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Sunday, July 20, 2008

1969 OK!


On Paul Cook's 13th birthday (20 July 1969), the American spacecraft Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Less than a decade later, Cook's most high profile band, The Sex Pistols would have formed, toured their native England, made outrageous media headlines, finally arrive in the United States for a brief tour, and then break up pretty much immediately afterwards.

Johnny Rotten & Steve Jones

What a year 1969 was... It was the year that Richard Nixon took office; 10 days later, The Beatles gave their last public performance - the famous one on the roof of Apple Records that's in the movie Let It Be. Not to worry though, for music would be forever changed again by a record released a couple weeks earlier - the eponymous Led Zeppelin debut album. Hard rock meets the blues = the birth of what would eventually become heavy metal. The Beatles would continue to influence people however... for in August (on the 9th - a day that would play a role in Nixon's future), the Manson family committed the grisly mass murder of Sharon Tate, and her friends Folgers coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring at Tate and husband Roman Polanski's home high atop Los Angeles in the tony Bel Air section of town. The Beatles song Helter Skelter was written in blood on the walls of the second house that the Manson family carried out their grisly murders. However, the Tate-Polanski house on Cielo Drive became a morbid tourist attraction for years to come (and is now gone--- but Trent Reznor who is for all intents and purposes NIN, rented it and recorded his break-through album, The Downward Spiral there, and his friends, a few guys who formed a band called Marilyn Manson did spend some time hanging out with him there. Brian Warner, who performs under the clever stage name of Marilyn Manson was born in 1969.

In 1969, as pop music bid goodbye to the Beatles and hello to Led Zeppelin as they promulgated a whole new kind of rock n roll, punk rock was being born in and around Detroit with the MC5 and The Stooges. 1969 is the name of a song The Stooges on their debut album, released in 1969 (produced by John Cale.)

Iggy Pop 1977 1

1969 wrapped up its beginning, denoument and end quite neatly around music. 1969 gave us Woodstock - the metaphor and avatar of the decade - and Altamont served to symbolize the the sad, tragic end of the 60's. The Rolling Stones headlined the violent Altamont concert; their innovative member Brian Jones died in July of 1969.

Near the end of 1969, the first transmissions across ARPANET were made - ARPANET being the harbinger of the internet. Unix was also created during 1969. And since this is all online... we'd be nowhere without all the living and dying that was 1969.

1 comment:

Motorgirl said...

Very cool overview of the origins of punk rock. I especially like the 1969/watershed stuff. Of course, I knew that Manson brought the whole hippie/love thing to an abrupt end (L.A.'s Sunset Strip scene went from being a 24/7 street party to what it is today virtually overnight), but I never connected it with the birth of the Motor City's proto-punk scene or as the beginning of the end for Nixon & co. Theresa K. is an awesome writer.