It Was 50 Years Ago Today…

The Beatles

“A few years ago, I spoke with a 50-something Cuban who left the island recently. We spoke about the repression, censorship of the press and the food shortages. Then he said this: ‘You know one more thing I hate the Castro dictatorship….they denied me The Beatles'” — Silvio Canto Jr.

“Music is the art of thinking with sounds.” — Jules Combarieu

“On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” — Hunter S. Thompson

“Most people my age are dead at the present time and you can look it up.” — Casey Stengel

Anyone looking to learn about the 1960s, a decade that really started with the Kennedy assassination and ended with the fall of Saigon, those years when most of us young innocents went down the rabbit hole, partied with the Red Queen and became Mad Hatters before we came up for air in 1975, should first listen to the Beatles.  And then read the collected works of P.J. O’Rourke:

O’Rourke says he wasn’t handsome, monied, connected or athletic enough to win the preppy girls who shared his family’s strong Republican views. But the Lefties? Those girls “strummed guitars, smoked unfiltered cigarettes, and drank beer straight from the bottle. I thought: ‘I’ll bet those girls do it.’ They did. I went home at Christmas break with my hair grown long, wearing a blue-jean jacket with a big, red fist emblazoned on the back. My grandmother said: ‘Pat, I’m worried about you. Are you becoming a Democrat?’

 “Grandma!” I said. “Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon are both fascist pigs. Of course, I’m not a Democrat… I’m a communist!”

 “At least you’re not a Democrat,” said Grandma. (PJ O’Rourke: Whoopsie!/Telegraph UK)

It was a time when purple-hazed weirdness filled the air like pollen in the spring, when millions of us went off to fight communists in Southeast Asia and millions of others joined up with ’em in the U.S.

In the end, all of us got screwed.  But you can’t blame the Beatles for that.


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About Bob Mack

Retired since 2003. Military Service: U.S. Army, 36th Artillery Group, Babenhausen, Germany 1966-67; 1st Signal Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-68 Attended University of Miami, 1969-73
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6 Responses to It Was 50 Years Ago Today…

  1. samiam60 says:

    Oh how I remember being very far from home when I first heard ‘long winding road’ on the radio. It became my anthem for coming home alive. Thanks for posting this Bob 😉

  2. Mustang says:

    I was part of BLT 2/8 steaming back to the US from helping to quell disturbances in Panama, and our radios began picking up “the Beetles” as we neared the coast of Florida. Everyone was asking, “What the f*** is a beetle?” We were still hooked on Mo-town, Ray Charles, Paul & Paula, Chet Atkins, and Floyd Cramer. Beetle? Don’t people step on those?

    • Bob Mack says:

      I wasn’t much of a fan of the early Beatles & their swooning teeny-bop fans. I always gravitated toward screaming guitars and blues riffs. I still remember hearing Purple Haze shred the near-dawn quiet as I monitored the 36th Arty Group com-station in Babenhausen in ’66. Hendrix was big in England, but nobody’d yet heard of him in the States. Thanks to the pirate radio ships then operating off the U.K. coast, GI’s in USAREUR received an early preview of things to come.

  3. Pingback: It Was 50 Years Ago Yesterday…Can't Blame the Beatles - Conservative Hideout 2.0

  4. Pingback: It Was 50 Years Ago Today… | Grumpy Opinions

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