Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Music of the Sixties is Part of the Look of The Sixties

The music of the sixties was all about love, peace and, yeah, the occasional reference to the use of recreational drugs. Today, as that era of love beads, peace signs and old Volkswagen vans is undergoing a revival with today’s youth, more and more young people are tuning into old-school sixties rock and pop music, rocking out to bands ranging from the Beatles and the Doors, to the Mamas and the Papas.

If, like me, you were there for the real sixties, you might find this all a bit amusing and, if you are a parent, a little troubling. Still, since there is nothing new under the sun, I suppose we really should not be surprised that today’s kids are revisiting our youth.

Still, what do you do when your child suddenly wants to decorate his or her bedroom or dorm room the same way you had yours back then? You could opt for a repeat performance of your parent’s violent reaction to the very idea black lights and Beatles posters. Or do you take a deep breath and remember just how much good their indignation did them? Hey, if your parents were like mine, it only took a month or two of whining to get the stuff I wanted. So, why not choose to be the bigger parent? Cave in now and ensure that you keep some control in your hands by doing so.

Fortunately, for today’s moms, who are helping their “groovy” new hippies celebrate that era, there are lots of ways to give any room a bit of sixties style without having to go the entire route (no parent, after all, really wants to deal with purple walls). Many of today’s larger retail chains offer retro-style chairs, lamps, and other furnishings that would have fit right in back in those far-out, long-gone days. Plus you can find good posters of old-school rock bands and personalities at almost any local mall.

One store in the mall near my house specializes strictly in t-shirts, posters and other paraphernalia from the sixties. I bought my now twenty-something son a Grateful Dead t-shirt there just last Christmas and hummed along with a tune by Black Sabbath as I shopped. You can bet that made the store clerk look at me, as if I’d grown another head!

How about lighting to go with the music? You can pick up lava lamps and black lights at almost any store, including the “marts”. If you and your twenty-first century hippie want more authenticity, check out the local flea markets and thrift shops. You can always find cheap prices on rock albums in their colorful covers to decorate the walls, along with lots of other stuff that will bring back old memories for you and make new ones for them.

You can decorate any room in sixties style without going so far overboard it looks like the set of an Austin Powers movie. It just takes a bit of shopping around and the willingness to dig back into that memory chest you’d hoped to keep buried. Peace and love are still cool, but put the kibosh on the recreational drugs, okay?

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