Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Something In the Air" - Thunderclap Newman (1969)

"Something In the Air” is one of those songs which linger in my memory from 1969. The band was formed with help from Pete Townshend of The Who, along with Speedy Keen, a musician friend of Mr. Townshend’s, who produced their first album. There is a great jazz piano break near the end of this song, which acts as a bridge. The song itself is fairly radical for the times, and was even used in the end scene of “The Magic Christian” with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. It’s the scene at the end, the one which illustrates just how far people will go to have money.

The 1960’s was a time when values, particularly in England, were changing world wide. The difference was that in England the British had had such a rough time of it that the older generation was afraid for the younger generation, concerned only with security. The fact that this quest for security came at a time when England was still on rations; which they were into the early 1960’s; never occurred to them as a contradiction. The young saw it as ludicrous; I mean if you can’t have enough food and gasoline, then what security are you speaking of; the security of want?
Here in America, where we had been virtually untouched by war, the young merely wanted to avoid being drafted and sent to war. They wanted artistic freedom and musical change. And that’s where all of the music entered into the equation. The people in power had the money, but the young people had the music, which could be converted into money by the artists, making them somewhat equal with those in power.

Ever since Elvis visited Nixon in the White House, there has been a steady stream of performers; from Bono to Michael Jackson; and no President gets elected without the support of un-elected celebrities to support them and bring in the youth vote. Even if you don’t like it, you have to acknowledge it.

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