Those nostalgic days with memories of great musical performances, outstanding athletes and impactful politicians– Looking Back. The other day, seeing a young man skateboarding by on a sidewalk, I thought that he was likely unaware of the 1964 Jan and Dean recording Sidewalk Surfing. The very thing Jan and Dean sang about 52 years ago is alive, and new, in 2016.
Music Goes Round
An oldies group with an incredible impact on music and TV, the Monkees are still touring today. They should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and are still selling out concert venues today, 50 years removed from the release of their first hit record in 1966, Last Train To Clarksville. And what are the odds of the group from yesteryear having a top 20 record today? Well, they’ve done it with Good Times, a fun, summertime tune. “Hey hey, we’re the Monkees”– all that is old is new again. In 1963, on that sunny day in Dallas that suddenly turned so dark, when our young, charismatic leader was shot down, America as a country went into a nationwide depression. But in 1964 a group of young lads, The Beatles, lifted up America creating fun, energy and excitement, allowing Americans to start to feel good again. And 52 years later Sir Paul McCartney is touring America with his “One on One” Tour, similar to the way he did so many years ago with his English mates– and making Americans feel good again. High school and college football are in full swing. Everyone in football today runs the spread offense. It is the new thing; but is it really? Red Hickey, Head Coach of the 49ers in the NFL in 1960, was running a version of the spread offense called the shot gun. It was new then, but not now. There is nothing new in football since Knute Rockne worked as a lifeguard at Cedar Point in the summer of 1913 and invented the forward pass. He took it back to Notre Dame with him to change the course of football forever.
Politics, as usual
Politically, all that is old is also new– in 1960, Cuba was very much in the news and very much a concern for President Kennedy. When American planes were shot down over Cuba, and pilot Dave Powers was captured, Kennedy had to deal with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, a plan that was not his, but he accepted responsibility. The conflict escalated with the discovery that the Russians had plans to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, within striking distance of the United States. The brightest minds held an emergency meeting and decided that the only choice was to strike first and destroy the weapons. Kennedy was in an untenable position. If he struck first he could start a nuclear Armageddon with the resulting loss of millions of lives. The pressure on JFK from our military was incredible, but he resisted the pressure, using a naval blockade to avoid nuclear war. Now 54 years later, Cuba is in the news again, yet this time we are, thankfully, normalizing relations with that country. Don’t discard your bell-bottoms, you and those vintage pants can both make a comeback.