Monday, December 17, 2012

1967 45 years ago

And then came 1968
Pivotal is not even the word for it.  On Boxing Day in prime time on BBC 1, the Tour that filmed the material for the subsequent film of Magical Mystery Tour, was broadcast.  The end of 1967 proved to be the end of an era.
This evening, evidently for the first time in the USA (and never again in England) that hour-long film for TV, and following it the movie as released, were delivered up for Christmas on Public Broadcasting in America.  I had the LP, and in retrospect I think that I figured it out right: the Music Hall connection of Beatles music and their roots in 1950s (and earlier) British humor, even to an "over-thirty" American, who usually listened to classical music and who owned no TV set but owned all the Beatles LPs so far released, made sense, and the 2-LP White Album (frontal nudity banned) would confirm that.  I doubt that the Beatles would like to be reminded of the likes of Cyril Smith, but I already knew that they wouldn't object to Gracie Fields,   What Martin Scorsese said about the actual tour photography and its use in the finished movie was very interesting, and one was repeatedly reminded that 1967, the Beatles' peak year, was actually the last year before 1968.  I'd have to research on line the dreadful events in Bologna and London and Paris, all I think in that year, but those in the USA overshadowed even at the self-centered University of California its centenary celebration that year.  MLK and RFK assassinated, riots at nearly every university, those in Chicago at the Democratic Convention (all with riot police and usually the National Guard, too, Kent State with fatalities) all wrung the joy out of every kind of innocent licence—and innocent licence is what the Beatles were all about.
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It was such a pleasure 45 years later to see the Tour footage feature that the BBC wished they hadn't broadcast, directly followed by the film that we never (at least, not in Oregon where I lived) saw in America.  1968 has left such a mark on me (and I guess on almost everyone who remembers) that we hardly dare hope that anything joyous can last.  I suppose that "resilience" means the act of will to remain confident in spite of it all.  That is right and necessary.  But Mayor Bloomberg is right that we must find the way to a less violent social order.  Need I say what I think of automatic firearms everywhere?