If you know a little about me… then you’ll know that I am stuck in the 60s.
I don’t know why, because I wasn’t alive in the 60s, my parents never talked about the 60s and I’m not one of those people that seeks out LSD and free love. I do not own anything tie-died. There are still hippies everywhere, especially in California and Northeast London… but it’s fun to dabble with hippy stuff sometimes; i.e. I am wearing 2 crystals today and a Mary Quant-style dress with lashings of eyeliner. That’s pretty 60’s right?
And I just love 60s clothes, man… I love them. I collect them. My bedroom is more like a giant closet with a bed in it, than a bedroom with some clothes in it. I guess vintage fashion is my hobby and I have taken that hobby to an extreme. I justify it with, “well I can always wear it on stage” and I do.
Last night, I was delighted to be on the Father John Misty guest list. I felt like such a a jammy hipster, and it was a good gig. Anyhoo… a hot London gig requires a good outfit and my black dress needed blood-red, velvet Chelsea Boots, natch! But here’s the catch, in London, in November, IT RAINS! and I mean, it really rains, like a cold monsoon. You’d think having left Kansas and lived here for 14 years now, I might have thought of that before leaving the house. The thing about velvet shoes and rain, is that your feet get totally soaked, they are more of a glorified sock. And so I’ve learned my lesson, the boots are on the radiator and I am hopeful they are not ruined. I have nobody to blame but myself (and perhaps God for making it rain).
Chelsea (home of the Chelsea boot) ain’t what it used to be. Apparently in the 60’s it was a real epicentre for music, fashion, cafe culture and general cool cats & beatniks. Now Chelsea is full of rich people, Starbucks, and overpriced boutiques aimed at yummy mummies and retired media lovies. Property values may be high, but if you ask me… there goes the neighbourhood! Times They are A Changin’ and there’s no point fighting that.
I am trying to figure out why I’m obsessed with an era that is so distant from me. Why do I feel this passion for a time that I have never known? Why do I cling to a nostalgia that I have only experienced second hand?
I think it might have something to do with the fact I discovered secular music late in life, so when the rock ‘n’ roll flood gates were opened I soaked it all up like a sponge and took great fascination with the past. I wanted to learn what made music what it is, the past that shapes the future. There will never be another time like the 60’s when it comes to music. So I revere it, I respect it, and I feel a little sad I missed out. I live vicariously through music, art and fashion.
I guess there is a sort of freedom in the fact that in the 60’s there was this fun sonic playground that nobody had discovered before… such an exciting time with the invention of the Mellotron, synths, overdriven guitars, the notion that you can use the studio as an instrument, manipulating sounds and atmosphere. Some classical composers played with this idea, people like Cage and Stockhausen, but pop pioneers like Phil Spector, The Beatles, The Stones, The Beach Boys, made it mainstream and we’ve never looked back. Modern bands like Radiohead and Flaming Lips would not be what they are today if peeps in the 60’s hadn’t pushed the envelope waves.
So what better way to love you and leave you than with a song… a song by a band that inspire me a lot. They capture that edgy, dangerous thing that the 60’s represented, untapped rebellion with an icy, cool sheen. Enjoy Velvet Underground, I love this song!
* it’s probably not ‘cool’ to admit that something makes you feel cool *