“What was it about The Sixties?”
The music of the Sixties never seems to grow old. In the remaining record shops, reissues of ‘60s music accounts for the most of the box sets stacked near the cash register. New memoirs, analyses and documentaries about Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Stones and Beatles appear every few months. And it’s not just the music: fashions, ideas, movements – to this day, so much about that decade is either reviled or celebrated. What was so special about that era? Why was it so creative, so productive, so original?
They say if you remember the Sixties, you weren’t there. Joe Boyd was there… and he remembers. His Harvard dorm was around the corner from the coffee house where Joan Baez kick-started the folk music boom. His first job after graduation was bringing Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe to blues-crazy Europe. He was Production Manager at the 1965 Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals and plugged in Dylans’s game-changing electric amp. Six months later, in London, his first session as a producer was with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. He started Britain’s first psychedelic ballroom – UFO – and produced the first Pink Floyd single. His groups filled Fillmores East and West and was backstage at the Woodstock Festival. Warner Brothers Films hired him to supervise film music and he produced the “Duelling Banjos” score for Deliverance and worked with Stanley Kubrick on Clockwork Orange before producing Jimi Hendrix, the feature documentary made a year after the great guitarist’s death.
In later years, he produced the film Scandal, about the Profumo Scandal that helped kick-start Britain’s ‘60s revolution. He then wrote a memoir, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, that Brian Eno called “the best book about music I’ve read in years”. . The Observer called his podcast, JOE BOYD’s A-Z, “a treasure”. He has toured Britain and America giving talks about music, politics and social change and how they are interrelated.
Joe’s speaking topics include:
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