Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970
They say if you remember the sixties you weren’t there. Fxxx You. I was there. Those that weren’t and many who were, like me, have been along to the V&A to see the big show Revolution?etc. What gives it a real feel for the period is, its crowded. From the Isle of Wight to Hyde Park, from Grosvenor Square to the Paris barricades the headlines of the 1960s were crowded. As is the V&A today.
And if you love the ephemera of the 60s, it records,labels, films, fashion, posters and slogans, Yo, Go. (see link)But, as if you need to be told, Revolution it was not. Sure there was dissent. Sure there were changes. But that happened before and it happens now.
We go on and on about the Beatles and the Stones. But those that have survived are almost in the House of Lords. There was a revolution, in consumer behaviour, it was switching from white to brown bread, from 78s to 45s, alcohol to dope, short to long hair, suits to jeans.
The sixties was about product placement. The V&A show is sponsored by Levis. Sure then as now anything but Levis was a bit sad.They show the great Woodstock film which I remember seeing in Marble Arch, made by Warner Bros. The show also reminds that one of the most successful ads of the time was Coke’s “I’d like to teach the word to sing.” Why not, its the real thing. Even revolutions go better on Coke.
On the way into Prince Albert’s triumph there is a real 1970, iconic VW people carrier, well painted in psychedelic patterns. I kid you not ,as I passed a Muslim family complete with head scarves(but no prayer mats) were having their picture taken next to it. Way to go Mustapha Freakout. On the way out there is a cut out image of the Fab Four and just as in the seaside side in 1960 you are encouraged to take a selfie with the lads-not all of course are still with us. And a cheerful crowd were all doing as they were told and giving oh so fucking A peace signs.
So thats it, the 60s has been reduced to a selfie with a card board cut out. Great show. I bought a badge of Woody Guthrie’s guitar which had on it the slogan “This Machine Kills Fascists.” It missed Mr Trump. Who like it or not is a (bastard) child of the sixties.