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:
This insurance ad:
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?
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.
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?