“If you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there” – a much-quoted comment attributed to Robin Williams. Well, not everyone who was a teenager in the 60s was too stoned to remember any of it! This was the era of the Baby Boomers, the decade that started in black and white and burst into glorious Technicolor around 1964. The Beatles, Mary Quant, Carnaby Street – and by 1967 Sergeant Pepper, Jimi Hendrix, hippies, drugs and psychedelia. It all came to an abrupt and horrifying end in 1969 at Altamont, when Meredith Hunter was killed while the Rolling Stones played.
So why “Sixties Spirit”? For me the sixties spirit wasn’t so much about dropping out, but more to do with young people starting to think for themselves, questioning the established values handed down by previous generations. If this meant we played music, wore clothes and had beliefs that our parents didn’t like or understand, so much the better – remember, the teenager as a cultural phenomenon had only come into existence in the 1950s, and then realistically only in the USA.
One of the keys to the 60s was creativity, something that seems to be sadly lacking in today’s world – as a child I learned how to sew, knit, crochet, cook, draw, paint, make toys from recycled junk, grow things in the garden – I would have 5 or 6 projects on the go at any one time from the age of about 6 or so. Nothing changes – I still have this tendency – but these days it’s seen as more of a positive thing and called “multi-tasking”!
I chose the name Sixties Spirit as a label when I started making sixties-style clothing for my husband and the other members of his band, Spirit of the Experience. They are primarily a Hendrix tribute band, covering late 60s songs by Jimi Hendrix, Cream and other great bands from that era. He wanted the band to wear authentic outfits, but it's impossible to buy men's velvet flares these days, so I became wardrobe mistress, as well as publicist, photographer and sound/light assistant!
So this will end up being a very diverse blog, with recipes, knitting patterns, comments on the state of the world – anything that comes to mind. I’ve spent the last 14 years teaching 16 to 19-year-olds, most recently General Studies, Critical Thinking, Philosophy and Sociology. Having been made redundant last June, I need to do something to keep the old brain in working order, so please forgive my ramblings!