The year that changed the world: Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd feature in memories of 1967
THERE are not many individual years when the world seems to change profoundly, but 1967 was one of them.
It was the year of the “summer of love” and flower power, as well as protests against the US war in Vietnam.
In music, there were a slew of new bands unlike anything heard before, while the Beatles released the album that became acclaimed as the greatest ever made.
At the cinema, films like The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde broke taboos.
And in the UK, society was becoming more liberal, with the prohibition of homosexuality finally lifted for over-21s.
Locally, it was the year you might have seen Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd in Bournemouth, or even spotted John Lennon on the Sandbanks ferry.
The transformation of the Beatles from mop-topped chart sensations to long-haired followers of the Maharishi Yogi symbolised the changes that took place that year.
John Lennon had bought his aunt Mimi a home in Panorama Road, Sandbanks. In April, he was snapped, in horn-rimmed glasses, moustache, floral shirt and long coat, getting off the Sandbanks ferry with Mimi and his son Julian.
On June 25, the Beatles provided Britain’s contribution to the world’s first global satellite TV broadcast, called Our World, performing a new song, All You Need Is Love.
Watching from a flat in Bournemouth were Jon Kremer and his friend Al Stewart.
Jon recalled the day in his memoir Bournemouth A Go! Go!
“Sitting alongside Al in my parents’ Branksome Park flat, we tuned the still black and white TV to the obvious channel, the one hundreds of millions of viewers from Bournemouth to Bangkok, Bermuda to Brazil, would be watching in real-time," he said.
“Only Great Britain chose, splendidly, to use their allotted slot for music: the Beatles live in Abbey Road studios, surrounded by friends such as [Mick] Jagger and [Marianne Faithfull], and supposedly glimpsed in the creative act of producing with George Martin a new song.”
That year, with Sgt Pepper at the top of the charts, Jon opened his own record shop. Bus Stop Records would be an institution in Westbourne for 42 years.
Among the others with memories of that year are Steve and Jill Oliver, who told the Daily Echo recently how they met while queueing outside the Pavilion in Bournemouth to see a soul band on Saturday, July 1. They married in 1972 and have been together ever since.
Steve, then from Slades Farm, remembers the entertainment options well.
“Monday used to be going bowling in Glenfern Road,” he says.
“Saturday was whatever you could find to do – there wasn’t much on in 1967, it was about 1969 things really got going, so you used to be with your friends and so what you could.
“Sunday was the Pavilion ballroom. We were out every weekend.”
He recalls: “It felt revolutionary at the time. We were a young generation that weren’t being controlled by officialdom. We were being a little outrageous and wearing trousers tighter than we should have done, the girls were wearing skirts shorter. Flowery shirts, headbands, or whatever, we didn’t feel wrong."
Not everybody loved the music being spawned by flower power.
Taff, aged 70, who prefers not to give his full name, mixed with bikers who weren’t welcome in a lot of places.
“Most of the biker guys were more into the Stones than the Beatles. We were all still listening to Jerry Lee Lewis and Eddie Cochran and rock and roll. Then, later in the 60s stuff like the Who turned up.”
With pubs closing at 10.30pm (11pm at weekends) and music venues unwilling to admit bikers, he remembers going to Joy’s, a transport cafe at the end of the Christchurch bypass, and Bert’s, near the Shand Kydd factory at Tuckton.
He can claim to have been at some of music’s biggest moments, including the Stones’ 1969 concert in Hyde Park and the first Isle of Wight Festival.
“I was at the first Glastonbury by chance. I had been out and we heard there was a place giving free grub. We turned up early in the morning and the missus was giving pots of stew to anybody who wanted it,” he says.
In September, the BBC finally gave pop music its own radio station, Radio 1. Its first presenter was the son of a GP and a nurse who had moved to Bournemouth in 1965 – Tony Blackburn.
Blackburn had wanted to be a pop star himself, fronting a group called Tony Blackburn and the Rovers, who played around Bournemouth. For a while, their guitarist was Al Stewart.
Al moved to London that year and released his first album, Bedsitter Images, which was launched with a concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall that November.
Twelve days later, Al and his friend Jon Kremer were in the audience at Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens.
For between 7s 6d and 15s that night, you could have seen a bill containing the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the original Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, the Move, Andy Fairweather Low’s Amen Corner and Eire Apparent.
Jon Kremer remembers the stroboscopic effects of the Pink Floyd set, as well as Hendrix playing Purple Haze, Hey Joe and The Wind Cries Mary.
Before he left the stage, Hendrix swung his Fender Stratocaster guitar over his head and threw it towards the amplification stack. “The resulting howl of feedback buried itself in the lingering remains of the maestro’s last chord,” Jon wrote.
Half a century later, people’s memories of the era are as vivid as the fashions of the time.
And Sgt Pepper, boosted by a 50th anniversary re-issue on vinyl, CD and download, is still in the top 20 album charts.
Alan Rowett, who runs the Vault record shop in Bournemouth, Boscombe and Christchurch with partner Chrissy Collier, says many people born long after its release love the album.
“It’s all age groups, not just people 50-plus. It’s amazing how that album carries on selling,” he says.
“None of the other Beatles albums sell in particularly large quantities – Revolver, Rubber Soul and Abbey Road maybe a bit, but Sgt Pepper you can reorder and reorder and it flies out the door.”
He says the new reissue brings the album alive all over again. “It’s like listening to the record for the first time. Chrissy and I put it on and it sounded so much different. It’s much more of an event again.”