You still got me
In the Leap Year that was 1964, the Mods and Rockers were duking it out in the streets, race riots erupted, students staged (the first of many) sit-ins at the University of California and Cassius Clay won the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. On one side of the world, Sidney Poitier was the first African-American to win an Academy Award while on the other, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. Much to everyone’s dismay, the war dragged on in Vietnam.
Beatlemania continued its sweep of North America but the bad boy stance and rougher sound of UK bands like The Kinks, the Zombies and the Rolling Stones reached out hungrily for their own idolizing demographic. They still towed the line for their public performances by appearing in matching suits but their hair was a little longer and less coiffed, their gyrations less restrained and so the desperate cries from female audiences became just a little lustier.
The music produced in this year has provided a blueprint for successive generations but the arts and media were not far behind with innovation of their own. Pop Art was graphic dynamite for many at the New York World’s Fair, its embrace of commercial techniques and mechanization proved appealing to those who didn’t live in fear of the bomb, the birth of computers and rapidly encroaching technology. It was a wake-up call to the establishment – not only the old and entrenched had a voice in popular opinion – the reins of censorship and oppression were being grabbed by the younger generation and thrown to the side. All anyone wanted to do was get their fingers into the mane of freedom and ride bareback into the sunrise.
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