Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Look of 1969

This fashion photograph, taken by Patrick Lichfield, captures the hedonism of the late 1960s in a nutshell .... socialite and model Talitha Getty with Paul Getty on a starlit terrace in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1969 - the zenith of that stoned, rich hippie dream and fascination with all things Moroccan of the time (I was 23); that 1968 movie DUFFY was also shot there (with Jameses Coburn, Fox, Mason and Susannah York - see review at Susannah York label), and of course that obsession is there too in spades in Roeg and Cammell's PERFORMANCE, made in '68 but not released until 1970, and in the 1967 fun flick MAROC 7 (Cyd Charisse label), and Anouk took up the look in JUSTINE, 1969 (set in Alexandria), right, and of course in songs like Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Marrakesh Express".

Getty’s glamorous but ultimately doomed life cast her as another of those '60s casualities like Brian Jones, Joplin, Hendrix, Morrison - she died of a drug overdose in Rome in 1971. It kind of conjures up Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel "The Beautiful and The Damned".

Escaping swinging London for the heady ethnicity of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, Getty lived in a luxurious house, and threw lavish parties. Trailblazing a bohemian style that would become a reference point for countless designers in the coming decades, Getty wore Marrakesh-style kaftans, harem pants and Moroccan djellabas with those kohl-heavy eyes. It was the embodiment of a decadent kind of flower power. We flirted with it too in London, I have a photo of me in a caftan (right), and Biba and Kensington Market also had The Look. It is a look that influences fashion still. My Australian friend Garry Kendall would have loved the Talitha photo ...

Also the essence of 1969 now is Alan J.Palkula's first feature THE STERILE CUCKOO (or POOKIE as it was called here in England) with Liza Minnelli as Pookie Adams, and Wendall Burton - and of course that song "Come Saturday Morning", written I am sure by Dory Previn. This brings back that era so much, the masionette apartment I shared with two friends, the big kitchen and garden ... and songs like Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic", Streisand's "Stoney End" album, Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Trobled Water", Aretha Franklin's live FILIMORE album and Joni Mitchell's second album, and going to the movies to see Visconti's THE DAMNED, LAST SUMMER, WOMEN IN LOVE and so many others...

The other big memory of 1969 is a BBC series TAKE THREE GIRLS, about 3 girls sharing an apartment in London, a weekly drama series (which we saw in black and white, as we had not got colour television just yet..) featuring Susan Jameson, Liza Goddard and Angela Down, as the flatmates, the epitome of the mini-skirted, Biba-clad girl of the era. It was though the first serious effort by television to portray young women living away from home, so it certainly hit a nerve. The 1966 THE PLEASURE GIRLS was more of the same, perhaps a bit more sensationalsied, as per my review at 1965 label.

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