The Ronettes- Bob Dylan- Curtis Mayfield-Nina Simone-The Grateful Dead-The Beatles- The Rolling Stones- Aretha Franklin- Sam Cooke- The Doors- The Supremes- Eric Clapton- Janis Joplin- The Temptations-Chuck Berry- Simon & Garfunkel- Marvin Gaye- Jimmi Hendrix- ------- What do all these artists have in common? The 1960's!
As I read through the chapter I easily recognized many names. I thought about their stories and their music. The sixties have often been looked at through much nostalgia, as all adults tend to reflect on their own youth. The music - the images- the message is also a reelection of the growth of a young persons identity. You have the fun "pop" music- the politically charged music- as in youth wanting to have a voice and be heard- you also have the extreme difference in musical style- voice- instruments- reflective in how we see young people dress.
If you have not seen the movie Bobby I highly recommend it.
This film captures an era - a generation. As in the musical artists mentioned above and the significant degree of difference among the music the one thing that they have in common is the emotion or identification I made after watching this film. There is a sense I get regarding the hopefulness- the energy- the possibilities. Even within the context of war- civil rights- women's liberation- student power- and counter culture. A significant amount of people found voice. They found strength to speak. They found faith to act. And then 1968 happened. The violence had accumulated. The voices and faces of hope where out right publically killed: John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X, and Bobby Kennedy...not to mention the local leadership in many communities. There then was a retreat. It seemed like an overwhelming defeat of a generation. The progress politically, musically, socially, is significant. Yet the momentum at a stand still that continues to today June 18 2010.
The music and generation of the 1960's did have lasting impact on pop culture. Fro example: The emergence of Rolling Stone magazine. Jann Wenner the founder of the magazine stated- "Rolling Stone is not just about music, but also about the things and attitudes that the music embraces." A medium that wrote and talked about music and impact formed many attitudes about music and culture. I can't help but ask who was the target audience of Rolling Stone? I am guessing (white middle class consumers??) The quote from Richard Farrar regarding The Ronettes Rolling Stone 1968 makes that abundantly clear: "tough whorish females of the lower class, female Hell's Angles who had about them the aura of brazen sex. The Ronettes were Negro Puerto Rican hooker types with long black hair and skin tight dresses revealing their well shaped but not quite Tina Turner behinds...Ronettes records should have been sold under the counter along with girly magazines and condoms." I honestly was shocked to read this. It made the women's movements very real to me. I am sure there was not harsh criticism like this for the Rolling Stones songs regarding how they talked about women.
The most interesting ideas to me are the contrasts and ironies among the music and pop culture of the 60's. There is all this fight and gains regarding human relationship- admiration for each other's music- and even collaboration and at the exact same time separation, violence, and power struggle..
I often ask myself what can I learn or what can young people learn about strength in numbers, democracy, social capital, or civil disobedience from the 60's generation. I think it is also a time to appreciate a creative spirit. It is vital to acknowledge the wealth of creative advances in all aspects of art. It also seemed to be a catalyst in extending educational and cultural advances that we have all benefitted from.