Saturday, December 30, 2017

1960s Attitude

Ahhh, yes: ATTITUDE -- the breakfast of champions (and rockers worldwide)!

It made our world back in the mid-to-late Sixties (and, brother, did we need it: a President dying "under the Western sun" [from a tribute by the late Kate Smith], his brother shot in L.A. just moments after flashing the "peace" sign to supporters, Dr. Martin Luther King gunned down in Memphis, Vietnam and race riots).
We spoke and believed in "peace and love"; from traveling light around the country to shows and more, we learned about the vast openness of America. We didn't have to be "cooped up" in one setting -- we were, in fact, freeborn men (and women); from the huge rock festivals, we learned that we weren't alone in this world! No matter what we believed, there were others, in fact, who would relate to us and our feelings in the world.

When Uncle Lloyd first started his show, it was at the time when we really needed his zaniness; not just "wanted" but "needed"! You see, not many adults seemed to realise (or even care) that we kids were being impacted by all that was happening around us, just like they were. Only ours seemed a bit worse, because we were beginning to wonder if there really was a future for us!

Well, LL came onstage with his crazy antics and one of the friendliest, most positive attitudes ever seen on the tube! That's Reason #157 (collect 'em all!) that kids loved him so much. They felt he really understood us (and, guess what? He did!). Whilst providing an hour of great music and fun, he also exuded assurance that things were gonna be alright.

Of course, there was the fab music of the era! From Animals to Zombies, Billy Fury to Wilson Pickett, the acts not only gave us the best music to jump, jive and wail to, but it actually lifted our spirits! And, when we saw them on TV or (better yet) in concert, we saw they played live, with instruments, and were more animated than any Bugs Bunny cartoon!

Today ... well, it's just not the same, musically. Somehow, the synthesizers, taped drum loops, computerized music samplings and Auto-Tunes just don't provide the same effect as the live acts of yesteryear.
And, after hearing all that noise today (just think: all it takes is one scalawag to unplug the power strip and WHOOSH!! .... there goes an act's set), but knowing that we're in much the same shape as we were then in many ways (e.g.: Afghanistan? Vietnam? Same tune, just different lyrics; hating Arabs? hating Blacks? The song's remained the same) why don't we take a look back and recapture what we had then? We can do it with our music ... our media hotshots can do it if they just plug into and copy Cronkite's, Huntley's and Brinkley's style ... and we certainly can do it if someone in TV would step up to the plate and emulate the man who helped make the feel-good attitude of the 1960s: Lloyd Eugene Thaxton.

Nuff said? Then stay tuned ...

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