I posted this at Buck Naked Politics for a Thursday 13. It's so personal to me that I thought I'd cross-post it here.
You Tube is such a wonderful thing. This is the sound of war, resistance, and a transient transcendence. In those days everything had a rainbow aura around it, even blood and death and the seemingly endless grind of my generation's war. We thought that things were changing and that we could be the agents of change. You can hear in the voices that these singers thought what they were saying meant something that transcended the merely personal. Meet the old boss just like the new boss, and the people who we thought were leading us into a new age.
1. Melanie Safka with the Edwin Hawkins Singer ("Lay Down") . Breath-taking; incomparable. Raise the candles high!
2. Hair ("The Age of Aquarius") The amazing opening of the Milos Formon film made several years after the stage play, choreographed by Twyla Tharp. Not to be missed---a flawless and breath-taking scene from an otherwise flawed film. Alas! That dawning never came to pass....
3. Hair ("The Flesh Failures/Let the Sun Shine In"). This is from the Milos Formon film starring Treat Williams and John Savage. Heart-breaking, but with such a life-affirming conclusion....and it still give me chills after nearly 30 years.Which is why I picked this rather than the ones from the play.
4. Bob Dylan ("Masters of War") Includes famous quote by Dwight Eisenhower. Updated for the current regime! (Don't watch it if you're a fan of Bush---I chose it for the song and not the video).
4. The Doors ("Peace Frog"). I cried for three days when the Lizard King died. But I can't imagine Jim Morrison old.
5. The Grateful Dead ("Estimated Prophet") Remember when California was Nirvana and we all thought something lasting was happening/going to happen there?....
6. Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth") You know: "What's that sound? Everybody look what's going down." Awesome footage.... They were so young! And so cute!
7. Graham Nash ("Military Madness"): I first heard this classic antiwar song in the late seventies, while camping out in the mountains among a group of (much) older hippies and former flower children. This is one of the greatest of all antiwar songs, if only because its spritely tune sets up such a powerful contrast to its subject. The person who put together the accompanying videotape did an awesome job of conveying the theme. Nobody can rock an antiwar song like this anymore. Why is that?
8. Arlo Guthrie ("Alice's Restaurant"). The funniest war story ever. No embed for this one, but it is MOST DEFINITELY worth a look.
9. John Lennon ("Give Peace A Chance")--Not one of my favorite Lennon tunes, but one of the iconic clips from that era. Thank Christ he came alone when he did. Nowadays he'd probably have just written a blog.
10. The Mamas & Papas ("California Dreamin'") That whole California-yearning-thing set to music. It's one of those songs that everyone of my generation connected to. Even so.
11. Bob Dylan ("Mr Tambourine Man") Deep. Or I always thought so. Later of course, Gary Trudeau was to include Bob Dylan (unseen, but present) in one of those cartoon series featuring (young) Jimmy Thudpucker at about the time Jimmy Carter awarded Dylan the Congressional Medal of Honor. "I mean, I just want it to rhyme, man," Dylan says to Thudpucker. Hmmm.
12. Janis Joplin ("Me & Bobby McGee"). No video, just the greatest rendition ever.
13. The Doors ("When the Music's Over"). Renew my subscription to the resurrection....