|There'd been a run on grey paint during the War|
The 1960s are turning into a mere memory. That’s bad news for a decade which no one claims to remember. So here are some Pass Notes for the kids. My recollections, of course, may not be more reliable than anyone else’s…..
SAN FRANCISCO In 1967 the San Francisco Police Chief had a brainwave to make pedestrians more visible to drivers, urging them on TV to “Be sure to wear a flower in your hair.” No one took much notice. To make the message punchier he set it to music. The song went global and the city was thronged with people following his suggestion. Traffic incidents went down, but there was a big spike in hay fever fatalities.
PSYCHEDELIA Delia Farrington was a sociopathic London go-go dancer who would wait outside her club to bludgeon people who hadn’t tipped her. The dazed victims would stagger down Oxford Street, ears ringing and vision blurred, screaming “Man, I’ve been zapped by Psycho Delia”.
LSD In the 1960s the CIA had a plan to destroy the Soviets: by introducing unpronounceable words into the language they’d drive the natives crazy. Operatives infiltrated the country to introduce the letter combination “lsd” into Russian; “Dlsda”, “Nylsdet”, etc. Of course, Russians have been speaking unpronounceable words for centuries and easily assimilated the phrases, which were exported back to America. Soon Americans were behaving bizarrely and unpredictably, driven mad by “lsd”.
THE BEATLES As everyone knows, post-Shakespeare England was a cultural desert for centuries. A minor civil servant was ordered to find a UK version of French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. The best he could come up with was John Paul George Ringo. On being asked to interpret “L’enfer, c’est les autres” their funny Scouse accents turned it into “I am the Walrus”, which proved much more palatable to the paying public.
FLOWER POWER Hippies were notoriously aggressive. They would attack passers-by with clubs disguised by wreaths of marigolds. In those days “Pow” meant “To strike” or “To impress”. Hence, “Hey punk, get a taste of my flower pow-er.”
BOB DYLAN For years this obnoxious untalented wannabe scoured Greenwich Village folk clubs for open mic spots. Embittered by constant failure, he flung open the doors of the Village Vanguard to the icy January blast, shouting to the punters as he stomped out, “Your asses, my friends, are blowin’ in the wind”. Both phrase and Dylan soon faded into obscurity.