Welcome all, take a seat, find your personal space and join me for further explorations of the 60s universe. Whereas my fellow blogger, the redoubtable Angie Smith, will be looking at the fashion and film side of things, I’ll shine spotlights on music, design, history (but not of the boring kind, I promise) and anything else that takes my fancy, whether it be aspects of 60s culture in their day or in one of the countless permutations and, for lack of a better word, ‘revivals’ that have sprung up since the 31.12.1969 and continue to this very day – some particular moments when a renewed interest in the period seemed to sweep the world will be the topics of future, more exhaustive posts. Since I am a man of firmly held opinions, some of the views expressed here will perhaps strike some readers as contentious but it is my hope that my contributions will give food for thought, inspiration and discussion.
Now, the observant reader will already have zoomed in on one such point: the cut-off date. Quite obviously I am jesting, because the thing is of course that just as ‘the 60s’ did not start at 0:00, 1.1.1960, they didn’t end – other than in a purely chronological sense – on the last day of the year 1969. History doesn’t do things *that* simple. So, in the spirit of the late great historian Eric Hobsbawm, I will attempt to unravel the complicated period we’re interested in here and in imitation of his work make a case for the ‘long 60s’, exploring both the factors that came together in order to create this, though manifold in its expressions yet still clearly identifiable, explosion of creativity and its continuing influence, from the black-and-white aesthetics of the early Beat(-les) days to the swirling colourful tendrils of psychedelia and beyond.
So, to cut what’s threatening to look like a rather long intro short – I hope that my and my fellow blogger’s contributions will present an exploration of the context in which DandyLife operates – after all, we’re not just selling clothes here. I can say with absolute certainty that every single person involved in this venture is here because of their deeply-felt passion and enthusiasm for the greatest period mankind has known. But make no mistake – this is not an exercise in nostalgia or Sealed-Knot revivalism (not that there’s anything wrong with that): the 60s live in us inasmuch as they have provided us with a template of style(s) which, to me at least, are now, over 50 years later, ‘classic’ and which eminently deserve to be brought up-to-date and find a place in the 21st Century. And that, dear readers, is what DandyLife is all about.
Bitten in the late 80s by the 60s bug at the impressionable age of 13, Tony’s never looked back on looking backwards. Combined with a knack for history, he’s soaked up every imaginable smudged backpage of the 60s underground and its permutations over the years. Now the time has come to share the knowledge, lay open the narratives and explain the contexts. At present, Tony’s main interest lies in the germination of the psychedelic seed on America’s West Coast, particularly the LA scene spearheaded by that most American and psychedelic of groups, The Byrds – a band whose music has provided a soundtrack to his life from those very early days in 1988.