Do you remember 1962?


Tuesday, 09 October 2012 15:45 Written by Administrator Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 08:39


Sex, drugs and rock & roll were the watchwords of the 60’s; it was a time of great change. The country, indeed the world, moved from the austerity of the war years to more affluent times.

1962 saw these changes underway.

On the Civil Rights front James Meredith, a black student, enrolled in the all-white University of Mississippi and began a massive change in the position of African Americans. Nelson Mandela was arrested in South Africa, convicted of sabotage and given a life sentence, narrowly missing execution.

In World Affairs the Cold War was in full swing. The Berlin Wall was extended and the killing of escapees continued. Of much greater significance was the Cuban Crisis: the Americans had identified missile launching sites on the island of Cuba and President Kennedy asked the Soviet leader Khrushchev to halt this 'clandestine, reckless and provocative threat to world peace'. With Russian freighters carrying weapons across the Atlantic the situation looked desperate. But the Soviets 'blinked' and Khrushchev promised to 'dismantle the arms, and to crate and return them to the Soviet Union'.

In Personal Relationships the Second Vatican Council started a process of church liberalisation and looked at marital relations and sexuality. The aftershocks continue today. The advent of the contraceptive pill put women in control of their lives.

In the scientific world John Glenn was launched from Cape Canaveral, orbited the world three times and splashed down in the Atlantic. The race to the moon was on. The 'Personal Computer' appeared in New York.

Marilyn Monroe was found dead. Sylvia Plath, poet and wife of Ted Hughes, committed suicide.

Entertainment reflected the spirit of the age. The Rolling Stones were formed. Bob Dylan performed "Blowin' in the Wind" in New York. The Beatles recorded 'Love Me Do' with the harmonica intro heralding the R&B wave. The 'gramophone' became the 'record player'.

'Steptoe and Son' was the most popular sitcom in television history. 'That was the Week that Was' introduced political satire and put an end to deference, although the 'Establishment' is only just feeling the real heat from it now.

'Dr. No' was the first of the James Bond films which continue today; and with great irony, in the light of the Arab Spring, David Lean’s 'Lawrence of Arabia' was released 50 years ago.

1962 ended with 'The Big Freeze', which lasted from Boxing Day until March 1963.

Keith Atkinson, current President of the Nottingham Rowing Club has good reason to remember 1962. He had just married Celia and was teaching at Toot Hill School Bingham where he met the late Ray Crane, an accomplished jazz trumpeter. Together they planned a new club at the riverside. 'Jazz at the South Bank' took off on October 20th with the Ray Crane Jazz Band playing Mainstream Jazz, and for the next 30 years music at the Boat Club was a feature of Nottingham’s nightlife, hosting most of the rhythm and blues, soul, rock, heavy metal and punk bands of the time. These included Blues and Roots, Alexis Korner, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jethro Tull, T Rex, Free, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath,Skid Row,Supertramp,The Strawbs, Wishbone Ash, Medicine Head, John Peel, UFO, Trapeze, Juicy Lucy, Gary Moore, Judas Priest, Budgie, Gypsy, Shakin Stevens, Nutz, Sassafras, Ian Dury, The Scorpions, Motorhead, Simple Minds, Dire Straits, U2, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, The Pretenders, The Sex Pistols - an almost endless list of the greats over fifty years.The Led Zeppelin gig of 1971 is still regarded by many as Nottingham’s finest rock hour.

This week 'Dog is Dead', a five piece indie band from West Bridgford, played a sell out gig at the Boat Club on Monday night (8th October) on the very stage that the greats once graced . With a favourably-reviewed inaugural album they seem cut out for great things and it was a very fitting way to cebrate fifty years of live music at the club. 

So, fifty years on, what are your memories? Local Press, Radio and even TV ought to hear about it!


See this video featuring Dog is Dead and our own Keith Atkinson!

For a review of the gig see