Los Angeles group The Beethoven Soul formed around 1966 and released their sole (self-titled) album in 1967 – a glorious collection of baroque-tinged sunshine pop. The band broke up in 1970, with bassist John Lambart, keyboard player Dick Lewis and…

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Starting out as a group called Flesh in 1972, this sturdy band of East Enders released two albums on A&M/Firefly – High Street (1974) and Play Loud (1975) – and supported Queen on their “Sheer Heart Attack” tour. Their debut…

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This Detroit punk-pop outfit – formed in 1977 – was led by the candy-voiced rocker Nikki Corvette (born Dominique Lorenz) and Romantics guitarist Peter James. They had a sound somewhere between The Go-Go’s and The Ramones, with bubblegum teenage libido maxed…

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In 1981, a folk-rock singer named Susanna Hoffs rang up a couple of garage-rocking sisters from Northridge on the northern rim of the San Fernando Valley called Debbi and Vicki Peterson. The Peterson girls had placed an ad in a…

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This exploitive censor-baiting beatnik drama attempts to mix the beat generation of the late Fifties with a juvenile-delinquency storyline. In doing so, it exploits adolescent sexuality, rock ‘n’ roll, middle-class slumming, prostitutes, strippers and sly intimations of lesbianism and incest,…

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Tiger Beat was founded in September 1965 by Charles “Chuck” Laufer, his brother Ira Laufer, and television producer and host Lloyd Thaxton. Marketed primarily to adolescent girls, the magazine featured teen idol gossip and articles about movies, music and fashion.…

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From humble beginnings in 1952 when publisher Maurice Kinn bought the title The Musical Express & Accordion Weekly for £1000 and re-branded it as New Musical Express, the NME became an essential weekly purchase for generations of music fans, populated by characters as notorious…

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Kiddies construction toy “Stickle Bricks” was invented by Denys Fisher in 1969. The colourful plastic shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles and circles – could be interlocked using “teeth” and joined together in many different ways.

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By the late 1970s, Dungeons & Dragons had become a favourite pastime of certain types of too-smart-for-their-own-good, socially awkward adolescents who preferred to think of themselves as Chaotically Good Elves in a mystic realm rather than as the Chaotically Dressed…

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“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” From 1960 onwards, while teaching psychology at Harvard, Timothy Leary began experimenting with drugs on prison inmates and then on himself and his friends. Leary was soon dismissed by Harvard and set up his…

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American born promoter Lee Gordon arrived in Sydney in 1953, after a chance meeting with an Australian used car salesman, and immediately put his American know-how to work. Gordon was responsible for bringing 472 American entertainers (including Nat King Cole,…

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Harold Edward Holt was born in Sydney in 1908 and educated at Melbourne University. He worked as a solicitor and entered the federal parliament in 1935 for the United Australia (later Liberal) Party. He was minister of labour in 1940/1941…

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Diana Dors was born in Swindon, Wiltshire in 1931 with the unfortunate surname of Fluck (oh those rhyming slang jokes must have jarred). She once quipped, “They asked me to change my name. I suppose they were afraid that if…

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January 01 – In Britain, Alf Ramsey is knighted and Bobby Moore gets an OBE in the New Years Honours. 01 – 48-hour ceasefire ends in Vietnam with B-52s attacking the DMZ. 01 – All Night Rave at The Roundhouse…

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January 01 – In Britain, the Farthing (¼ of a penny) is withdrawn from circulation and ceases to be legal tender. 02 – Oral contraceptives for women go on sale in Australia. 03 – US severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.…

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In a brutal and horrific show of force, the Chinese Government vented its fury and frustration on student dissidents and their supporters on 4 June 1989. Up to 2,600 people are thought to have been killed and 10,000 injured when…

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January 01 – Golda Meir wins Israeli election. 01 – 38 Italians die when an Italia Airlines Fokker Friendship crashes near Turin. There are four survivors. 02 – US legislation for a national speed limit of 55 mph is signed…

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January 02 – 22 die as hurricane winds rock Britain. 05 – The Khmer Rouge drafts a new constitution in Cambodia, renaming it Democratic Kampuchea. 05 – Former Beatles road manager Mal Evans is shot dead by Los Angeles police investigating a domestic…

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At the end of World War II, Korea – formerly occupied by Japan – was divided along the 38th Parallel. In the north, the Russians installed a communist regime, headed by Kim Il-Sung. In the south, the Americans backed the pro-western…

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In December 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a black woman named Rosa Parks insisted on sitting in the front of a bus. The segregation laws in America’s deep south reserved the front section of public buses for whites, although most bus passengers in…

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The 1964–1965 World’s Fair in New York was conceived by a group of local businessmen who remembered their childhood experiences at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and anticipated an economic boon to the city as the result of increased…

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