Hans Remembers- Sunday August 30, 1970- 50 Years Ago. Sometimes the ordinary obscure person is involved an event that they will be remembered by the world forever for- on November 22, 1963 that happened to a Russian-Ukrainian born-American clothing manufacturer with a home movie camera. Abraham Zapruder was his name- at the time he was […]HANS REMEMBERS- SUNDAY AUGUST 30, 1970- 50 YEARS AGO — slicethelife
This line up shows Peter Banks on guitar and vocals and Tony Kaye on keyboards, a year before they were replaced by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, forming what some still regard as the ‘classic’ Yes lineup — there have been many changes since.
Eclectic rock might be the better word for this style of music. Yes went on to be one of the very best exponents of this genre, in my opinion.
There have been many books written about John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his brother, Robert Francis Kennedy, both victims of assassination. In my opinion this is one of the best.
Impeccably researched, this book, ‘The Brothers’ (Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster), written by David Talbot, roughly covers that roller coaster period from JFK‘s inauguration on January 20 1961 to the assassination of RFK on June 6 1968. It was a relatively short period of nearly seven and a half years, yet the whole world had been transformed — and mostly not for the better in my opinion.
Disaster and Tragedy
For me what makes this book stand out is the sheer number of interviews (150+) the author has carried out, with people who were there and in the know. For example, leaders like Fidel Castro of Cuba and Che Guevara seem to emerge like more rounded figures, not merely the one dimensional characters often portrayed in most media over the last sixty years.
More than this, the author tells is it how it was: from the disaster of the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the sheer hatred generated among those who felt the newly elected president had let their side down by refusing to provide air cover, to the short, fraught, heroic, yet ultimately ill-fated and tragic presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy in the early summer of 1968.
The author does not hold back on analysing the myriad conspiracy theories either, which began to emerge largely as a result of the voluminous criticism which gradually amassed after the publication of the Warren Commission Report in September 1964. And there were other doubters from the word go.
Most intriguing of all is his description of the torture Robert Kennedy went through following his brother’s death. Attorney General to JFK, he remained in his position until August 1964 when he decided to run for Senator of New York. It’s possible that RFK may have thought he was somehow responsible for not protecting his brother more during his presidency.
Treading a Very Fine Line
What is more, for the next four and a half years, up until his own death, Bobby too harboured strong suspicions that the whole truth about his brother’s death had not yet been told.
Nevertheless, in public he always retained a consistent front in support of the conclusions of the Warren Report. He was, in effect, seemingly keeping his powder dry until such a time he could investigate further from a position of strength – namely as President of the United States.
We all know this was not to be, that the so-called ‘Kennedy Curse’ was to strike once again. However, this is a very fine book and I was left feeling that a lot more light had been cast on those often dark, crazy, tempestuous, tortuous years into which I too had been thrown.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
Imagine being a young kid in a still seemingly stuffy mid 1960s Britain. Anyone would think that even sex hadn’t been truly invented until this wild decade came along. Some of my earliest memories are of fresh, new, exciting sounds over the radio — and two emerging British rock bands in particular.
So you were either a Beatles or a Stones fan, right? Well, I liked them both. I remember when the Rolling Stones eponymous 1964 album (Decca) arrived in our little household and was put on our cheap mono turntable. I was immediately transfixed by the music.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really know whether the Stones were British or not. My mother certainly did not like the look of them! She preferred the Beatles, particularly John Lennon‘s humour.
I didn’t know what rhythm and blues was either. I just liked what I heard and played that record until it was virtually worn out! My favourite track, and still one of my favourite Stones songs, is ‘Route 66‘.
Written by Bobby Troup, this was also my first real exposure to the idea of America and Americana in music, about travel for travelling’s sake, not an easy concept to grasp when you are born and bred in an obscure town in eastern England which was so conservative it seemed like Queen Victoria had never vacated the throne.
Evocative Rhythm and Place Names
I was especially entranced by the surging rhythm, evoking movement and travel, but also by the names of towns, cities and states along that famous route. Even now when I here the word ‘St Louis’ or ‘Missouri’, for example, it sends my imagination flying just as it did back then. Sad to say that I have still to actually set foot in the hallowed United States. The nearest I have been is viewing Buffalo across the Canadian Niagara Falls.
So my views have changed a bit over the years. Conservatism and tradition do indeed have a place after all, although I still have very fond memories of that crazy time, particularly the mid 60s, when the Stones were playing American covers so brilliantly.
Of course, messrs Jagger and Richards went on to be great song writers in their own right. Nevertheless, the Stones’ take on this classic, especially influenced by the purist insistence of the late great Brian Jones who did so much to create this superb band, has more than stood the test of time.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
from Oannes Songs Of Childhood Nostalgia #18 To 1969 οι Moody Blues κυκλοφόρησαν ένα άλμπουμ με τον “μεγαλόσχημα διδακτικό” τίτλο ‘To Our Children’s Children’s Children’.Μπορεί εύκολα κανείς να τους κατηγορήσει, όπως και άλλους της γενιάς τους, για το αδίκημα του self righteousness και γενικώς του self indulging.Θα είχε μάλλον άδικο, αλλά αυτό είναι μια άλλη […]
In part one of this topic I commented on the social and cultural changes instigated around the mid 1960s, breaking off my narrative around the end of 1965 with the supremacy of The Beatles. I argued that the deep, fundamental astrological influence of the outer planets, most particularly the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1965/6 was symbolic of these changes.
The first meeting of Uranus and Pluto was in October 1965, followed by two more conjunctions on April 6 and June 30 1966. The changes were truly worldwide, seemingly polarised in nature, all enhanced by media manipulation and/or the growing promotion of drugs like LSD. The latter is symbolised by Neptune’s positive sextile aspect to the other two outer planets at this time. Even sex was liberalised with the introduction of the pill, pushing the idea that women could be as ‘free’ as men.
At the same time we may have viewed the Cultural Revolution in China as being the opposite of the ‘liberation’ going on the ‘West’, perhaps seen in ‘reactionary’ Saturn being in opposition to the Uranus Pluto synod.
Yet when we analyse the rather divergent political systems, the actual processes were the same – revolution fostered by a saturation of propaganda, all to gain maximum power and control. Uranus upturns, Pluto grabs the reins, with Neptune providing a little deceitful cover in the form of film and other media propaganda as a way to persuade and ultimately deceive.
China aside, just like the Uranus Pluto conjunctions of 1850/1, London and England once again seemed to be pivotal to the cultural changes, with the so called ‘British Invasion‘ and London becoming the hub of the new fashion scene, epitomised by such manifestations as Carnaby Street.
Interestingly the Beatles landmark album ‘Revolver’ (that is, revolution) was released in August 1966, a summation in music of what was going on. It was indeed a very revolutionary catalogue of songs, utilising unusual, highly sophisticated writing and recording techniques. This was truly one of the cultural icons of the age, symbolising innovation and change (Uranus) in music (Neptune), to instigate a change in the guard (Pluto).
Back in September 1966 Jimi Hendrix, arguably the most brilliant and influential guitarist ever, was brought to England, a step which was to propel him to superstardom at rocket speed within weeks. Although he would be dead within four years, Hendrix typifies the period of sudden change and vast, worldwide influence – a meteoric career indeed. Yet his star still burns bright in the minds of many today.
’68 – Year of Revolution
If 1966 really was the pivotal year, it led directly to the ‘Summer of Love‘ in 1967 and the explosion of creativity in art and culture, transcendental meditation et al. Accepted paradigms were being questioned, which in turn led to the 1968 year of revolution, which came very close to bringing down the French government, for example.
1968 was probably the most tense and tragic year of the decade. The Vietnam War was at its height, as were the protests against it. The call for change, positive or otherwise, was reaching a crescendo. Political leaders who might have been able to bring about such change, such as Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert Kennedy, were assassinated in the melee of confusion and hate.
Trying to assess the situation is difficult because of its complexity and the benefit of hindsight is indeed a valuable thing. It does not appear to be a simple case of left versus right, or even right and wrong.
Astrologically, Uranus has often been seen as ‘right wing’, but I disagree. I think Uranus simply represents the force for change, revolution, literally turning things over, as in the name ‘Revolver’. I therefore see Uranus as more what we might call ‘left wing’.
Pluto is fundamental, often the hidden power behind the scenes. As I have said, Neptune working in tandem provided the medium (music, art, film) through which such changes could be started in that 1965/6 period.
Yet behind the passion play which was the 1960s narrative, was another, the so called ‘Space Race’, ultimately won by the USA when America landed a spacecraft visibly on a lunar surface.
Race to Oblivion?
The date was July 20 1969. Intriguingly, on this very day Uranus, planet of change and breaking barriers, was exactly conjunct the Greater Benefic Jupiter at 0 degrees Libra. To me this symbolised a conquest, not merely through the fact of the news headlines which followed, but in the long term reconfiguring of humanity at a global level. The lunar missions would peter out by the end of 1972 in a climate of disinterest: few would have predicted that.
Uranus is often credited in creating ‘individual’ tendencies when strong by position or aspect; it can manifest in individual personalities in traits like eccentricity. Nevertheless, Uranus is ultimately trans-personal and collective.
Continual Revolution – and Disillusion
It is no surprise all three outer planets were ‘discovered’ at times of great, revolutionary change; 1781, 1846 and 1930. The political manifesto most associated with all three the outer planets is socialism, a collective philosophy which has now spread to the entire world in various forms.
The 1960s began as an era of much promise, with a young American president taking office. The mid 1960s witnessed a vast cultural revolution, manifesting in various ways, depending on the political milieu of each country, though the same radical tactics were used. These were based on disruption and chaos (Uranus), confusion and deception through promotion of drugs and media (Neptune in aspect to both) and surreptitious power grabs (Pluto).
It is a sobering thought that the 1960s symbolically ended with the tragedy of the Altamont Festival on December 6. What had it all been for? Yet we are still living with the effects of the 1965/6 synod of Uranus and Pluto. The opposition will not be for a couple of decades. What kind of world will it be by then?
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
A favourite album of mine too, excellently reviewed on a great site.
Fifty years ago, this stunning album was released. The fourth album of the classic Moody Blues lineup.
This was the year of the moon landing, which is an underlying theme of this album. If you were alive then, as I was, your great grandchildren could be listening to this album now.
In 1969, war, pollution and the population bomb threatened our future. Seems relevant today as well.
Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge
The Moody Blues were deep thinkers in their musical creativity. They could wrap lyrical observations around their cerebral soundscapes. This album was no exception. It shines as maybe the best of their works, and the most enjoyable to listen to in its entirety. Put it in the stereo and drift in the heavens with it.
There are those who might have written-off the Moodies as peace and love, long-haired hippies for the messages…
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Of course, the mid 1960s cultural revolution is the stuff of legend. I am just about old enough to remember significant parts of it.
I started school in January 1964, less than two months after the Kennedy Assassination, a matter of weeks before the Beatles made their first iconic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States in February.
The world really was changing and although few may have suspected it at the time, we had just got on board a big roller coaster. By the end of the decade the world really was a very different place.
As someone who has had a long standing interest in astrology, I thought it was about time I had a look as to what was happening during this period.
Better astrologers than me, such as the great Dane Rudhyar, were assessing the situation with true vision around the time of the mid 1960s. They realised the significance of the Uranus Pluto conjunction in Virgo of 1965/6, that human culture and society was about to be seriously shaken up.
I have recently posted a couple of other pieces in regard to the important 127 years Uranus Pluto cycle, and in particular the conjunction. I believe that this has encapsulated symbolically the vast cultural changes of humanity, particularly since 1710-11 and most especially with the 1850-1 and 1965-6 cycle inceptions.
The power of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have emerged significantly into human consciousness since the discovery of Uranus 1781. I think they represent concepts which can be ‘utilised’ for generational effect.
Uranus brings the idea of thinking differently, revolution, turning things upside down, often for the sake of it. Neptune brings new beliefs, new ways to ‘unite’, concepts but also accompanying delusion, confusion. Pluto is fundamental power which is often hidden and all the potential danger that can bring.
The two planets Uranus and Pluto were drawing relatively close by late 1963. The shock of the Kennedy Assassination on November 22 1963 cast a long shadow over the entire world, but particularly in the United States of course, the most powerful country militarily and culturally.
This awful event acted almost like a psychological primer for the emergence of the so-called Swinging Sixties and counter culture. Maybe here was evidence of the foreshadowing effect of the Uranus Pluto conjunction, the urge for change merges with fundamental power – a cultural revolution fostered at all levels of society.
I think we should also briefly examine the sign in which the conjunction was to occur, namely Virgo, the mutable earth sign. Virgo and the sixth house represent many totally practical facets of everyday life, our efficiency, work and health. In other words, this conjunction was potentially going to turn upside down all of that, it would be felt by everyone in their everyday lives.
You Say You Want a Revolution?
And certainly from early 1964, with the cultural phenomenon that was the Beatles, the ensuing ‘British Invasion’ and everything that went with it, to important events like the true beginning of the Vietnam War in August with the Gulf of Tonkin incident, began to set the scene for the rampant cultural dichotomy of the period.
Very interestingly, Uranus Pluto were first exactly conjunct on John Lennon’s twenty fifth birthday, on October 9 1965. By this time the Beatles had virtually conquered the world through their music and films.
The conjunction in Virgo was roughly opposed by Saturn in Pisces, but was in easy aspect to Neptune in Scorpio. I think this is highly significant. Saturn represents the conservative (often religious) reaction to the societal changes, whilst Neptune essentially being in step with both from watery Scorpio cast an other worldly veneer over all of the growing melee.
Although I contend that the three outer planets do not rule any signs, and do not have personal influence – unless they are brought into the equation either through being angular or in strong aspect – I think they do have a transpersonal effect which needs to be carefully examined, even warned against.
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll
Although drink and drug abuse are often associated with this planet, I think Neptune also has much to do with music, particularly modern, sometimes formless, chaotic music. Neptune in Scorpio could be said to epitomise that ‘sex, drugs and rock n roll’ culture which developed at this crazy time.
Neptune’s transition through Scorpio from 1957 to 1970 witnessed this whole period of world in transformation and the planet’s sextile (60 degree) aspect to the Uranus Pluto conjunction in the mid 1960s particularly allowed mediums like music and also art to manipulate the masses into general acceptance. Music, after all, has a profound effect on the emotions.
Perhaps it was almost like an escape valve in which we were all invited, through the words of Timothy Leary, to ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ – all very ‘druggy’ and Neptunian.
It was a concept which was to mushroom with all the power of a nuclear explosion in the ensuing years, encapsulated astrologically and symbolically by the transformative meeting of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. The changes instigated at that time have only cast stronger ripples in our world since then.
Part 2 will follow soon.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
The 60s came and they declared You dead.
For a time many might have believed it.
But events transpiring ever since
have only convinced me that You are —
and always will be —
that still small voice inside.
Peace and love have gone
Division has gone viral
So I turn to You
copyright Francis Barker 2020
It was really happening here
back in the sixties,
before it all turned sour
and the seventies made cynics of us all.
Back then you couldn’t move;
gangs on scooters and motor bikes,
the Mods and the Rockers,
had set the scene before us.
Then Year One came along, or so we thought;
the Summer of Love opened our eyes,
blew our minds, until we realised
that we too had been wrong.
It’s kind of quiet now,
the sea has reclaimed the place for itself,
like it always will,
as we shuffle off one by one
to some other place
beyond that wide horizon
copyright Francis Barker 2020
How far could we have pushed it? How far did we
dare? The cold didn’t
hit us so much then and our bones weren’t
the barometers they are now – not
so plainly breaking
down. And time, he was our slow
playground friend casting his long spell,
fooling us to think that
what we had was real.
But a new chord
could send our minds off in tangents to those
places of colour, much better imagined
than experienced. Two guitars, two
minds playing like John
and Paul, though minus their gifts, their
backgrounds; all still ideas
in the ether surrounding, mingling even with
Alexander’s breath, the vapours of many
great men – and
where are they? Great only
in books, and how much
lesser are we?
© poem and image copyright Dave Barker 2012