The 1967 film 'Poor Cow' shows what 'Swinging London' was really like for the majority of Londoners. The whole Hippy scene was only enjoyed by a handful of middle-class kids and rock star types. Every time they show '67-'69 London on documentaries, they always show the same stock footage ; The bloke in a top hat wearing a Hussars jacket, a bird trying on a floppy orange hat with holes in it, Twiggy dancing badly in a sequin dress, that Mini with 'Zoom' painted down the side, the outside of the 'Granny Takes A Trip' shop and some Hippy bloke with a headband dancing like a spaz.
The way it's been shown in the media, you'd think everyone in Britain dressed like Austin Powers, were 'far-out' and listened to Hendrix, Traffic and Grateful Dead. In reality Englebert Humperdink outsold Sgt.Pepper, and there were far more Skinheads than Hippies. Then again, I don't think many Skinheads subsequently went into television and media to re-write history from their perspective, like the bloody Hippies did.
I know the footage, I've seen it so many times myself. That's middle class BBC for you isn't it? I've seen our family photo albums from around 67 to 70, everyone seemed to have short hair and dressed quite respectable, and absolutely nothing like Austin Powers movies. Think you're right it was nothing like as the media portrays it. I don't really remember much about it myself, because I was only 4-5 at the time LOL. Funny you should mention Humperdinck though, because some of the first songs I ever remember were Release Me and The Last Waltz. And not The Grateful Dead, Hendrix or even The Beatles.
I've got the idea that the Summer of Love thing, flower power etc, with all the hippies and that was mostly in San Francisco. And it seems that over the years the US dominated media, along with the BBC etc, has really hyped it beyond all proportions. Although if ask anyone here what "Summer of Love" or "flower power" or "hippy" or even "skinhead" for that matter means, and they've never heard of them.
Edited by MikeDT - 11/19/13 at 3:47pm