Op-Art, Virtual Vacations and the New Drive-In Culture

Today’s highlights include: Happy Birthday, Elvis, virtual vacations, the return of the drive-in culture, Billboard hits – then and now, remembering Op Art, the New Seekers & the Coke ad in the last episode of Mad Men.

Oh the things that used to bug us! Today in 1969, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were barred from an exclusive hotel for wearing “Op Art” pants. The optical illusion must have been too much for the hotel staff to take. They were both asked to leave the Hotel Crillen in Lima, Peru after refusing to change clothes.

Can’t travel? Buzz Feed’s Bring Me department is offering “virtual vacations“. If Covid-19 is keeping you home, they will send you a monthly newsletter with the requisite breathtaking views, local recipes and virtual experiences you can have without leaving your living room.

Elvis Presley is on our birthday list. He would be 86 today, born at his parent’s home, a two-room house that was built by his father at 306 Old Saltillo Road, East Tupelo, Mississippi. A twin brother, Jessie Garon, was stillborn. The King is still raking it in. Forbes estimates his estate’s net worth at 23 million dollasrs.

What’s hot this week on the Billboard Charts. Call me old fashioned, but I can’t connect with any of these. Contrast that with these number ones from every year on this date via radio station WKNR in Detroit.

(1965) Name Game, Shirley Ellis
(1966) Jenny Take a Ride!, Mitch Ryder
(1967) I’m a Believer/Steppin’ Stone, Monkees
(1968) Nobody But Me, Human Beinz
(1969) Crimson & Clover, Tommy James & The Shondells
(1970) Venus, Shocking Blue
(1971) Knock Three Times, Dawn
(1972) American Pie, Don McLean

Remember when drive-in everything was cool? From fast food to movies, we did a lot of things in our cars. Mashable reports that Covid is bringing car culture back to the forefront. Need a Coronavirus swab? Get it in your vehicle. Ordering out? Most restaurants will bring it to your car. One statistic may feel counterintuitive. We are driving a lot less…. now that many of us are working from home.

From the “I feel old” department: 50 years ago today The final episode of “Shindig” airs on ABC, featuring The Kinks and The Who. 40 years ago today, the band Rush are named as the country’s official Ambassadors Of Music by the Canadian government.

Happy Birthday to: Elvis Presley, 1935 (d. 1977); Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger Vocalist), 1937; Stephen Hawking (Genius), 1942 (d. 2018); Robby Krieger (The Doors), 1946; Terry Sylvester (Hollies), 1947; David Bowie, 1947 (d. 2016)

We leave you with this Mad Men memory. Today in 1972, The New Seekers had an international hit w ‘I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing. The song started as a Coca Cola TV ad, as imagined by Don Draper in the final MM episode.

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit