Music was the theme of this decade-straddling meeting of the 1960s/1970s Group.
Carl started with the background to Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and The Dominos. Released in November 1970, it was met with tepid reviews (“A basket case of an album”) and a trickle of sales. It was an example of how not to promote an album – no press interviews by Eric Clapton, no marketing focus and no hit single picked and promoted. No one knew or cared who Derek and The Dominos were. Later, there were even button badges saying, Derek is Eric and in fact the musicians on the album were some of the biggest and most respected names of the time. When Layla was eventually released in 1972, it climbed to Number 2 in the charts.
The life-affirming power of music was the subject of Vivien’s talk. In particular, a certain David Bowie and his performance of Star Man on TOTP in July 1972. It empowered her to change the course of her academic life. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Clapton and Bowie are legends. Not so Peter Whitehead, Stephen’s subject. He (Peter not Stephen) made some of the great pop video films of the Sixties for bands like the Stones, Pink Floyd, Small Faces and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He foreshadowed the era of promo clips that blossomed in the MTV era of the 80s. His film Tonite let’s all make love in London was for many critics the definitive document of Swinging London.
At the next meeting on October 17th, we’ll be considering George Harrison’s All things must pass, delving in to the cinema in the London in the early Seventies with Ian and relishing a quiz on the radio of the time, set by Tessa. Radio waves stimulating brain waves … hopefully!