By Dennis Hartley
It was 50 years ago today (or thereabouts)…
(from USA Today)
This year, 400 since the death of Shakespeare and 90 since the birth of Elizabeth II, is also the 50th anniversary of Swinging London, a time and place that produced the British Invasion rock bands, Georgy Girl and Darling, Twiggy and The Shrimp and the miniskirt.
In the 1960s, London — epitome of everything hierarchical, traditional and stodgy — was the site of a revolution in music, fashion and design. Lords partied with bricklayers, rockers with gangsters. Anything seemed possible.
The scene was made famous by an April 1966 Time magazine cover story, titled “The city that swings.’’ It described a place where “ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop.’’
The 50th anniversary of Swinging London is being marked at a Saatchi Gallery show of Stones memorabilia. Jimi Hendrix’ old flat (once Handel’s attic) has opened to tourists.This summer the Victoria & Albert Museum begins an exhibition, You Say You Want a Revolution?
I’m a bit of an Anglophile; I particularly love the British music, films and TV shows of that era. In fact, 1966 was a watershed year for British cinema: Alfie, After the Fox, The Deadly Affair, Fahrenheit 451, Funeral in Berlin, Georgy Girl, A Man For All Seasons, The Wrong Box, and of course, Antonioni’s Blow-Up. Here’s my favorite scene:
As for the most memorable UK TV show of ’66, 2 words: Emma Peel!
And lest we forget the fab UK music of ’66…here are my top picks:
Now if you will excuse me, it’s time for my tea and bickie. Cheers!