Wednesday, 9 August 2023

it’s all too beautiful (10. 932)

Peaking at number three after entering the UK singles charts on this day in 1967, bested by Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) and The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” The Small Faces’ “Itchycoo Park” was among the first songs to use the technique called flanging that can be heard in the post-refrain bridges—the swooshing audio effect is produced by mixing two identical signals one with a delay of a few milliseconds that resolves in harmonisation. Classed as psychedelic-pop, the identity of the titular park has been subject to debate, proposals ranging from Manor Park or Wansteads Flats in East London to Little Ilford or Valentine’s Park in Charring Cross—regardless of the location, so nicknamed for the preponderance of stinging nettles. Regarded as “refreshing” and inspired with their other hits “All or Nothing,” “Lazy Sunday” and “Tin Soldier,” The Small Faces’ classic had a 1995 techno version released by M People.


one year ago: a 1970 promotional short from Bell Labs plus an artist homage to cinematic classics

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus the 1975 Song of the Summer

three years ago: science lost to aggressive formatting, an anthology of Tarot cards, more links to revisit plus St Edith Stein

four years ago: a short by Ishu Patel,  Nixon tenders his resignation (1974), Solomon’s Paradox plus more US gun-violence

five years ago: the bombing of Nagasaki (1945), bokeh plus a search-and-rescue robot

Sunday, 4 June 2023

soulmate au (10. 787)

The modern form of fan fiction, with us since the days of Shakespeare and Cervantes as a fix-it fic in today’s parlance (with other examples including the continuing adventures of Jane Austen’s characters, Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes and the figure of Dracula), emerged with Star Trek and a zine, independently published and distributed in 1967 called Spockanalia once it became clear that the Enterprise would not be fulfilling its five year mission—at least on the small screen—in order to limn out details and better understand the relationship dynamics between the captain and his science officer. By 1973, up to ninety percent of contributions were from female authors, augmenting and completing canon and fanon.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

human be-in (10. 414)

Considered an overture to the city’s Summer of Love, the 1967 counterculture event—the focus of the hippie movement’s rejection of staid, middle-class morality, occurred on this day on the Polo Fields of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, drawing a crowd of some thirty-thousand. In turn inspired by sit-in and teach-in protests to erode vestigial segregationist practises in institutes of higher learning, the gathering took its name from an off-hand remark made by psychedelic artist Michael Brown Bowen the Love Pageant Rally, held the previous October in the Haight-Ashbury district to demonstrate against the outlawing of LSD—where thousands showed up and dropped acid in unison, the above organiser bringing the Grateful Dead, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters and Janis Joplin to the event. Among invited speakers and performers—also arranged by Bowen—were Ram Dass, Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti with Timothy Leary making the declaration “Turn on, tune in and drop out” and local bands Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Dead, staple acts of the Avalon Ballroom concert. Follow-on events included the Fly-In, Sweep-In, Yip-In, Love-In and John and Yoko Ono Lennon’s Bed-In.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

homeotherm (10. 411)

Declared legally dead on this day in 1967, University of California psychology professor and author of several influential works of occupational counselling, Dr James Hiram Bedford became the first individual whose body underwent cryopreservation. With the expectation of being revived and treated when medical science could cure a presently terminal illness, Evan Cooper’s Life Extension Society offered to treat and store a body in a state of suspended animation free of charge as a promotion to advance their line of research. Dying of kidney cancer that had metastasised and spread to his lungs, Bedford volunteered but not entirely taking up the foundation on its munificence but importantly providing in his will funding for his continued preservation. Though there is some debate on the efficacy of the methodology and whether through various transfers the vital temperature was maintained, a cryogenics lab is still Bedford’s caretaker to the present day.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

strawberry alarm clock (10. 322)

Reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on this day in 1967 and holding the top spot for a week, the song by the psychedelic rock group Thee Sixpence was not their favourite, mostly due to the lyrics (which came out of a rhyming dictionary), and originally released on the B-side when the single came out in May of the same year with “The Birdman of Alkatrash,” a reference to the notorious criminal who studied ornithology in prison but was not allowed to keep birds once relocated to Alcatraz who had recently died in jail. Earning far more radio play, however, and raising the band’s profile, the Los Angeles-based act was convinced to switch the order on re-release and change their name to the titular name to distinguish themselves from another local act with a similar billing.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

catalina caper (10. 218)

Also released under the alternative title Never Steal Anything Wet, the 1967 comedy musical mystery starring Tommy Kirk and featuring the talents of Little Richard and Mary Wells, the Lee Sholem property was subjected to the MST3K treatment (previously) for the first time on this day in 1990. The movie features a group of swimsuit clad old teens investigating the theft of a museum artefact, an ancient Chinese scroll, discovering in the process that the parents of one of the beachgoers are responsible. “Ok—now everybody wear eye-protection, there’s a lot of loose-ends flying together all at once.”

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

fiftyshapes ltd (10. 130)

Incorporated on this day in 1967, the Beatles’ Apple Electronics venture was headed by a television repair technician named Yannis Alexis Madras, whom had been discovered by John Lennon two years prior after seeing a selection of his Nothing Boxes (plastic housing with blinking lights) at a London Gallery. Given the moniker “Magic Alex,” he reputedly pitched a series of increasingly fantastical (but ones we’d like to see) inventions including a seventy-two track tape machine, an air-buffer to prevent car accidents, replacing Ringo’s drums with a sonic force field, a wallpaper sound-system, invisibility paint and an artificial sun—none of which unfortunately materialised. 

Later that same year, Madras tried to help broker a deal for the band to purchase a Greek island but that deal fell through as well. Though the majority of Madras’ inventions were dismissed as impossible (perhaps rather inexplicably, he was nonetheless entrusted him with the design of their new recording studio once they left Abbey Road), one of his proposals for a scrambling device that would prevent fans from recording their songs from the radio was better received. Parting ways in 1969—ostensibly jealous over the influence that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had over Lennon after they were all in India together, Madras took up a career in security and anti-terrorism, offering custom bullet-proof vehicles, bug-detectors, etc—his clients primarily exiled heads-of-state living in London, Crown Prince Juan Carlos, the Shah of Iran and fellow countryman Constantine II.

Thursday, 25 August 2022

farbfernsehen (10. 084)

Though displays and transmission systems were invented as early as 1938 with various trials reaching back to the late nineteeth century, television broadcasts in colour did not begin until the mid-1960s after a compatible mode of transmission was introduced (meaning it could be received on monochrome sets without a noticeable loss of quality) and colour models became affordable, and this era of broadcasting was inaugurated on this day in 1967 by Vice Chancellor Willy Brandt at the start if the Great German Radio Exhibition in West Berlin with public and private broadcasters making the transition throughout the programming day—albeit during these early years, only a few hours per week were available in colour. Among the first segments was reporting on Montrรฉal’s Expo 67 and an airing of the 1962 French-Italian adventure film Cartouche starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Claudia Cardinale.

Saturday, 9 July 2022

there and back again

In the early 1960s, animator and producer William Snyder of Rembrandt Films had optioned the rights to a little-known children’s book called The Hobbit. In order to keep that IP, Snyder and the studio were obliged to produce a colour cinematic adaptation by 1967 and bumping up against this looming deadline commissioned Gene Deitch, in the interest of a bigger project with the story and characters later on, to create this hastily made but artful (see also) and hardly slapdash piece to hold on the rights Snyder had invested in. Made in thirty days and fulfilling the conditions in the contract (rights to the story were leased rather than sold outright) and shown in a screening room in New York, Snyder ended up breaking even by selling his stake back to Tolkien.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

reedy creek improvement district

In retribution for the Magic Kingdom’s public stance against legislation passed and enforced by the state of Florida and suspension of political donations in response to the so called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that bars instruction that is not “age or develop-mentally appropriate” as a form of indoctrination and makes it taboo to talk about gender identity or sexual orientation, the Republican governor, with the backing of the legislature, is proposing to strip Disney properties of its own private governance. Accorded by Florida in 1967 to make it more attractive for the entertainment giant to establish its resorts and theme parks (see also)—and originally a planned city of the future, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, that reverted back to another attraction, the special jurisdiction has its own law enforcement and security, environment standards, building codes and zoning laws as well as its own tax regime. Authorities warn that its dissolution will burden neighbouring counties with much higher property taxes and further alienates the state’s largest employer.

Friday, 20 August 2021

davy jones & the lower third

Released on this day in 1965, singer-songwriter David Bowie was billed for the final time under his birth name with the title band’s single “You’ve Got A Habit of Leaving” to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees (previously). The performer adopted the stage name after the romanticised version of nineteenth century American mercenary and pioneer James Bowie, famous for the eponymous style of combat knife.

Friday, 25 June 2021


Commissioned originally by a paint company for voice-over artist Ken Nordine to write and perform radio spots in the style of signature his “word jazz” albums (also long-time WBEZ Chicago public radio host of the programme of the same name), the work expanded by 1967 into a full recording of some thirty tracks, personifying a different colour each, kind of like Eighty-Eight Lines about Forty-Four Women. Covered hues include Puce, Chartreuse, Ecru and Mauve. The reverse of the sleeve and liner-notes included byzantine instructions for a board game and make a finger-painting based on the order prescribed and scoring was self-apparent.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

procol harum

Reaching number one on the UK charts on this day in 1967 a little under a month after its release, this achievement of A Whiter Shade of Pale, remaining at the top for weeks, is considered the beginning of the Summer of Love in Britain, the Chaucerian prosody and Baroque accompaniment (Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on the G string”) speaking to an up-and-coming but disaffected generation. Subsequently this anthem has become the single most publicly played song in UK history with the single featured in the soundtracks The Big Chill, Breaking the Waves and Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary The Vietnam War. Over nine hundred cover versions have been performed by other artists over the years.  Though according to one anecdote the band is called after the rather sophisticatedly-named Burmese cat named Procul Harun—Arabic for warrior lion, there is no authoritative source and other suggesting it being bad Latin for “beyond these things,” whereas properly it would be procul hฤซs.

Friday, 12 June 2020

loving day

Commemorating the unanimous 1967 decision of the US Supreme Court to strike down prohibitions nationwide on interracial marriage, celebrations are held in honour of the victorious plaintiffs Mildred (nรฉe Jeter) and Richard Loving, whom wed in Washington, DC, legally, but found out that they were outlaws once they had returned home to Virginia. Charged with “cohabitating as man and wife against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” the young couple pled ignorance to avoid incarceration and agreed to twenty-five years’ exile for clemency. Securing US Attorney General Robert Kennedy as champion, justice prevailed and the recognition and acceptance of mixed-race couples was advanced in America.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

mantra-rock dance

Organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as a fund-raising event for a local temple and as a promotional event for the movement’s founder and chief evangelist, Bhaktivedฤnta Swฤmi, the titular concert and service was hosted on this day in 1967 in San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom (a familiar venue). The evening included performances by Moby Grape, Big Brother and theHolding Company with Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead with speakers Owsley "Bear" Stanley, Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsburg, leading the audience in the Maha Mantra chant.