MUSIC OF THE 60s, 70s AND THE GOOD OLD DAYS
There was no internet then and if at all there were shades of technology like cellphones and internet, it belonged to the realm of fiction and sci fi movies only. For a while, there were glimpses of things to come via James Bond films but on the whole everything was conducted manually. We have to content ourselves in films where Superman looked more splaying on the floor feigning like he was flying.
It was the age of innocence and exploration. Games were all physical. Everyone had a choice to be a bully. And there were no privileges except for those who were street smart. Those who cannot cope to stay late would rather confine themselves to lead a sheltered life.
In Project 2, Quezon City during the 60s and 70s everybody was fair game. There were no natives there. It was a neighborhood where families came from different areas, had converged conveniently and became pioneers. Mostly were government workers who found the area worth settling. The children were brought up according to norms which they would fashion out based on their new found surroundings and a splatter of tradition from their original place. The school—Quirino Elementary School—, whatever it would represent, would be their foundation.
Reminiscing for me was easier if the music of the time would serve as theme. This was the 60s. I remember Petula Clark’s upbeat song “Downtown” when I was in grade one. During grade two and three, it was Matt Monroe’s ballads (Before You Go) which made my days. I was in grade four, five and six when the Beatles (In My Life), Monkees (Shades of Gray), Herman Hermits (Mrs. Brown), Gary and Pacemakers (Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying), Gary Lewis (Diamond Ring), Dave Clark 5 (Because) and Holies (Bus Stop) were all over the airwaves. The hit album of Chicago (Transit Authority) (2506), Cascades (Shy Girl) and Beach Boys (Don’t Worry Baby) were memorable when I was in my first and second year high school. On my way towards the end of secondary education, the songs of Spiral Staircase (More Today than Yesterday) and Jackson 5 (Daddy’s Home) inspired my adolescent years. Life was pure “flower power,” of advocating peace, of pursuing love in its pristine form.
It was a liberating experience, of marked freedom, of expansive creativity. While a number of my peers went all out, I merely observed them as they underwent experiments in booze, drugs, deliquency and activism. At that time, I was deep into Arts that I got lost in the abyss of artistic vision.
In college in the 70s, the band of America (Ventura Highway), Carpenters (We’ve Only Just Began), James Taylor (You’ve Got a Friend) and OPM Manila sound (Manila, Manila) virtually accompanied my dreary and unimaginative days. They continued to give me melodious period even after I graduated and had my first employment as contractual instructor at UP’s Sped department. Thereupon, I moved to Mead Johnson and eventually after a highly educational exposure in the private sector, I got employment in public service at the Bureau of Prisons. All these time, the music of Cinderella (Bato sa Buhangin fame), John Denver (Country Road), Barry Manilow (Sandra) , Bee Gees (Staying Alive), ABBA (Chiquitita) and Stevie Wonder (My Cherie Amour) were my constant theme.
Of course, I was never alone. I have an entire generation humming to the beat of what has been referred today as Retro Music. And it is the sound of the soul, the hymn of a beautiful period we all agreed to call as the Age of Reminiscence or the exclusive batch of Baby Boomers.