Friday, 12 April 2013

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Is the music to blame?

It's been a long time since I rock-and-rolled
It's been a long time since I did the Stroll
Ooh, let me get back, let me get back, let me get back
mm-baby, where I come from
It's been a long time, been a long time
Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time
Yes, it has
Led Zeppelin - 'Rock and Roll' from 1971
For some reason Led Zeppelin has been scorching the speakers in my car for the past week.  I'm not sure why I pulled out the CD, but since first sliding it into the car stereo I haven't given it a break.  It made me think about the teenage blast of music that may have/must have shaped my life.

When I was growing up my Father - bless him - used to look at me and shake his head whenever I did something, to his mind, so alien and strange he couldn't understand what or where it came from. You see, I embraced being an adventurous and open minded Hippy early on.  He and my mother were in their 40s when I came along in 1950. They had already endured the hardships and horrors of WWII.   Shaking his head he would say, "it's because you were a 'late in life' baby isn't it?".  

I wonder if the music of the time had a lot to do with it.  Are we the result of our generation's music or is the music the result of the generation that makes it?  Do the themes, the beat, or the music scene mold us into what we are and what we become?  I'm not sure.  I think it goes both ways.  Whatever the answer I sure was lucky to come in to the world when I did.

The music at the time of my teens - the 1960s - was new, free, sexual, wild and, in many cases, full of meaning.  In the early years of the decade the US was going through the Civil Rights movement and I lived it first hand at my church and high school.  In both cases the old segregation was being broken through forced busing.  Old standards were being busted.  The music provided the theme and background for a revolution in how to think about and treat each other.  Songs like "The Times They Are Changing" by Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke's "Change is Gonna Come" and The Impressions "People Get Ready" gave me and the world early bedrock for supporting human equality and liberal open mindedness.

Then, in the later years of the 60s, fuelled by opposition to the Vietnam War and a revolution in thought the gates of free love, and free life were blown open with electric soul and psychedelia!  There was so much amazing music.  Music that moved every part of me and our world.  From the raw sexuality of The Rolling Stones (my all time favs) and Led Zepplin, to the mindful Crosby Stills and Nash and Simon And Garfunkel and on to the mind blowing Cream, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd and the in your face John Lennon... these were the groups creating the music of change.   Wow, just writing it all down its hard to believe it all happened in one decade and I was there.

These ideas from the late 60s provided the values and life style our group lived and embraced into the 70s.  Of course there were sex and drugs and rock and roll...that was the really fun stuff!  But there were also endless nights and days where we debated current events and thought about the possibility of creating a better world.  So here's the question.  Is the music to blame for my broad-mindedness, my green beliefs and my tolerance (of everything except the Australian Liberal Coalition party) today?  Did the music make me .. or did the times .. or was I born this way?  Who's to say, but I'm sure glad whatever happened it happened to me.

A group shot - some of the neighbourhood in the early 70s.


  1. Awww! That's Karma that Phyllis is holding! She was the silkiest kitty! Who is the blonde guy?

    Did I ever post all those pics I had from the old days? I was going to put the on Photobucket but I can't remember if I ever did. You keep coming up with some good ones!

  2. Listening to the Rolling Stones amongst others here today too, made a playlist up for an old iphone that has stopped working for a phone so now just resides in the docking station of the stereo. Everything on it from Bob Dylan, Lynard Skynard and Janis and the Stones to recent ones like Mumford and Sons, Paulo Nutini, Emile Sande, Dido and Adele. Wish she would come out with a new CD.