Or 40 if you insist. Forty years ago the Beatles’ SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album came out and essentially changed pop music as we know it. Here’s a nifty book about that album and everything else that went on in that so-called "Summer of Love."
They say if you remember the sixties, you weren’t really there. The late Derek Taylor always impressed me as someone who somehow managed to do both. As press officer for the Beatles, the Beach Boys and others, he always seemed to be involved in seminal events and was perfectly willing to write or talk about them. IT WAS TWENT YEARS AGO TODAY came out twenty years ago now itself. It details the rising tide of hip, yip, flower power and worldwide counterculture that fabled summer that began with PEPPER and culminated in the Monterey Pop Festival. It’s all here-the music, the drugs, the underground movement, the anti-war movement.
The thing is, in Middle America…at age 8…I didn’t see any of this. Zip. Nada. Zilch. My biggest memory of ’67 is reading DIAL H FOR HERO comics in my back yard with my shirt off on a cool but sunny day…with my short, short hair. Oh, I heard about Vietnam on the news—didn’t pay that much attention. Hippies were silly looking creatures sometimes made fun of on TV, like beatniks before them. The first person to have longish hair in my school didn’t surface until 1969…and HE was an American Indian!
I really got into the Beatles music just as they were breaking up. I finally bought SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND in 1971. It was the first time I had even heard most of the music on it. I played it over and over, skipping school, church and other activities just to listen to it. I started growing sideburns…