– 07.02.12 –
The swinging sixties was known as ‘the cultural decade’. The diversity, the hope, the music, conflicts, the dancing were all taken place from the 60’s. It was a decade of change. Not only the fashion changed, but also global events around the world.
The end of World War II began a war of its own, baby boom. The baby boom risen especially in the UK from 1960 and its peak at 1964. World War II was a horrible time for the world, the world was at peace in 1945. People were united with their family, friends and lovers, and relationships were celebrated which was delayed because of the war. It was a high result of births, hence why the term is called the ‘baby boom’. In America, around 75 million babies were born between 1960 and 1964. In Britain, the birth rates were peaked at 900,000.
It was a huge impact to Britain as new schools were built by the government, they also supplied free milk to the children at school and child benefits for the baby boom generation. Rock and Roll singer Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were one of the boomers. Some of the boomers were in power such as Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
On the 13th of August, 1961. People of Berlin discovered that their city has been divided in two with a barbed wire and a block wall. The wall became to be known as the cold war. It became a miserable life as families were parted, people lost their livelihood and weren’t able to pass to either side of the wall. The only people that were granted permission to cross the famous Charlie checkpoint were military patrols and tourists. Up to 200 people or more were killed for attempting to cross the border and more than thousands of people were arrested to try to escape to the west.
The Berlin wall was made stronger and tougher over the years. By the late 80s the deadly wall crumbled. And on 9th of November 1989, the partition between the East and the West was over and now known as history.
The style, the music and the lifestyles of The Beatles were a huge impact to the swinging sixties. They were the worlds famous boy band. Originally known as the Quarrymen but then changed their band name to The Beatles. They were signed with Parlophone records and their powerful songwriting and voices helped them hit the top charts! The Beatles were upbeat, alive and strong as it shook the world after the sad memory of the world war.
It wouldn’t be a boy band if everything ran smoothly. There were plenty of conflicts and hidden stories which was infatuated by the media. Brian Epstein, the manager of the biggest and successful boy band committed suicide at the peak of his career. It still remains a mystery to why he did it.
My favourite song from The Beatles would be ‘Hey Jude’. I have a fond memory in primary school as we were learnt the song off by heart and always puts a smile to my face.
Music was a heavy influence in the 60s as it brought out the personalities in people. Ska music was one of the genres that had an effect on the people. Ska music is originated from Jamaica in the late 50s, early 60s. Ska music had a combination of Caribbean mento, calypso, with American Jazz, Rhythm and blues. Ska music was a strong influence to the British mods and was popular with the skinheads too. Rude boy music and fashion, as well as the gang mentality, became a strong influence to the skinheads and mods.
Mods is short for modernists, There were new stuff happening due to the post war. Music, film and fashion. They were best dressed with suave and style. Mohair suits, smart shoes, parkas and hair. There were categories of being a mod.
The best dressed were known as ‘faces’.
Lesser individuals were known as ‘numbers’ or ‘tickets’.
Mods invested on vespas, lambretta’s, Brutus shirts, Parkas. Labels such as Fred Perry and Ben Sherman. Often from less afluent urban areas. Whereas, Rockers were scruffy and wore leather jackets and jeans use for transportation were motorcycles which was known as ‘cafe racers’. The rockers who rode them were known as ‘tone-up boys’.
Mod and Rockers were two very different tribes, always was in conflict with each other and would have stand offs to see who has the upper hand and higher status. Hundreds of people were in fights because of the Mod VS Rockers and with the police in locations such as Brighton, Bournemouth, Margate and Clacton.
Overall, the sixties was a fascinating decade. a decade full of vibrancy, colour and style. It helped people be themselves and embrace many subcultures at the time.
Peace. – Sajj P.
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Berliner Mauer. (2009), Welcome to the Berlin Wall – A love story, (http://www.berlinermauer.se/)
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Yesterday. (2009), 60s Season: The Berlin Wall, (http://uktv.co.uk/yesterday/item/aid/571194)
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