CHRIS REMEMBERS… the SWINGING SUMMER of ‘65
Aficionados of the decade when the Beatles and Stones ruled the airwaves, concert halls and media, tend to focus on 1967, the Summer of Love when Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd exploded in a burst of multicoloured mayhem. Yet there was much to surprise, amuse and delight in earlier seasons. Yea, even before the hippie Flower Power era, there was revolution in the air.
Among the advance garde was the extraordinary duo of Sonny & Cher, who stormed the charts with I Got You Babe, a Number One UK hit in August 1965. We called it Progressive Pop, long before the birth of Prog Rock, another of my inventions by the way.
Years later, when Cher became a mega solo star, I couldn’t quite believe I’d once chased around London’s West End with her in a taxi, exploring the delights of Carnaby Street and Kensington’s must-see fashion destinations. Our tour included a trip to the dark and mysterious boutique Biba, where girls glared at visitors with ill-concealed disdain, even when Cher was ready to invest in another fur coat.
Cher had such a secretive smile and Sonny Bono behaved so oddly, I wondered on that sunny morning, as we roamed the streets of Swinging London. quite what they thought of each other, let alone their tongued tied British host. But then we were all strangers in a strange land. Even the Rolling Stones seemed bemused when I joined them that year on a publicity driven boat trip up the river Thames, or Thames River as American visitors tend to call it.
Such encounters made terrific topics for by blow reports from the front line of the pop scene in Melody Maker. That’s where I arrived for duty at our Fleet Street office each day, often late and suffering from a hangover. But it was all worth it…