EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY AND 1960s COUNTER CULTURE!
Wow! 1965, possibly the best mix of singles in the history of music’s top hit lists highlighted by a single epic song and secured by a solid Rock base.
Evidenced by the hand-printed transfer of the year-end countdown on Los Angeles’ top radio station “Boss” radio 93 KHJ; 00individual was a dedicated Rock ‘n’ Roll Fiend.
The other top radio station in L.A. was KFWB Channel 98, but KHJ was “Boss”.
Unfortunately, 00individual was fourteen, possibly the worst age ever. You can’t do shit. Really, best I could hope for was a YMCA dance otherwise it was ridin’ my lime green Schwinn StingRay or skateboard a couple streets over and hangin’ with the guys and goofin’ off – 00individual did a lot of ridin’, skatin’, hangin’ and goofin’ off back then.
Fortunately, when things got boring or frustrating I could rely on my bitchen friends; my AM radio and my record player and my modest collection of records and 45s to Rock me back to new heights of fourteen year old shenanigans.
These shenanigans eventually became mischievous adventures that escalated to daring liquor store petty theft of candy, comics and nudie magazines and then into the all time exciting “breaking and entering” which wasn’t really needed as doors and/or windows were mostly unlocked. But it was all for the excitement and fun and never with malicious intent. We’d just have “evil Hardy Boys” type adventures to talk about later and write about now. Fortunately, 00individual declined a night of mischievous antics with the guys on the very night they got caught.
However, this didn’t deter more refined behavior that rose to world-class heights for three nights in 1969 when we used M.G.M studio Back Lot 3 as our own personal Disneyland. Those were real live-interaction 3D trips that were opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences as the entire 66 acre lot of filmed history was leveled later that year.
The 1960s have gone down in history as the peak of economic and pop-cultural significance; the United States experienced its longest uninterrupted period of economic expansion in history – an hourly wage was not more than $1 but a new Mustang cost only $2000-, a house $10-15,000, records $2 – $3 dollars and 45 RPM singles were 59 to 89 cents.
And Pop Culture was at its height and the emergence of a historical new era of music and Rock ‘n’ Roll was upon us.
00individual really dug the underlying hipness of the Statler Brothers’ “Flowers On The Wall” as Quentin Tarantino apparently did when he used it to mark a crucial and pivotal scene from “Pulp Fiction” nearly three decades later.
The Beatles’ (McCartney’s) “Yesterday” at #9 has since been covered over 3,000 times.
But the defining moments of 1965 that made Rock History were #14 “Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan, an epic six minute odyssey of pure infectious Rock Poetry, #11 “Help” backed by the Beatles only true Rocker, the killer, “I’m Down”, #2 “Gloria” by Them, possibly the most honest Rock song ever recorded – and – #1 “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones, which debuted straight to #1 on the KHJ Boss 30 – Rock ‘n’ Roll immortalized. Amen.
The lime green mark next to select singles were the ones purchased by 00individual – 28 out of 93 – nearly 1/3 of the countdown!
(Click on artifact to enlarge)Actual Archived 49 Year Old Hand-Printed On Paper Artifact copyright 1965/2014 00individual TLL
00individual was very fortunate to have grown up listening to these wonderful songs in the town of Westchester, the “Home of LAX” Los Angeles International Airport, four wonderful marine-layered miles from the beach.
My neighborhood bordered approximately thirty acres of open unused triangular-shaped land owned by Howard Hughes bordered by Sepulveda Boulevard on the west and the railroad tracks and Centinela Boulevard (and after the mid-sixties, the 405) on the north.
The Airport Boulevard dead-end “entrance” to the Hughes “beanfields” was at the bottom of the hill of the street I lived on and although technically we were trespassing every time we entered the fields, it was never enforced. So, for all my youth and early teens it was literally a mini-Disneyland to explore.
Huge hills sculpted with canyons and slopes ran down from Sepulveda Boulevard high above and extended out from the descending backyard fences of the neighboring houses on the south.
This served as a corner mountain backdrop to the flatland bean fields below. There was a creek that ran the length of the property, wide enough to navigate a hand-made wood raft constructed by a local for locals. We’d glide along the creek on the raft and scoop up jars of tadpoles; bring ‘em home, watch ‘em turn into frogs and then let ‘em loose back in the creek.
For some nighttime fun, we would hang out at the end of a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill just up the street from my house and watch first-run movies showing at the local Centinela Drive-In.
The action on the screen was highly visible from our elevated position and although the sound was slightly delayed and echoed from the masses of car-speakers; we still saw many movies for free. Also at night the presence of the trains as they rumbled along the tracks with their haunting diesel horns added character to the theme park atmosphere of the neighborhood.
For daytime beanfield fun, impromptu ramps were built at the bottom of the surrounding steep hillsides as ending jumps for bike runs during the classic Schwinn Stingray bike era, from which the BMX sport has acknowledged as its’ birthright. We were gettin’ air back then, but hadn’t perfected a way out of the inevitable crash-landings.
This brings up a much needed clarification about radical extreme sports. Pads? Helmets? Safety gear? C’mon! Try skateboarding barefoot, totally nude except for trunks. Then skate on a board with clay wheels, the upgrade from steel (skates). Clay wheels’ lack of traction caused many spin-outs yet would actually stop on a dime, or a small rock, no matter how fast you were going!
So, …as you hurtled through the air you knew that after your flesh hit the pavement and the sanding and grinding stopped, you’d pull the bloody and scraped version that was once your body up off the ground and get back on your board and take off. I have permanent scars from a nasty face/body plant/grind comin’ down my street’s short but steep cut-through back in ‘64. That wasn’t extreme sports, that was normal and the rides were always worth it.
Besides pre-BMX, Tom Sawyer raftin’, and pre-Dogtown/Jackass skateboard stunts, there was unicycling! A band of about six of us tooled around on them for a few months.
The same guy that I first saw ride by on a Sting Ray; rode by one day on a unicycle. That was totally bitchen! I thought you had to join the circus to ride those, but he was just a guy like me.
The next day I got one at Wheel World in neighboring Culver City for $19.95, a “trainer” that I would eventually almost destroy along with myself in the attempt to become Master of the One Wheel.
The guys would joke and have a great time at my expense as they’d watch me push off from walls and parked cars and take header after header. Until the moment of understanding came where I pushed off, peddled away, made a u-turn, cruised back past them and left them all in awe.
At least four of them bought unicycles the next day. I eventually became Master of the One Wheel and in commemoration, upgraded to a chrome Schwinn unicycle; which I still have to this day!
The future classic lyric from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 song “Big Yellow Taxi”, “…they paved paradise and put up a parking lot”, came true.
My childhood mini-Disneyland and paradise is now elaborate paved interstate 405 on/off ramps and concrete multitiered parking structures for the Howard Hughes Promenade.
This entertainment-retail-dining complex features “the Bridge”, the movie theatre prototype which includes IMAX and a Director’s Screening Hall. Future “Bridge” entertainment complexes are planned to be built on someone’s paradise in a city near you.
Although cursed at being fourteen in 1965, 00individual had the presence of mind to fully appreciate the joyful vibe at a time in history
that made history.
Here is a choice selection of the historic albums of the 1960 decade before and after 1965:
If you enjoy true historic ’60’s shenanigans check out:
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