Psychedelic Sounds

Anecdote #12

  Southern California

In 1967, when I was 13 (do the math), Mom and Dad sent me on an adventure. They drove me up to Chicago and put me on a train -- The Santa Fe Chief -- and sent me to California, all by myself, to briefly visit relatives and go to Baptist summer camp.

While I was there visiting my older cousins, they played a new cassette on a terrible cheap cassette player. It was the new album by the Beatles and it was called Sgt. Pepper's something-or-other.

Up to that point, I hadn't been a very big fan of the Beatles. I grew up digging Glenn Miller, Nat Cole, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, and the like. But there was something about this new album...

Over the next few years, I joined my friends in exploring the new political, social, and psychic frontiers, accompanied by the new sounds of the Who, Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Cream, the Mothers of Invention, Jefferson Airplane, and so many others. Now, it seems that Pepper had a more lasting effect on me than Baptist camp did. It's okay, Mom. You couldn't have known.

On my psychedelic psyte, I've taken note of some bands and some albums I have found to be central to the music and the spirit of the time.  I've also provided some notes on the events of the day, which included Woodstock, the Vietnam War, the Chicago Democratic Convention, the fall of Nixon, the death of Kennedy, and the struggle for civil rights for millions of people called "Negroes."  Yes, they were eventful days.

Return with me, if you please, to a time when the world was alive with possibilities, freedom was in the air, drug dealers didn't have Uzis, and the Beatles were putting out new records. It was a beautiful time to be a teenager.

Oh, and you could put a 13-year-old kid on the train by himself and get him back in one piece.

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Ian MacLeod -- CGS 2822 -- 13377

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