It’s getting near dawn
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love
To give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling
I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love
Back in December I did a post mentioning the Jefferson Airplane, Frank Frazetta and Barry Malzberg. [Egyptian Queen, Grace Slick, Beyond Apollo]
I was getting at a point that pop culture two generations ago was very different from pop culture now. I was getting at a point that two generations ago some people made an effort—at least—to keep a reference point somewhere about what quality was, about what good was, and bring something of that quality, that good, into the mainstream of pop.
Nowadays, of course, everything is about strip-mining demographics, getting bucks from the gullible and—although those things always went on!—nowadays nobody much makes any effort to keep quality in mind, to give lip-service to what’s good or to be part of anything larger than the moment.
But I don’t want to create the impression that I have any kind of false reverence for the past. My point is never that weird things didn’t go on in the past. My only point is that sometimes in the past people—sometimes even the people doing the weird things—had a different mindset than people in the present.
But weird things certainly went on.
I once worked with a computer analyst named Peter. Peter was a very sharp guy as an analyst and led an interesting life outside his day job. Peter was a martial artist. He trained with very capable people. He now and then took students. And, like many martial artists, one way Peter helped pay for college was by working security jobs during the summer.
One day in the corporate world Peter and I were having lunch. I was rambling on about how modern musicians seem to have phenomenal skills compared to most musicians from the Sixties but modern musicians seem to have nothing of the same spirit or sense-of-life as musicians from the Sixities.
Peter just sort of nodded, then told me that he once did security for Cream during some US performances.
“Wow,” I said. “There you go. The original supergroup. Clapton, Bruce and Baker. Those were guys who had the skill, the commitment to the music, the passion that you don’t see now.”
Peter just sort of nodded again. Then he said, “On my first gig with them, they had a delay during the first set because during ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ Ginger Baker vomited all over his drums.”
I sighed. I said, “Umm, yeah, well, you know, drummers!”
Weird stuff certainly went on in the past. But it went on with a different mindset than it does today.
Pattie Boyd was certainly weird. But she was never Britney Spears.