Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, June 26, 2008

RIP: That Era Then




Just as a reminder. What we call 'The Sixties' was a whole bunch of things, delineated by-- if we can reserve this entry for one such delineation and that alone for now -- and bracketed by, the dates November 22, 1963, and April 15, 1974.

The dates are recognizable. First, President Kennedy's shooting in Dallas. Nothing but fear and only nervous, momentary hope since then. Yes, Lyndon Johnson had a 'mandate' actually to engineer the Civil Rights Act and The Great Society through a Congress where he had held formidable power. But within a year: Gulf of Tonkin incident and the great escalation (we now know partly out of his fear of being outflanked by even worse anti-Communist whackos) of the Vietnam War.

The somewhat arbitrary (but personally-felt) end date is the Hibernia Bank robbery in San Francisco by the Symbionese Liberation Army, one of whose members was the kidnapped Patty Hearst (revolutionary name, Tania). This was followed closely by the departure of Nixon from the White House after many hours of televised Watergate hearings.

Very hard not to see the downward slope in that, the trough, the depression.

Very hard not to understand the defiantly-long, stringy hair, the sideburns, the randiness, the alcohol consumption, the marriage loss, the spiritual depression.

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