Of smoking and drinking. And parachuting dogs. (And Hugh Hefner.)

While reading this, please listen to this song:

The show that we’re opening on Saturday is set in 1965, against a backdrop of the NYC blackout. One of the best pieces of dramaturgy they had in the rehearsal room is a copy of LIFE magazine from November 19, 1965, which has a giant spread on the blackout. The story and the accompanying pictures are crazy beautiful – pictures of the city from Brooklyn, with zero lights on and only the light of the moon and cars on the road; ditto a picture of the Statue of Liberty as the only light around. Breathtaking.

But then I started flipping through the rest of the magazine, and I was hooked. The 60s! Such a decade! A decade where they ran ads that would never run now.

This perfume ad:

Gender conformity, I say!

This insurance ad:

I love the quaintness of the idea of both husband and wife working.

Fourteen ads for alcohol – well, at some point I stopped counting:

This cigarette ad! This almost makes me want to pick up a pack of Chesterfields!

This ad for bikes. Look at these kids! Where are they now?

Look at him, doing a little BFF pose with that Bronco.

This article about parachuting dogs! I’ve totally heard this story recently – meaning within the last year – but I can’t remember where.

Speaking of things that never go away – these are letters to the editor, and even in 1965 they were talking about Hugh Hefner. We still talk about him today! Jeez.

I just googled Hef - apparently he's 85. Huh. I would have guessed older. Like 10 years older.

But life wasn’t all fun and games and Hugh Hefner. They had to worry about the draft:

And this is my absolute favorite thing. I don’t know why. I just want to be with these people, in autumn, in this tree, drinking a Coke from a glass bottle, without even knowing how bad it is for me. It looks so nice.

I could look through this magazine all day. Just imagine all the things I didn’t scan – the actual pictures from the blackout, the coupon for a 59-cent bottle of steak sauce (the coupon unfortunately expired April 30, 1966), and more ads for alcohol!

I never really cared about the 1960s before…well, that’s not true, I did a whole History Day report on the 60s when I was in middle school, but what do you know in middle school? I just liked Simon and Garfunkel. But this magazine made me wish for a time machine so I could experience the 60s just for a little while. You know, the Golden Age. (I guess I didn’t learn a thing from Midnight in Paris.)

PS. The show that we’re opening on Saturday is called Fly By Night – it’s a World Premiere musical, I love the music, it’s going to be great, it’s running tonight through August 13th, see http://www.theatreworks.org for more details. There. What kind of marketing person would I be if I didn’t at least mention that?


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Filed under Awesome, Dreams, Memoir, Theatre, Work

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