Shindig!

Issue 68

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Fifty years ago the outlook of the young was full of positivity – just listen to the pop music being made that spring. The Turtles’ ‘Happy Together’ was a #1 smash – and it was the record that dislodged The Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’ from the Billboard Hot 100. Bright, breezy, romantic: the sound of bottled sunshine. For a brief moment everything was carefree.Two years earlier, as The Crossfires, the group were peddling surf music before changing name and embracing a heavy fringed, folk-rock protest sound. Many readers of this publication may well prefer the jagged garage-punk punch of 1965 B-side ‘Almost There’ to the band’s softer ’67 side, but I urge you to read Mike Fornatale’s study of The Turtles’ pop reinvention if uncertain. How many acts could bridge the commercial with the insane? ‘Rugs Of Woods And Flowers’ what was that about? Could pop get any purer than ‘Happy Together’? Here were a band that could sweeten The Lovin’ Spoonful’s recipe for pop smashes and out-weird The Mothers Of Invention, all at the same time.

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