London to an American teenager

During the late 60’s, I was of course quite intrigued by the music coming out of England. The influence of the Beatles, Stones, Dave Clark Five, Hollies, Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Yardbirds, Zombies and on and on and on was so strong that it set me on a path of curiosity and appreciation that ultimately led to my seeking a career in the record business. However, I have to say that I don’t think this interest led to a significant interest in my learning more about London — probably because music is auditory (of course) and it was well before the time of video being associated with music. The pictures of the bands on the record albums didn’t really say “London” to me. It said “fashion” and “style” and “individuality” — all things somewhat important to me as a curious teen.

What DID speak to me about London, though, was Monty Python. Although it was probably the early 70’s before” PBS began airing their “Flying Circus” shows, the humor screamed the “60’s” and the sets they performed on gave me a humorous introduction to the culture and spirit of London. Scenes of great humor being played out in front of places like Westminster and Big Ben — or in ordinary London neighborhoods — provided some context of the city for me, and to this day frames my image of London in the 60’s. Joe Maita

“I thought London was the center of the universe. I was a teenager living in the States and a huge Beatles fan. I imagined that everyone living in London was going to the “Bag of Nails” or “Scotch of St. James” clubs dressed in the latest Mary Quant outfits and surrounded by the Beatles, the Stones,, or any of the “British Beat” bands. The excitement and color of London sailed across the Atlantic in a big way that was irresistible.” Lynn Stelmah

2 thoughts on “London to an American teenager

  1. October 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

    During the late 60’s, I was of course quite intrigued by the music coming out of England. The influence of the Beatles, Stones, Dave Clark Five, Hollies, Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Yardbirds, Zombies and on and on and on was so strong that it set me on a path of curiosity and appreciation that ultimately led to my seeking a career in the record business. However, I have to say that I don’t think this interest led to a significant interest in my learning more about London — probably because music is auditory (of course) and it was well before the time of video being associated with music. The pictures of the bands on the record albums didn’t really say “London” to me. It said “fashion” and “style” and “individuality” — all things somewhat important to me as a curious teen.

    What DID speak to me about London, though, was Monty Python. Although it was probably the early 70’s before” PBS began airing their “Flying Circus” shows, the humor screamed the “60’s” and the sets they performed on gave me a humorous introduction to the culture and spirit of London. Scenes of great humor being played out in front of places like Westminster and Big Ben — or in ordinary London neighborhoods — provided some context of the city for me, and to this day frames my image of London in the 60’s.

  2. November 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    OK, call me shallow, if you must, but London came to my attention when Twiggy came to my attention. Here was this woman who was my height and my weight and was making big bucks by showing herself off. My tomboy figure was nothing I ever celebrated until Twiggy showed up. Is it possible that I too could achieve fame and fortune with an asset that I had always tried to hide in over sized shirts ? Teens everywhere are looking for role models and why not cross the seas to find one? Now that London was on my radar, I found that the cool 60’s British Bands, the Eiffel Tower and SoHo were pretty interesting too. I knew this place was a must see and would be part of my later travels. And while I haven’t met Twiggy yet, I’m happy to report that this still tomboy like body has visited her home several times and recently taken up an acting/modeling career in her 60’s ! Thanks, Twiggy.

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