It was a time of change, of the younger generation reaching up to the older generation and asking why, and a time of awareness. And it was a time of music.
Music had changed a lot in the last decade. It became a sound entangled with every influence and put into vinyl. The early be-bop and rock-and-roll had turned into the California sound, and then the Beatles brought an English twist to the format. Then came Bob Dylan. Dylan brought the words.
1965. The U.S. death toll in Vietnam was one-hundred-and- thirty-six at the end of ’64. Poet T.S. Eliot died in January. Malcolm X was shot in front of a crowd of four-hundred. Martin Luther King and seven-hundred-and-seventy others were arrested in Alabama. One-thousand Black school-children were arrested for truancy. Twenty-five-thousand marched from Selma to Montgomery for the Alabama Freedom Walk. Four-hundred-and-seventy-two people were arrested in a Civil Rights march in Jackson. The U.S. launched air strikes on North Vietnam and then soon after, dropped Napalm, a chemical which can turn jungle into desert and burn children beyond recognition. Gemini 4 planned a four-day space flight, the longest flight yet, and U.S. and Soviet astronauts walked in space. There was a sit-in in New York, halting the Armed Forces Day Parade, and at the White House, fifteen-thousand anti-war protesters picketed. N.Y. Governor Rockefeller ended the death penalty in that state, and LBJ sent fifty-thousand more troops to Vietnam. The number rose to one-hundred-and-eight thousand troops. UFOs were sighted in the U.S. People protested by the tens of thousands and burned draft cards.
Bob Dylan released Bringing it All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. The Beatles released Rubber Soul. The Byrds took the world on a trip with “Mr. Tambourine Man”, and everyone else was busy taking trips with marijuana and LSD. Barry McGuire played prophet and predicted the “Eve of Destruction”, and the Rolling Stones kicked everyone off their cloud. The Beatles were chosen to be recipients of the prestigious MBE medal, and Bob Dylan was booed at Newport for “plugging in”.
1965. A beginning of what was to come. A beginning of what was to change.