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David Porter » Entries tagged with "1960s"

Old Men’s Dreams

Old Men’s Dreams when revenge must turn to forgiveness Old Men’s Dreams is my first published novel and it’s now available from Amazon. The blurb reads as follows: ‘Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions…’ (Joel 2:28) For ‘old men’ in this tale, read ‘old woman.’ Angel Henderson has been released from prison and treatment centre, her anger issues lengthening her original sentence by decades. Her yearning for revenge is undiminished. She has forgotten nothing, particularly the friends who did nothing to prevent the death of her sister, Poppy, in 1967. In those so-called halcyon days of the swinging 1960s, all was not entirely sweetness, light and peace. Free love came with a price. Younger half-brother Robert, after a near-death experience, has since become a Christian and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Writing

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys at the Theatre Royal, Norwich Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 9 July 2015 It takes a special show to stand out from the crowd of contemporary musicals about great music and musicians of the 1960s and 70s. Well, multi-award winning Jersey Boys stands out big-time! Blessed with unique harmonies and the unforgettable lead falsetto vocals of Frankie Valli, The Four Seasons were big hit makers, popular both sides of the Atlantic. Their sound was the backdrop to many teenagers’ lives. From the streets of New Jersey these boys rose to the dizzy heights of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This opens the can of worms that was their less harmonious offstage and behind the scenes lives; this show has real grit. As often in showbiz, fame comes at high cost … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews

The Sensational 60s’ Experience

The Sensational 60s’ Experience at Marina Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 2 December 2014 A packed audience, mainly of a certain age, rocked and rolled the The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, revelling in a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. This 1960s’ experience showcases groups, some with surviving original members, performing songs from their own hit catalogues and sampling the massive range of timeless classics which were the cultural hallmark of that iconic decade, when the world was a very different place. Alan Mosca of Freddie and the Dreamers compered. Dave Berry proved himself much the same showman and song interpreter who first hit the charts fifty years ago. The Ivy League, Union Gap UK, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Herman’s Hermits entertained with banter and jokes as well as melodies, harmonies and … Read entire article »

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The Happening Was the Progenitor of Performance Art

Installations, Events, Happenings, Environments were favoured by 1950/60s art and drama students: just kids having a laugh, or claim to a serious artform? The term ‘happening’, as in ‘what’s happening, man?’ was a very 1960s one. In fact, it described a particular form of performance theatre arising from and fusing with visual arts. It’s not fully understood in contemporary performance circles, but The Happening was instrumental in paving the way for performance art to be an artform in its own right. It was an ‘event’ or ‘situation’ sometimes billed as ‘art in random places’ (empty shops, old houses, warehouses, streets), with little linear narrative, but reliance on mixed art forms with the audience frequently involved, willingly or not. Scope for improvisation (much as Commedia dell’Arte actors did in the 16th … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Save the Last Dance for Me

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 5 July 2012.   Fresh from the creators of the top-rated Dreamboats and Petticoats, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, comes a musical concoction set in the early 1960s. It is appropriate that it should come to Lowestoft en route to the West End, as much of it is set in the town of that time. Memories flood back. The plot is simple – black US airman and white English girl fall in love when she and her sister take a week’s seaside holiday against their parents’ wishes. But music brings it to youthful life. Reliving the hit songs of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, the on-stage band pump out classics like This Magic Moment, Sweets for My Sweet, A Teenager in Love, Suspicion, Viva Las Vegas, … Read entire article »

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The Incredible String Band Revisited and Reinterpreted for Today

One of the more quirky, hard to categorise British 60s bands, ISB were influential as musicians’ musicians. Have they still got a relevant message now? Usually defined as exponents of late 1960s ‘psychedelic folk’, The Incredible String Band (ISB) were called by Making Time, a website resource devoted to compiling an encyclopedia of 60s’ British beat music, early devotees of ‘World Music’. They were eclectic, deriving influences from many genres, cultures and sounds, fusing them with poetry as lyrics. Robert Plant, Billy Connolly, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones were among their fans, and they started as Clive Palmer and Robin Williamson playing in a Scottish folk club in Glasgow. Mike Heron joined to play guitar and record producer Joe Boyd signed them to Elektra label. In 1966 they released their first … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

2001: A Space Odyssey Revisited and Reinterpreted for Today

Visionary, profound, astounding, a visual experience and epic, the movie was a cinematic special effects landmark with messages that speak still. Tim Dirks, senior editor and film historian at American Movie Classics (AMC) wrote an extensive commentary on the structure, meanings, purpose and parallels of Kubrick’s 1968 film masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film has entertained, intrigued and mystified audiences ever since it came out; today, astonishingly, it has much to teach the world. Dirks described it as “a landmark classic, probably the best science-fiction film of all time about exploration of the unknown.” Coincidentally released at the height of the US-USSR space race, it “prophetically showed the enduring influence computers would have on our daily lives” and how man is dwarfed by technology and space. It broke conventions – no spoken … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

British Theatre Is Not The Sole Terrain of the Middle Class

The debate about British theatre accessibility is old, but actually misses the point. Performing arts cross all class barriers & genres to survive and grow. A sketch in the 1960s’ British satirical TV series That Was The Week That Was, showed three comedians in height order, representing upper, middle and lower classes. The middle one looked up to the upper; down to the lower, who looked up to both. Some might argue little has changed, Britain, is still class-ridden. That class influences the arts in general and performance in particular, surprises few. Typical Audience Profile Mintel reported in October 2010 that British performing arts are the domain of the middle classes, despite schemes to make audiences more diverse. The National Theatre, among others, tried subsidised tickets for young people, but there is concern, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

UK Christmas Number One Hits: Time to Grow Out of Them

Antithesis of seasonal goodwill, the Christmas bestseller is invariably controversial, often totally irrelevant to the season and now certainly out of date. Often seen as a badge of honour for artists, the race for the Christmas Number One single dominates news and record company/artiste planning for months on end. The Christmas chart used to last for two weeks over the Christmas/New Year season, so it was much prized in commercial terms, if not artistic. UK charts started in 1952, after appearing in New Musical Express; before that, figures were based on sales of sheet music. Once the charts began, the immediate controversy arose over how to measure the Christmas winner. The UK Christmas Number One was that at the top of the UK Singles Chart on the week before Christmas Day, based … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Musicians of the 1960s: 21st Century Relevance and Respect

Many of those singer-songwriters, performers who used talents to launch careers four decades ago, can still speak with weighty voices to today’s youngsters. Jack Madani’s Pop and Rock Music in the 60s: A Brief History gave a concise account of the main artists, the movers and shakers who led up to the explosion of 60s’ music. Starting with the roots of rock and roll, before the decade began, right up to the early 70s, when the dream began to unravel. Many stars who shone, particularly in the late 60s, are no longer around for whatever reason. Their brightness has dimmed. Death took Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon, for example. Who knows what they would have achieved musically if they had lived? Others are still doing gig circuits, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101