1969

Since we are thinking bout the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, it’s worth reminding ourselves of some of the other major things that happened that year.

1969 was the year that The Beatles released their last studio album, Abbey Road. Again, the cover has become an icon for the times. I don’t live that far away from the actual recording studios, and indeed have been inside. If you visit, there are hoardes of (usually foreign) visitors having their pictures taken.

There is to be a big Abbey Road box set, in the style of previous Beatle efforts, sometime later this year. The album is much loved, partly for the lack of Lennon sneery songs and partly because it was recorded by George Mrtin and the group in a relatively happy atmosphere. I am sure they all realised their days were numbered.

John married Yoko and they did bed ins (beds in?) for peace. And Brian Jones of the Stones died.

Also that year, the music festival Woodstock took place in New York. I watched the film of it just recently. There are some familiar names on the list of performers, like Hendrix, the Who, Janis Joplin and also acts long forgotten, like Quill and Bert Sommar. The four days of peace and love became something of a free-for-all, and rain made it very muddy. There was a good deal of anti-Vietnam war protesting, as you might expect. The film is great, especially on the big screen.

1969 was the year when the first steps towards an Internet were laid, with ARPANET beginning.

Led Zeppelin released their first album. So did King Crimson, still on the go and doing a 50th anniversary tour. The old stuff still sounds fresh and interesting.

Nixon was president that year. A complicated character, for sure. Concorde was being tested, and Scooby-Doo began on tv as did Monty Python.

Top films included The Italian Job (Michael Caine), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Midnight Cowboy. Al Pacino made his frst film and Elvis his last.

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