What happened in 1967?

Something happened between 5/1967 and 11/1967. Click through to YouTube to see these two clips of Eric Clapton and Cream. Musically, they are equivalent and on the same page. The blues guitar had entered the psychedelic age. That doesn’t change from the May clip to the November clip. But the visual self-presentation is different. In the May clip, Clapton doesn’t seem to know what to do with that hair, how to dress, how to present himself. In the November clip, he is totally comfortable in his own skin, the casual hippie style has settled into place.

So what happened between May and November of 1967 that might have signalled hippie/psychedelic culture finding its comfort zone? The release of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s album at the very end of May, just two weeks after Cream’s gig at the Beat Club in the top clip? Or their worldwide live release of “All You Need Is Love” a few weeks after that? The explosion of hippiedom in the San Francisco Summer of Love from June to August? Maybe. Then again, this may all be my own quirky reading of the two clips. But I hope you enjoyed the little trip down memory lane to the music scene of 1967, which imho pivoted away from Elvis/Sinatra days and carved out a new sonic landscape that still bears fruit today 🙂

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21 thoughts on “What happened in 1967?

  1. Interesting. What immediately came to mind of Clapton in May was that he’d obviously had this frazzled and crazed almost-afro thing going on and, if you squint, a faux-Hendrix vibe. And, yeah, by the end of the year he looks like G. Harrison’s lost brother! I think you’re right, a sort of heady potpourri of styles. I have to say though, in both clips the clothes look like they’re wearing him!

    Now…Mr. Ginger Baker…well, well, well. What do we have here then? Both a natural and a supernatural being! x

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s cool seeing long hair. I remember the 80s…the long hair stopped on pop stars…unless you were heavy metal and clean cut was in…that is boring though…
    Clapton does change his look a lot…whenever I think of him I think of the shirt he would wear in his wildest days…”No Snow, No Show”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. In his autobiography Clapton describes his time in San Fransisco in the summer of 1987: “We were . . . hanging out with musicians like Mike Bloomfield and David Crosby, smoking pot and dropping a lot of acid.” Need one say more?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Frank. I haven’t read the autobiography but that must be 1967, not 87, no? As I go back to those two clips, it looks like that pot and acid really helped with the self-image 🙂

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  4. Yes…since we’re of similar age, I’ve caught myself wondering the same thing about Clapton’s evolution. Back in the day it seemed that his appearance changed often. 🙂

    Musically, Cream was a unique hybrid of blues, rock, jazz, + classical influences. “White Room” – w its classically-tinged dramatic opening, was an example of their fusion of styles. Likewise, many groups – often led by the Beatles, explored a kaleidoscope of influences of different cultures. The blending together of many cultural elements such as the blues, Baroque classical, Avante-Garde classical, folk, jazz, Indian, + Latin music in the late 60s to 90s was profound on many levels. And yes, as we’ve talked of before, the seeking out – as the concept of World Music shows, of multiple musical influences still resonates – though maybe at a lesser extent today, w many hip-hop artists.

    Clapton – a truly gifted musician who was steeped in the blues, rock, folk, w hints of jazz, is exemplary of the many musicians that broke down many boundaries. Thx for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

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