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14 November 2016

You Say You Want A Revolution

In my teens I often lamented not having been born ten years earlier. Oh, to have been a teenager during the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out era: psychedelic art, mind-blowing music, uber-groovy fashion, political protest, love and peace as a mantra.

So I took myself off to the V&A’s all-senses-satisfied exhibition on the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s. The immersive experience offers a superb soundtrack… from the Velvet Underground and Bowie, the Beatles and the Beach Boys, to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones via every other 1960s anthem you care to name.

Standout visuals include the Ossie Clark-designed spangly, skin-tight jumpsuit worn on stage by Jagger, paper cut-out dresses by Mary Quant, vibrant, wall-to-wall, multi-coloured posters, and a massive projection of Hendrix wigging out at Woodstock to his own inimitable version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

In the end, emerging into a post-Brexit, Trump-as-president-elect cold November afternoon, I couldn’t help feeling that the major issues of the 1960s are still with us today. You say you want a revolution? Yes, we want it now, we need it more than ever.