1960s Essay

This essay has a total of 8099 words and 33 pages.

1960s



The 1960’s were a time of major political and social change. These changes were primarily
fuelled by the youth of the time. Their parents had come from life in both the great
depression of the 1930’s as well as World War II, and were on a whole more conservative
than their children, a fact the younger generation did not like. In the early 60’s the
electronic media (Television and radio) became an important communication tool, as opposed
to the largely print based media of previous decades. With change came a profound increase
in the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and information, which in turn influenced a
generation to become much more active in politics and other affairs which affected them,
than what the previous generations would have been. The youth culture aimed to change all
of the contradictions that remained unchanged from their parent’s culture. Examples of
this move for change and progress included politics, religion, class struggle, racial
issues, and the Vietnam war, but the area in which this change was most visible was in the
arena of popular music, which too had become a tool for the communication of ideas.


James Douglas (Jim) Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida on December 8th, 1943. He was
the son of a Rear-Admiral, who’s father, grandfather, and family all had lifetime careers
in the Navy. This suggests a strict and militaristic upbringing, with the assumption being
that the young Morrison would be a career Navy officer like his ancestors. Clearly
Morrison came from the kind of household that the youth culture were rebelling against.
Perhaps this was one of the causes of Morrison’t open rebellion. When he had finished
school, he moved to California, where he enrolled in the theatre department of the
University College of Los Angeles (UCLA), and hoped to become a movie director. It was
here that he met Raymond (Ray) Manzarek, who was also a student of the film school.
Manzarek had learned classical piano as a child, although his personal tastes led him to
playing blues on the organ. In 1965 the two conceived the idea of forming a band. Morrison
wanted the band to be not just a group that creates music, but a form of ‘rock guerrilla
theatre’- using the music as a way to communicate his ideas beliefs. He wanted the band
and the audience to be connected through a colletive conciousness. This being a long way
from the music of previous decades, where while the audience may dance to the music, they
were not physically, or emotionally involved with the band. Manzarek saw a performance by
a group called the ‘Psychedelic Rangers’, and asked guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer
John Densmore whether they would be interested in joining the group. The two agreed, and
they took the name ‘The Doors’ after a book called ‘The Doors of Perception’ by Aldous
Huxley, which was in turn inspired by a quote from the poet William Blake “If the doors of
perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite”. Blake was one of
Morrison’s primary poetic influences. This was also the origin of Morrison’s well known
phrase “There are things known and things unknown and in between them are the doors”. The
Doors primary themes were sex, violence, and politics. Morrison was also a suprisingly
good poet, which is evident in the song’s lyrics, and many of his poems were published
after his death.


At this time, “rock acted as a kind of ‘counter culture’, challenging the boundaries of
the dominant culture where it had become hyprocritical and even unjust... The main thrust
of rock music was a force for change, both on a personal level [ie. sexual morality, drug
use, etc.]... and on a societal level, in opposition to the Vietnam War, [and] racial
injustice... Rock and roll provided much of the communicative power of the ‘counter
culture,’ and, as such, was a force for change.” (Macken, 1980: p23)


“Rock, the music of the Sixties, was a music of spontaneity... It came from the life
experiences of the artists and their interaction with an audience that was roughly the
same age.” (Frith, 1981: p41); rock was not made to be commercial, ie. it was not produced
to sell records and make money. Rock music was a reflector of society, ie. rock lyrics
reflected the values and ideas of the youth culture. It was also relatively structureless
compaired with previous decades. The Doors epitomised this belief. Their music was never
made to make a living. Furthermore, it was a rare occasion when they actually conformed to
the constraints and obligations placed on them (usually by the older generation). Jim
Morrison was anything but predictable and ‘well behaved’- he was arrested on several
occasions, for being disruptive, and on one occasion taken to court for alleged indecent
exposure on stage, though it must be noted that the prosecution could produce neither
witnesses nor photographic proof of the lewd behaviour, so it is entirely possible that
the authorities wanted any excuse to silence this young rebel who threatened their
authority by defiance. Morrison’s reasons for acting like this, were: one, he was a
romantic and a rebel at heart (the struggle of the young hero against the corrupt and
malevolent authorities); and two, he believed that “External revolt is a way to bring
about internal freedom” (Morrison, from the biography he provided for Elektra records,
with which the Doors were signed to). Often lyrics in the Doors’ songs were also
rebellious and seen as anti-social. For example, in the song ‘The end’, are the lyrics
“Father. Yes son? I want to kill you.”. Performing this song got them fired from their
first act, which was at the Whisky-a-go-go bar in Los Angeles. Also, in their hit, ‘Light
my fire’, is the line “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher.” Both relatively tame to today’s
‘I wanna f*%k you like an animal’, by Nine Inch Nails, but in their day, the connotations
of these lyrics were very disconcerting to record companies and venue owners, and loved by
teenagers for the same reason.


Revolt was a major theme of the sixties in the USA This revolution came from the youth,
and predominantly from university students. It has been said that knowledge is power, and
knowledge and information gave the youth of the sixties the power to make choices about
their lives and their world; many of these choices involved breaking away from the way of
the older generation, and therefore rebelling. The Doors were seen as significant at the
time because they too did this, and in the public arena, thereby giving the individual
courage to make choices too. The main areas of conflict were politics and war, and arising
from the conflicting public and private obligations, between freedom and the
responsibilities of the youth. It was this conflict that rock addressed more than any
other form of expression, and therefore the rock bands of the time represented a largely
unified voice of the younger generation; The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Doors, and later on
Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, were among these bands.


One of the major things that the Doors, along with many young people (American and
Australian), were strongly opposed to was the Vietnamese war. Young Americans and
Australians and were being forced to go off to Vietnam and fight a war that many believed
was none of our buisness. Public protests against America’s involvement in the war were
common. Several of the Doors songs were written to raise social awarness about the war;
they included ‘When the music’s over’, and ‘The end’, which featured in the Oliver Stone
film about Vietnam, ‘Apocalypse Now’. This is an example of how rock music analysed and
dealt with issues of the day.


Another reason for the Doors’ phenominal success was their concerts. The word
‘performance’ is a little too tame to describe the spectacle of Manzarek’s organ solos,
Krieger’s jazzy guitar, and especially Morrison’s on stage antics, which on more than one
occasion resulted in a premature end to the concert. Jim Morrison died in a bath-tub in
Paris July 3rd, 1971, of what appeared to be heart failure, although it was quite possibly
drug related (possibly taking heroin thinking it was cocaine), aged 28. He can be summed
up by the phrase ‘The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.’, and
Morrison burned very brightly.


The Doors’ music , as well as Morrison’s refusal to conform weres influences to the groups
who would make up the 1980’s punk rock genre, who in turn influenced 1990’s punk bands.
After Morrison’s death, the three remaining members went on to make two more albums, with
reduced success. They put some of his poems to music with excellent results, and released
it as an album. Several live albums, as well as several greatest hits albums have also
been released, which leads to an interesting fact about the band- they’re more popular now
than when they were in the sixties. All their albums have sold more copies after
Morrison’s deaThe 1960’s were a time of major political and social change. These changes
were primarily fuelled by the youth of the time. Their parents had come from life in both
the great depression of the 1930’s as well as World War II, and were on a whole more
conservative than their children, a fact the younger generation did not like. In the early
60’s the electronic media (Television and radio) became an important communication tool,
as opposed to the largely print based media of previous decades. With change came a
profound increase in the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and information, which in turn
influenced a generation to become much more active in politics and other affairs which
affected them, than what the previous generations would have been. The youth culture aimed
to change all of the contradictions that remained unchanged from their parent’s culture.
Examples of this move for change and progress included politics, religion, class struggle,
racial issues, and the Vietnam war, but the area in which this change was most visible was
in the arena of popular music, which too had become a tool for the communication of ideas.


James Douglas (Jim) Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida on December 8th, 1943. He was
the son of a Rear-Admiral, who’s father, grandfather, and family all had lifetime careers
in the Navy. This suggests a strict and militaristic upbringing, with the assumption being
that the young Morrison would be a career Navy officer like his ancestors. Clearly
Morrison came from the kind of household that the youth culture were rebelling against.
Perhaps this was one of the causes of Morrison’t open rebellion. When he had finished
school, he moved to California, where he enrolled in the theatre department of the
University College of Los Angeles (UCLA), and hoped to become a movie director. It was
here that he met Raymond (Ray) Manzarek, who was also a student of the film school.
Manzarek had learned classical piano as a child, although his personal tastes led him to
playing blues on the organ. In 1965 the two conceived the idea of forming a band. Morrison
wanted the band to be not just a group that creates music, but a form of ‘rock guerrilla
theatre’- using the music as a way to communicate his ideas beliefs. He wanted the band
and the audience to be connected through a colletive conciousness. This being a long way
from the music of previous decades, where while the audience may dance to the music, they
were not physically, or emotionally involved with the band. Manzarek saw a performance by
a group called the ‘Psychedelic Rangers’, and asked guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer
John Densmore whether they would be interested in joining the group. The two agreed, and
they took the name ‘The Doors’ after a book called ‘The Doors of Perception’ by Aldous
Huxley, which was in turn inspired by a quote from the poet William Blake “If the doors of
perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite”. Blake was one of
Morrison’s primary poetic influences. This was also the origin of Morrison’s well known
phrase “There are things known and things unknown and in between them are the doors”. The
Doors primary themes were sex, violence, and politics. Morrison was also a suprisingly
good poet, which is evident in the song’s lyrics, and many of his poems were published
after his death.


At this time, “rock acted as a kind of ‘counter culture’, challenging the boundaries of
the dominant culture where it had become hyprocritical and even unjust... The main thrust
of rock music was a force for change, both on a personal level [ie. sexual morality, drug
use, etc.]... and on a societal level, in opposition to the Vietnam War, [and] racial
injustice... Rock and roll provided much of the communicative power of the ‘counter
culture,’ and, as such, was a force for change.” (Macken, 1980: p23)


“Rock, the music of the Sixties, was a music of spontaneity... It came from the life
experiences of the artists and their interaction with an audience that was roughly the
same age.” (Frith, 1981: p41); rock was not made to be commercial, ie. it was not produced
to sell records and make money. Rock music was a reflector of society, ie. rock lyrics
reflected the values and ideas of the youth culture. It was also relatively structureless
compaired with previous decades. The Doors epitomised this belief. Their music was never
made to make a living. Furthermore, it was a rare occasion when they actually conformed to
the constraints and obligations placed on them (usually by the older generation). Jim
Morrison was anything but predictable and ‘well behaved’- he was arrested on several
occasions, for being disruptive, and on one occasion taken to court for alleged indecent
exposure on stage, though it must be noted that the prosecution could produce neither
witnesses nor photographic proof of the lewd behaviour, so it is entirely possible that
the authorities wanted any excuse to silence this young rebel who threatened their
authority by defiance. Morrison’s reasons for acting like this, were: one, he was a
romantic and a rebel at heart (the struggle of the young hero against the corrupt and
malevolent authorities); and two, he believed that “External revolt is a way to bring
about internal freedom” (Morrison, from the biography he provided for Elektra records,
with which the Doors were signed to). Often lyrics in the Doors’ songs were also
rebellious and seen as anti-social. For example, in the song ‘The end’, are the lyrics
“Father. Yes son? I want to kill you.”. Performing this song got them fired from their
first act, which was at the Whisky-a-go-go bar in Los Angeles. Also, in their hit, ‘Light
my fire’, is the line “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher.” Both relatively tame to today’s
‘I wanna f*%k you like an animal’, by Nine Inch Nails, but in their day, the connotations
of these lyrics were very disconcerting to record companies and venue owners, and loved by
teenagers for the same reason.


Revolt was a major theme of the sixties in the USA This revolution came from the youth,
and predominantly from university students. It has been said that knowledge is power, and
knowledge and information gave the youth of the sixties the power to make choices about
their lives and their world; many of these choices involved breaking away from the way of
the older generation, and therefore rebelling. The Doors were seen as significant at the
time because they too did this, and in the public arena, thereby giving the individual
courage to make choices too. The main areas of conflict were politics and war, and arising
from the conflicting public and private obligations, between freedom and the
responsibilities of the youth. It was this conflict that rock addressed more than any
other form of expression, and therefore the rock bands of the time represented a largely
unified voice of the younger generation; The Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Doors, and later on
Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, were among these bands.


One of the major things that the Doors, along with many young people (American and
Australian), were strongly opposed to was the Vietnamese war. Young Americans and
Australians and were being forced to go off to Vietnam and fight a war that many believed
was none of our buisness. Public protests against America’s involvement in the war were
common. Several of the Doors songs were written to raise social awarness about the war;
they included ‘When the music’s over’, and ‘The end’, which featured in the Oliver Stone
film about Vietnam, ‘Apocalypse Now’. This is an example of how rock music analysed and
dealt with issues of the day.


Another reason for the Doors’ phenominal success was their concerts. The word
‘performance’ is a little too tame to describe the spectacle of Manzarek’s organ solos,
Krieger’s jazzy guitar, and especially Morrison’s on stage antics, which on more than one
occasion resulted in a premature end to the concert. Jim Morrison died in a bath-tub in
Paris July 3rd, 1971, of what appeared to be heart failure, although it was quite possibly
drug related (possibly taking heroin thinking it was cocaine), aged 28. He can be summed
up by the phrase ‘The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.’, and
Morrison burned very brightly.


The Doors’ music , as well as Morrison’s refusal to conform weres influences to the groups
who would make up the 1980’s punk rock genre, who in turn influenced 1990’s punk bands.
After Morrison’s death, the three remaining members went on to make two more albums, with
reduced success. They put some of his poems to music with excellent results, and released
it as an album. Several live albums, as well as several greatest hits albums have also
been released, which leads to an interesting fact about the band- they’re more popular now
than when they were in the sixties. All their albums have sold more copies after
Morrison’s death than while he was alive. When we in the 1990’s, especially the younger
generation who were born in the late seventies and eighties, look back and remember the
sixties, we see the Doors as one of the driving forces of the youth movement, and as one
of the most significant bands of the decade, not

th than while he was alive. When we in the 1990’s, especially the younger generation who
were born in the late seventies and eighties, look back and remember the sixties, we see
the Doors as one of the driving forces of the youth movement, and as one of the most
significant bands of the decade, not

In April 1960 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded in Raleigh,
North Carolina, to help organize and direct the student sit-in movement. King encouraged
SNCC's creation, but the most important early advisor to the students was Ella Baker, who
had worked for both the NAACP and SCLC. She believed that SNCC should not be part of SCLC
but a separate, independent organization run by the students. She also believed that civil
rights activities should be based in individual black communities. SNCC adopted Baker's
approach and focused on making changes in local communities, rather than striving for
national change. This goal differed from that of SCLC which worked to change national
laws. During the civil rights movement, tensions occasionally arose between SCLC and SNCC
because of their different methods.

Freedom Riders

After the sit-ins, some SNCC members participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides organized by
CORE. The Freedom Riders, both black and white, traveled around the South in buses to test
the effectiveness of a 1960 Supreme Court decision. This decision had declared that
segregation was illegal in bus stations that were open to interstate travel. The Freedom
Rides began in Washington, D.C. Except for some violence in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the
trip southward was peaceful until they reached Alabama, where violence erupted. At
Anniston one bus was burned and some riders were beaten. In Birmingham, a mob attacked the
riders when they got off the bus. They suffered even more severe beatings by a mob in
Montgomery, Alabama.

The violence brought national attention to the Freedom Riders and fierce condemnation of
Alabama officials for allowing the violence. The administration of President John Kennedy
interceded to protect the Freedom Riders when it became clear that Alabama state officials
would not guarantee safe travel. The riders continued on to Jackson, Mississippi, where
they were arrested and imprisoned at the state penitentiary, ending the protest. The
Freedom Rides did result in the desegregation of some bus stations, but more importantly,
they demonstrated to the American public how far civil rights workers would go to achieve
their goals.

SCLC Campaigns
SCLC's greatest contribution to the civil rights movement was a series of highly
publicized protest campaigns in Southern cities during the early 1960s. These protests
were intended to create such public disorder that local white officials and business
leaders would end segregation in order to restore normal business activity. The
demonstrations required the mobilization of hundreds, even thousands, of protesters who
were willing to participate in protest marches as long as necessary to achieve their goal
and who were also willing to be arrested and sent to jail.

The first SCLC direct-action campaign began in 1961 in Albany, Georgia, where the
organization joined local demonstrations against segregated public accommodations. The
presence of SCLC and King escalated the Albany protests by bringing national attention and
additional people to the demonstrations, but the demonstrations did not force negotiations
to end segregation. During months of protest, Albany's police chief continued to jail
demonstrators without a show of police violence. The Albany protests ended in failure.

In the spring of 1963, however, the direct-action strategy worked in Birmingham, Alabama.
SCLC joined the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, a local civil rights leader, who believed
that the Birmingham police commissioner, Eugene "Bull" Connor, would meet protesters with
violence. In May the SCLC staff stepped up antisegregation marches by persuading teenagers
and school children to join. The singing and chanting adolescents who filled the streets
of Birmingham caused Connor to abandon restraint. He ordered police to attack
demonstrators with dogs and firefighters to turn high-pressure water hoses on them. The
ensuing scenes of violence were shown throughout the nation and the world in newspapers,
magazines, and most importantly, on television. Much of the world was shocked by the
events in Birmingham, and the reaction to the violence increased support for black civil
rights. In Birmingham white leaders promised to negotiate an end to some segregation
practices. Business leaders agreed to hire and promote more black employees and to
desegregate some public accommodations. More important, however, the Birmingham
demonstrations built support for national legislation against segregation.

Desegregating Southern Universities
In 1962 a black man from Mississippi, James Meredith, applied for admission to University
of Mississippi. His action was an example of how the struggle for civil rights belonged to
individuals acting alone as well as to organizations. The university attempted to block
Meredith's admission, and he filed suit. After working through the state courts, Meredith
was successful when a federal court ordered the university to desegregate and accept
Meredith as a student. The governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, defied the court order
and tried to prevent Meredith from enrolling. In response, the administration of President
Kennedy intervened to uphold the court order. Kennedy sent federal marshals with Meredith
when he attempted to enroll. During his first night on campus, a riot broke out when
whites began to harass the federal marshals. In the end, 2 people were killed, and about
375 people were wounded.

When the governor of Alabama, George C. Wallace, threatened a similar stand, trying to
block the desegregation of the University of Alabama in 1963, the Kennedy Administration
responded with the full power of the federal government, including the U.S. Army, to
prevent violence and enforce desegregation. The showdowns with Barnett and Wallace pushed
Kennedy, whose support for civil rights up to that time had been tentative, into a full
commitment to end segregation.

The March on Washington


The national civil rights leadership decided to keep pressure on both the Kennedy
administration and the Congress to pass civil rights legislation by planning a March on
Washington for August 1963. It was a conscious revival of A. Philip Randolph's planned
1941 march, which had yielded a commitment to fair employment during World War II.
Randolph was there in 1963, along with the leaders of the NAACP, CORE, SCLC, the Urban
League, and SNCC. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered the keynote address to an audience of
more than 200,000 civil rights supporters. His "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the
giant sculpture of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, became famous for how it
expressed the ideals of the civil rights movement.

Partly as a result of the March on Washington, President Kennedy proposed a new civil
rights law. After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, the new president, Lyndon
Johnson, strongly urged its passage as a tribute to Kennedy's memory. Over fierce
opposition from Southern legislators, Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through
Congress. It prohibited segregation in public accommodations and discrimination in
Continues for 17 more pages >>




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    Lsd And Mainstream 1960s Media Despite the negative portrayal in mainstream 1960s media, justifications expressed by counterculture activists for further investigation, education and experimentation under government control of LSD were rational and valid arguments. Sex, drugs, protests, war, political upheaval, cultural chaos, and social rebellion; the many comforts TV dinner eating, republican voting, church going, suburbia conformists tried to escape through conservative ideals, town meetings,
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    The Hippies American society and culture experienced an awakening during the 1960s as a result of the diverse civil rights, economic, and political issues it was faced with. At the center of this revolution was the American hippie, the most peculiar and highly influential figure of the time period. Hippies were vital to the American counterculture, fueling a movement to expand awareness and stretch accepted values. The hippies\' solutions to the problems of institutionalized American society wer
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    I Never Promised You a Rose Garden Schizophrenia has long been a devastating mental illness and only recently have we begun to see an improvement in our capabilities to treat this disorder. The development of neuroleptics such as, Haldol, Risperidal, and Zyprexa have given psychiatrists, psychologists and their patients great hope in the battle against this mental disease. However, during the 1960s, drugs were not available and psychologists relied upon psychotherapy in order to treat patients.
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