1969 was an amazing year for creativity, the arts and science. In music there was Woodstock, David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance”. In film “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid”, “Easy Rider” and “Midnight Cowboy” were released, and the novels “Slaughterhouse–Five” and “The Godfather” were published. Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh-In”, “The Brady Bunch” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus" premiered on TV. 40 years ago today Apollo 11 landed on the moon. I don’t remember any of it. I was six.
While 1969 for me was more about play dates, TV dinners and Saturday morning cartoons, the counter culture finally hit me in 1971, when I bought my first book, a breathtakingly colorful explosion of 5 ¾” square format design entitled “Peace” by Peter Max. As I soaked in New York City in the early 70’s, I began digging the groovy vibe. I drew peace signs and smiley faces and begged my mother for a zip front mini and a suede fringed vest. I knew every lyric from "Hair" by heart, and saw it in 1972. By the late 70’s I had reached the pinnacle of retro-hippie style, drew psychedelic art, made beaded jewelry, worshipped Jefferson Airplane and had some mind expanding experiences.
I often look back to the post-1969 era with fond memories of that great incubator of a time, which shaped me as the artist and designer I am today. I have probably not yet seen all the avant garde art, heard every influential song, seen every important film or read every seminal novel from back then, but I definitely intend to.