Friday, 9 March 2012

The Sixties soundtrack of our lives, part one

Don’t you sometimes just hear a song and think “this should be in a film”?  I mean the kind of song that brings to mind images of Susannah York - or Michael York for that matter – in the type of movie that is probably set in London or another cosmopolitan city.  Both song and film have to be from the Sixties, ideally.  This is a world of coffee bars with Formica table tops or bowler-hatted men lusting after their dolly-bird secretaries.  Perhaps the scene shows two young lovers walking down a quiet street in early evening, pigeons fly upward as the couple approach them, then our hero and heroine turn a corner and we view them from the back as they disappear into the distance and the closing credits take their place on the screen.  Or maybe the kohl-eyed female lead is leaning out of a window, chintzy net curtains and blonde hair blowing in the breeze, as the camera pans out to the view she sees, of a city full of bustling crowds and red double-decker buses… introducing us to a world we’re going to be immersed in for the next ninety minutes.

Songs which work really well for me which are already in films include the wonderful ‘To Sir With Love’ which just succeeds on so many levels.  Who could fail to be moved by it in some way?  Or how about the superb intro to ‘Up The Junction’…


But other songs are just random singles, lone B-sides or album tracks perhaps, which never did get included in a film score, and I reckon they should have been.  Cue this song from 1968, the B-side to ‘Race With The Devil’ by The Gun.  It’s somewhere in the middle of my imaginary film, and I see a beautiful man, maybe he’s driving along a coastal road in an open-top car, the early morning sun refracted artily on the chrome trim of his MGB.  I don’t know what his story is yet, but it’s sure to be full of surprises, secrets and probably a fair few groovy club scenes.


More make-believe soundtrack songs to follow in future instalments…

14 comments:

  1. I can see these scenes perfectly in my head.

    Of course, I am the beautiful man in the MGB...only it's a hard top...lime green with an orange racing strip across the top. It's under a canvas in my old neighborhood at the moment..and I've been lusting after it for 20 years now.

    Sorry about that.

    Anyway...the descriptions were great...music too.

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    1. Thanks e.(with a 'k'!)f. - hope you get to drive your lime green hard-top in the fantasy road movie of your choice before another 20 years is up!
      Glad you enjoyed the scenes and the soundtrack.

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  2. For me the songs (or jazz tracks) are always American and so is the film, I went to New York at the age of 16 just to prove to myself that I was real. Everything real was American to me back then because I spent so much time watching films and the US seemed so much more vibrant to me as a child. I grew up in rural Wales though, as distant from London in the 60's as New York, almost in another century. London has always been a novel to me, even all the years I lived there, it was always passages from books that came to me as I walked along the Embankment or wherever. Funny really, I've never thought of it that way before.

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    1. That's so interesting, Yve, I'd never thought of that angle myself. London has always seeped into my psyche when I think of '60s films - well, either that or Paris. But I like the thought of jazz tracks against an American backdrop. (And that must have been one hell of an adventure going to NY when you were 16...?!)

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    2. Ha ha, it gets better, I was there with the Toronto Blue Jays Ice Hockey team! My uncle was their coach's assitant back then. Sounds wild but I was SO chaperoned! ;o)

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    3. With or without a chaperone you must still have some tales to tell?! Must have been so exciting. You could blog about it some time perhaps..?

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  3. Ah, but the MG is powder blue ! and the suits are Italian, the shades French, the sky is blue, the world is irrelevant around the couple and the sun shines brightly (every day)- and the soundtrack goes on forever.... its still there fortunately - just its in our hesds these days ! Love it all.

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    1. Thank you! Oh now I'm really running with this one..! He's wearing pointy Italian shoes, motoring along in the powder blue MG with a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth. She is waiting for him at the edge of the country road, shades perched on top of her head, wearing a stripey Breton top. He sees her, pulls over, flings open the car door and in she jumps, they turn to smile at eachother before speeding off down the empty lane, sunlight catching her blonde hair and creating mirages on the road, the sparkling sea comes into view in the distance and... Oh dear I think I'm getting a bit carried away...?

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  4. I somehow feel I should also say - I once (literally) bumped into Maureen lipman in Great Portland Street - she charged past me and I dented my wok....not a euphemism, I really did....not the best Up The Junction anecdote, but I still have the wok.....

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    1. So funny! As far as Up The Junction anecdotes go that's pretty, erm, 'unique'! Presumably both you and Maureen were ok and it was just the wok that took the damage? You could probably sell it on ebay one of these days.

      I also feel you deserve a special prize for incorporating the phrase "dented my wok" into a blog comment...

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  5. Lovely post! Refer to my David Axelrod track scenario in February's Picks over at my place for a similar wavelength.....

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    1. Thanks, W! And, wow, that's some action-packed movie you're starring in over there. Have we missed our vocations...?!

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  6. Don't want to dampen your ardour but wasn't, ahem, Denis Waterman the love interest in the e-type in Up The Junction? And whatever happened to the lovely Adrienne Posta?

    And that Gun cover - is that an early Roger Dean I see before me?

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  7. Ha ha! - but it's ok, it isn't Denis Waterman in my version!

    And yes I'm reliably informed that it is indeed an early Roger Dean, in fact I believe it was his very first album cover...

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