Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

by Keith Richards & James Fox

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:35 pm

Pg. 169 "He (Andrew Oldham) was smarter and sharper than the :censored: that were running the media, or the people running the record companies, who were totally out of touch with what was happening. You could just run in and rob the whole bank. It was a bit Clockwork Orange. There was no great universal 'We want to change society'; we just knew things were changing and that they could be changed. They were just too comfortable. It was all too satisfied. And we thought, 'How can we run rampant?'


The 60's was a time of major cultural change. Looking back, how do his words relate? Not just specifically to the Stones, but to the culture in general. What are your impressions of how and why the culture emerged and thrived when it did? If you were around then, or even if you weren't, what did you think of his take on the changing times?
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Re: Life Question #12 ~ Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Can't really comment as I was too young, as to Keith's view well not sure if that just wasn't his view so also can't really comment on it. Might just go and re read that page and see it in context. Not quite sure how the question relates to the title of the question :perplexed: OK I see you've changed it :ok:
OK I've read the above passage in context and am still at a loss as to how to answer the question as the passage doesn't seem to relate to it. :perplexed:
Last edited by Gilbert's Girl on Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Unread postby Buster » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:53 pm

we just knew things were changing and that they could be changed.


It really did feel as if we could change things; we were naive, perhaps. Hunter's "wave" speech captured the general mood. The time was at hand, you could feel it. There was a sense of "Why don't we....? Let's go!" - of possibility and hope, which was shattered later. I think Keith's "Clockwork Orange" analogy is inaccurate for the feel in the U. S. To me, it wasn't aggressive or negative, just chaotic in the best sense - out of madness, growth and creativity. Not all of it worked, but I think even people who were alarmed by the new era felt that the times they were a-changin' ;-)

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:04 pm

GG, I had the wrong title on the question. That title is for tomorrow!
:blush:

I thought this passage expressed the feeling quite well although I do agree with Buster that it felt less Clockwork Orange to me as well. If you were alive and of a certain age at the time you lived it or at least felt it. Buster, Hunter's wave speech was the first thing I thought of as well. It was a feeling, there was no written agenda or credo. Much of the feeling was expressed in the music and art of the time.

Even if you didn't experience anything concrete due to age or location, the cultural upheaval has been reported on, written about, made into films, etc. So the question would be, if you are only aware of the times via the media, how did a first hand account compare to your previous conceptions?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:09 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:GG, I had the wrong title on the question. That title is for tomorrow!
:blush:

I thought this passage expressed the feeling quite well although I do agree with Buster that it felt less Clockwork Orange to me as well. If you were alive and of a certain age at the time you lived it or at least felt it. Buster, Hunter's wave speech was the first thing I thought of as well. It was a feeling, there was no written agenda or credo. Much of the feeling was expressed in the music and art of the time.

Even if you didn't experience anything concrete due to age or location, the cultural upheaval has been reported on, written about, made into films, etc. So the question would be, if you are only aware of the times via the media, how did a first hand account compare to your previous conceptions?

:ok:
Still not sure I understand it as the passage above relates to Oldhams manipulation of the media as far as I could work out.
As for a cultural upheaval not sure I have ever been aware of one even in the media from that time not over here so still not quite sure I know what he was talking about really.
I know many British films made during that period were very much grittier and mostly about working class people rather than the more middle classes that had been in previous generations which led to more working class actors becoming huge stars, not sure if that is cultural upheaval it was certainly different :lol:

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:46 pm

I am generally the odd person out when these types of subjects come up. Over on TRD movie thread I was chastised rather strongly because I voiced the opinion that Hunter was a brilliant man who could have achieved great things without all the 60s drugs. :-/ My part of the country is usually a few years behind both coasts with the latest things, and growing up in a rural area also insulated me from a lot of the upheaval. So even though I was alive and a teenager in those years, I didn't take an active part in the chaos. I clearly remember the day of President Kennedy's assassination and perhaps that was just one symptom of the instability of the time. Perhaps I look back at the pre-60s era with the blessed ignorance of childhood, but I think the old ways had a lot to say for them.

There was a lot of change in general in the 60s - the absence of war (until Vietnam in the mid-late-60s), more disposable income, greater mobility, growth in communication with television becoming available to the general public. Advertising began to claim that people weren't happy the way they were living and needed product X -- or something -- to make life wonderful.

It seems to me that a good deal of what happened with the young folks was rebellion for rebellion's sake without clear ideas of what the desired results would be in real daily life for the long term. "how can we run rampant", as Keith puts it, not how can we make society better, but how can we get rid of the status quo.

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:19 pm

People are saying some interesting things here but I'm not quite sure thats what Keith was saying or talking about at that moment but not sure I can put my finger on what he is talking about. I'm not entirely sure there were many monumental changes going on in British society as maybe in other parts of the world.

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:42 pm

Gilbert's Girl wrote:People are saying some interesting things here but I'm not quite sure thats what Keith was saying or talking about at that moment but not sure I can put my finger on what he is talking about. I'm not entirely sure there were many monumental changes going on in British society as maybe in other parts of the world.

In that context, I think the music world and media were part of an established order, and the Stones weren't tied in to the old ways of doing things. In a way, I suppose the music companies and the media were a bit naive when dealing with someone like Mick or Keith or Andrew who didn't have the same way of approaching business deals. The established entities were complacent in the old ways while new comers like the Stones were making up their own ethics as they went along. Or at least, that is what my take is on his comments.

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:51 pm

I think the Sixties, at least in the US, were an amazingly idealistic time. Pretty much starts with a very young President in the White House and that question "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." And absolutely the Civil Rights Movement because, even before Vietnam, watching what was happening down South galvanized a generation, separated this new generation from the previous one because it transformed forever the way people looked at black Americans, because it exponentially expanded what a person could do if they didn't agree with their government. The March on Washington, the Freedom Rides, lunch counter sit-ins. I organized my first demonstration at the tender age of twelve -- a cafeteria boycott because of the poor quality of food -- clearly in emulation of what I was witnessing. I would have given my eye-teeth to go to Mississippi. And this spirit of looking at things that were long-held givens and saying "don't have to be that way" swept through our culture affecting everything literally: what was taught in school, what could be printed in a book, what could be said on TV, or seen in the theater, who you could marry, what you could wear walking down the street.

Running along with that was an equally transformative process that rippled through music and fashion. I really do think a lot of this came from the other side of the Puddle. The whole mods and rockers and Carnaby Street thing, this youth-centric wave that blasted through every level of fashion one can think of: girls like waifs, short short short dresses, the way you painted your face: wide eyes, lots of eye shadow, powder pink and white lipstick. I literally remember going from looking real teased out (the Amy Winehouse look for pre-teens) to long hair and bare feet! Music for me went from Motown to the Beatles and the English Invasion, like the snap of a finger. And then Dylan, who to my mind is totally tied into first Civil Rights and then the Protest Movement.

Question is really: what didn't change?
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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:00 pm

ffdances, there were certainly a lot of things that needed to be changed, racial discrimination being one! :cool:

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:23 pm

fireflydances wrote:I think the Sixties, at least in the US, were an amazingly idealistic time. Pretty much starts with a very young President in the White House and that question "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." And absolutely the Civil Rights Movement because, even before Vietnam, watching what was happening down South galvanized a generation, separated this new generation from the previous one because it transformed forever the way people looked at black Americans, because it exponentially expanded what a person could do if they didn't agree with their government. The March on Washington, the Freedom Rides, lunch counter sit-ins. I organized my first demonstration at the tender age of twelve -- a cafeteria boycott because of the poor quality of food -- clearly in emulation of what I was witnessing. I would have given my eye-teeth to go to Mississippi. And this spirit of looking at things that were long-held givens and saying "don't have to be that way" swept through our culture affecting everything literally: what was taught in school, what could be printed in a book, what could be said on TV, or seen in the theater, who you could marry, what you could wear walking down the street.

Running along with that was an equally transformative process that rippled through music and fashion. I really do think a lot of this came from the other side of the Puddle. The whole mods and rockers and Carnaby Street thing, this youth-centric wave that blasted through every level of fashion one can think of: girls like waifs, short short short dresses, the way you painted your face: wide eyes, lots of eye shadow, powder pink and white lipstick. I literally remember going from looking real teased out (the Amy Winehouse look for pre-teens) to long hair and bare feet! Music for me went from Motown to the Beatles and the English Invasion, like the snap of a finger. And then Dylan, who to my mind is totally tied into first Civil Rights and then the Protest Movement.

Question is really: what didn't change?

Yeah. What she said... :ok:

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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby stroch » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:33 pm

I think the general feel, at least in the place I lived and with the people I knew was that we -- young people -- were just WAY more aware of what was really important. Our elders were too hung up on what others thought about them, and fitting in, and making money.

All of the outer trappings of success were unimportant; what mattered was this mystical connection with the universe, spirituality, self-awareness, and "truth." Of course it was necessary to thumb our noses to those in power and show that the real power lay in the hands of the people -- us, not those other people who had 9 to 5 jobs and a mortgage.

I think Keith's Clockwork Orange reference alluded to being able to subvert the intentions of the execs in the business through anarchy and outre behavior. Oldham realized that he could capitalize on the growing division in society by presenting a group whose image was that they just didn't give a f***. The Stones fit right in to a line of musicians who were the antithesis of Tin Pan Alley, from Robert Johnson and Big Mama Thornton to early Dylan and Joan Baez to Country Joe and the Fish.

What I didn't actually pay attention to at the time was that we were being manipulated just as surely as the wage slaves. And the Stones were too. For all of their rebellious running rampant, they became millionaires and an institution.
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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby moviemom » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:59 pm

I've been thinking about the question and how to answer it. What I think Keith meant was that the record companies were still putting their money behind older acts. When bands like the Stones came onto the music scene, these same people didn't know what to make of them. They didn't realize that the cultural tide was with the youth and not their parents. The 60's by 1964 were a time driven by what young people wanted.

"A Clockwork Orange" is an interesting way to put it. :eyebrow:

I was a young child in the 60's. However, I do remember a lot from that time. Just too young to have participated in a lot of what went on.
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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:35 pm

Excellent answers all around. My interpretation of Keith's words are that what was happening musically and culturally were so different no one yet knew how to control it or work it, it was new, different, a 180 from what had been the status quo. It was easy to manipulate the system early on by just being different and doing their thing. Once the system figured out how to package it, market it and sell it there was a new status quo, albeit a very different one from the previous two decades and it was back to how to make a buck off of it. I remember an ad from the times that said "Why do all non-comformists look alike?" That has always stuck with me - we were different but eventually became a marketing tool, a created and packaged image.
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Re: Life Question #12 ~ The Times They Are A Changin'

Unread postby Liz » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:51 am

I never thought of us (the rebellion, the music) as being a marketing tool, although I guess it could have been for those making money off of it. To me, the music complimented the changing times. The music was the soundtrack of the times. And the music was big for me. But I was still pretty young in the 60s – 14 in 1969. All of my memories are very romanticized.
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