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, 11 May 2015

Lets go to Greenwich Village in the early sixties ...

Our Sky Arts channel finds some interesting documentaries - I just enjoyed GREENWICH VILLAGE, MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION, a two-hour 2012 feature I had not seen, written produced and directed by Laura Archibald, which is a real trip down memory lane - 
starting as it does with that video clip of the Mamas & Papas and taking us back to that bright dawn of the early Sixties - even more poignant now as one of the singer/songwriters featured - Joni Mitchell - may be in a coma after her recent collapse. That early mid-60s clip of her singing "Night in the City" is heartbreaking now. Great to see John Sebastian too - I loved The Lovin' Spoonful then. 

Fascinating too seeing those survivors now: Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Carly Simon and her sister, Judy Collins, Melanie, Buffy St Marie (I had a big poster of her on my wall circa 1967/68), Michelle Phillips, Jose Feliciano, Kris Kristofferson and more as Susan Sarandon narrates. That second Bob Dylan album not only had tracks I love, but it re-defined album cover art, with that great photo, getting away from those posed portraits of 50s albums ... again, it conjures up the moment of being young in the city. 

It explores the music scene in Greenwich Village, New York in the 60's and early 70's. The film highlights some of the finest singer/songwriters of the day, as we see vintage footage of Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, Woody Guthrie, and that young Bob Dylan - no mention of Joan Baez though ...

Greenwich Village was that melting pot where it came together as singer songwriters and troubadours moved there, taking in folk music, and protest against Middle America, and then the Vietnam war of the Johnson adminstration. HUAC got in the act too with some acts finding themselves blacklisted .... of course a lot of these acts gravitated towards California and the West Coast by the end of the Sixties, as some were accused of "selling out" to the music industry ...
It was though that great time to be young - we felt it in London as well and the counterculture got underway. It was of course that time when being young and living in the city mixing with one's peers was cheap and affordable - unlike now. I loved that Byrds album then - it was the way to look - above: me in 1967 and 1969

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