Looking to the East

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The next edition of IT, International Times hit the streets and shops on this day in 1967. There was an interview with Pete Townshend and a comic strip by Jeff Nuttall, a most interesting man (http://www.jeff-nuttall.co.uk/). John Wilcocks reported from Golden Gate Park on January’s ‘Human Be-In’ which featured all the major Haight Ashbury bands. In that context there was a piece too about the Diggers who established the free food initiative, as HA began to be overrun by kids with flowers in their hair.

There was a variety of other articles including one by joint editor Tom McGrath on racism in Cuba and another by film critic Raymond Durgnat comparing the ‘Rave’ culture with the stiff upper lip but the main focus was on what they called the “newly emerging, eastern inspired ..” influence on the counterculture, art etc. In that respect, a couple of San Francisco’s ‘Beat’ poets contributed articles: Gary Snyder on “Buddhism & the Coming Revolution” and Allen Ginsberg who offered reflections on mantras.

In a similar spirit this week’s UFO featured regulars Soft Machine plus Indian music, Disney cartoons and lights by Mark Boyle – another very interesting man (http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/mark-boyle-797). There is another ‘interesting’ Mark Boyle around these days who lives without money – but he’s not the same one, although he sounds a bit countercultural to me.

At the end of this week fifty years ago, the Beatles released “Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane” – easily my favourite of their 45s.


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

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