I am currently reading a 700 page tell-all biography, The Lives of John Lennon. In addition to snooping deep into the affairs of Beatle John, The Lives of John Lennon also carefully reconstructs the “Swinging London” scene.
A 1966 Time Magazine article put it this way:
“This century, every decade had its city. Today, it is London, a city steeped in tradition, seized by change, liberated by affluence, graced by daffodils and anemones, so green with parks and squares that, as the saying goes, you can walk across it on the grass. In a decade dominated by youth, London has burst into bloom. It swings; it is the scene.
This spring, as never before in modern times, London is switched on. Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop. The city is alive with birds (girls) and beatles, buzzing with minicars and telly stars, pulsing with half a dozen separate veins of excitement. The guards now change at Buckingham Palace to a Lennon and McCartney tune, and Prince Charles is firmly in the longhair set.”
Think Austin Powers.
If I could travel back to anytime, it would have to be swinging London. Clubs debuted the latest talent, like Jimi Hendrix and The Who. Partys raged all night. People came from all around the world. Avant-garde art galleries adorned nearly every corner in Soho. And Carnaby street was home to the latest fashion.
When I was in London a few years ago, I made sure to take the “London of The Beatles era” walking tour. Some photos from that walk follow:
Apple Headquartes where The Beatles played their famous rooftop concert.
The Record Shop where The Rolling Stones Met
Prince of Wales Theatre where The Beatles played their famous Royal Variety Show
Abbey Road Studios
McCartney Productions Limited HQ
Not to mention that London in the 1960s probably had the best looking women around.
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Pattie Boyd and George Harrison