you’ve ever listened to Billy Connelly’s description of that kind of music you’ll recognise Hank. What did Billy say? Something about blood coming out of the record. I can’t absolutely swear to it but I think they passed a law to say that every other C & W record had to have the word “lonesome” in it.
Anyway – we didn’t listen to the Beatles or the Stones. Not even on the radio as that was tuned to something called the Home Service. And on rare occasions “Listen with Mother”. Ah the heady joys of the 60s. To this day I can still belt out the odd Mario Lanza number.
There was a – very – brief foray into “Top of the Pops” but then she caught me watching it, saw the dancers and decided that it was very likely the work of Satan. Foray ended …
As for fashion – well, mum tried. Really. I was well turned out for special occasions. Visiting elderly relatives usually required the hot pink Jackie O tailored suit with a rather wispy pageboy haircut. As I said – she tried. As I went to a “progressive” primary (read “chaotic”) without uniforms, I remember being sent out wearing bright red vinyl hotpants and matching knee boots. Not a good look on a five year old! And if you’re just that little bit younger and can’t form a mental picture – think 80s football shorts, but shorter!
And then there was the freedom. Free to walk to the shops on my own. Apart from the giant shopping trolley almost as tall as I was. I still remember the day I dragged it home and tripped on a pebble. I went down, the trolley fell on my back and I ended up with a centre parting in my bottom lip.
Or the pebble dashed knees from trying to get off the roundabout before it stopped. No namby pamby soft playgrounds for us. We had the freedom to learn from our mistakes. And there were so many to learn from. In fact that may account for my currently knackered knees.
So I’ve never been one for childhood nostalgia and, reading this back I think I’ve finally worked out why!
Which of your childhood memories give lie to the nostalic view? I’d love to know …