The movies just kept coming: I joined the crowd at the premiere of MODESTY BLAISE hoping Monica Vitti would be there, she was not but I saw Dirk Bogarde with Rosella Falk (Mrs Fothergill) on his arm, Monica, Dirk and Terry were my pin-ups of the year.. Other hits of the year were Bergman's PERSONA, Lelouch's UNE HOMME ET UNE FEMME (where Anouk Aimee was perfection, when not endlessly fiddling with her hair), and Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck wonderful together in ARABESQUE - a very 60s confection. WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? was a stunner Malle's VIVA MARIA has the 'house full' sign up when a friend and I turned up to see it at The Curzon in Mayfair. (still here, for now, as the developers move in). "Films and Filming" and "Sight & Sound" kept us up to date with all the new movies.
I used to go to the big Classic cinema in Baker Street for revivals (not having a television then), and that new vegetarian store Cranks had opened next to it, I was in there one day and there was a small Japanese woman shopping next to me - I knew she was Yoko Ono, then (before John Lennon) a performance artist and avant garde film-maker (her film with all those naked bottoms!) who featured in those new Sunday supplements. Another Sunday supplement regular was artist David Hockney - I went too to one of those new gay bars in Pembridge Road, Notting Hill - and recognised him there - looking at me, with the peroxide hair and the round glasses - perhaps he was over from California? I did not linger though and left after finishing my drink .... perhaps if I had stayed I might have been one of those boys in a blue pool ...
It was time though to move again - we moved a lot in those days, sharing apartments for maybe 6 monhs or so. Now it was on to West Kensington sharing a pad with 2 friends of a friend - it was just a temporary thing - Julie Christie it seemed lived in an apartment block there which we passed a lot, but never saw her., I saw that famous World Cup win there on a small black and white set (it was still the era of just two TV channels - imagine! - which closed down early and no colour) - no wonder young people were out making music and being creative and creating their own events.
Finally, that autumn it was down to Clapham South, where I became a South London boy, sharing another flat with Stanley - who turned out to be my best friend, until he died in 1992 - we sharing flats on and off up to the early '70s and again later in the mid-80s before romance took me off to the South Coast for a decade or more .... We finally got television then, and that new trendy station BBC2 opened - LATE NIGHT LINE UP, MAN ALIVE documentaries - including one on those still illegal gays dancing in their clubs and wearing white polo neck sweaters; the popular soap THE NEWCOMERS, and crime series Z-CARS and even DIXON OF DOCK GREEN; DR WHO (Patrick Troughton) at Saturday teatime followed by THE SIMON DEE SHOW - all in shades of gray, and Sunday afternoon drama serials like a great THREE MUSKETEERS with Jeremy Brett, and KENILWORTH.on BBC2. It was also the year of that hard-ditting drama CATHY COME HOME and saw the start of Alf Garnett in TILL DEATH DO US PART. Later in the decade we loved those comedy shows like ME MAMMY (Anna Manahan and Milo O'Shea) and BEGGAR MY NEIGHBOUR where June Whitfield (still going now) had a knowing twinkle in her eye whenever mentioning a neighbour who "lived down by the maisonettes and was good to his mother".
We began frequenting the West End coffee bars and early gay discos when the teens danced to Tamla Motown - The LE DEUCE in D'Arblay Street was a particular favourite.. So, 1966 ended on a high - but 1967 would be even better: as psychedelia hit London (we already liked that West Coast sound of The Mamas and Papas, and the New York combo The Lovin' Spoonful), BLOW-UP hit town in March and it was like seeing oneself up there on the screen, and then The Beatles released SERGEANT PEPPER .... Stan and I and Linda, the girl upstairs, went stark raving mad. We went to see The Stax Tour, just before Otis Redding took that fatal flight. 1968 brought Aretha Franklin to town and I joined the hippie set seeing The Doors and Jefferson Airplane at the Roundhouse at Camden, where everyone was on acid - ditto at 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY in Cinerama and so much more, like going to the Middle Earth club in Covent Garden and getting the hippie magazine "International Times" and that new weekly listings mag "Time Out" ... Above right, me sporting the tousled Rolling Stone look on Clapham Common in '66.