Saturday, July 29, 2017

'60s Songs, '80s Videos

1967 "Love" poster by artist Peter Max
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. In 1967, there was an explosion of the hippie counterculture which spread across the the world, most particularly the Western countries, and brought a blossoming of art, music, idealism, and experimentalism. 

Although I grew up in the 1980s, I was greatly inspired by the '60s and by the Summer of Love. I remember watching documentaries about that era, and I listened heavily to the music of that time.  The events which happened in the '60s were imperfect, as is usually the case when one speaks about anything human. The Summer of Love itself was imperfect, and one can point at many mistakes made by the young people behind all the happenings. But at its best the Summer of Love represented an earnest and hopeful attempt to live out ideals of beauty and love. 

As I grew up in the '80s, I often looked back to the '60s for inspiration, taking the best of it while acknowledging where they fell short.  So how does an '80s guy with an '80s blog celebrate the anniversary of the Summer of Love and the larger era it represented? How does one celebrate the '60s when youre focused on the MTV era? 

How about with '80s era MTV-style videos of classic '60s songs? Back in the '80s, a show came on TV called Deja View.  Aimed at the thirtysomething baby boomers of the '80s, who at the time were very nostalgic for the Sixties, Deja View featured '80s style videos for '60s songs.  A 1985 Chicago Tribune article talked about Joel Gallen, Deja View's producer:

A character in the movie``The Big Chill`` spoke for
countless baby boomers when he grumbled that there hadn`t
been a good record made since 1967. And as for rock videos,
you won`t hear many veterans of the Age of Aquarius
wistfully singing, ``I want my, I want my, I want my MTV.`` 
Joel Gallen couldn`t understand why videos couldn`t
accommodate people whose interest in rock music peaked
about the time the Beatles split. An avid fan of 1960s music,
Gallen was ``intrigued and excited by the technique and the
form of music video. But I didn`t really relate to Twisted
Sister, Judas Priest and a lot of the other MTV-type bands.``
So Gallen, 28, came up with the idea of ``marrying`` `60s
hits to the new video technology in a show he now calls
``Deja View.``

I remember, as an '80s teen, tuning into Deja View and enjoying it.  In celebration of the Summer of Love, and of those who appreciated the '60s from the vantage point of the '80s, here are some '80s videos of '60s songs from the '80s show Deja View:

The Hollies, "Bus Stop."  After seeing this video, every time thereafter that I heard the song it brought to mind this very scene, with the same bus stop and bench, and the couple at the beginning with their umbrella. 1966 song, just before the '67 Summer of Love. (Acknowledgement and thanks to hinken24 for the video.)

Procol Harum, "A Whiter Shade of Pale." This one is a true Summer of Love classic, reaching the peak of the pop charts in the midst of that psychedelic summer of 1967. Its mysterious lyrics caused much speculation, often under alternative states of consciousness (Acknowledgement and thanks to hinken24 for the video.)

The Zombies, "She's Not There." Spooky song from 1964, foreshadowing much psychedelia to come.  (Acknowledgement and thanks to hinken24 for the video.)