tv Philadelphias Influence on Music in 1968 CSPAN May 27, 2018 8:45am-10:01am EDT
historical society of pennsylvania, a discussion on philadelphia's influence on music in 1968. panelists talk about the opening of the electric factory, a concert venue that introduced rock 'n roll to the city, bringing in artists such as bob dylan and jimi hendrix. the lepage center for history in the public interest at villanova university co-hosted this event. it is about one hour and 10 minutes. >> ok, well, hello again. i want to take a brief minute to introduce each panelist. there are bios in the program, so if you want a full bio of each of our speakers, look in the about the speaker section of the program. i have the real privilege first
,f all to introduce larry magid who is a local philadelphia legend, as well as a national music legend. larry reminded me over email that he is not retired and is still the owner, operator, for the electric factory in philadelphia. the electric factory a significant music venue in town which was founded and opened in 1968, so we will have some discussion around that. larry has also worked on broadway and done concerts with pink floyd, bruce springsteen, jimi hendrix, tina turner, billy joel. he has produced broadway musicals. he has won tony awards. he is sort of a living legend and we are delighted to have him here on the panel. next to him is steven garabedian coming to us from new york, my home area. ven is a scholar and
historian who works on music, contemporary music, culture, politics, identity. he is an academic historian who has a bent for public history work and public engagement. we are excited to have him here to offer national and global context for what was happening in 1968 music wise. and george miller, who we have had the privilege to meet through putting this panel together from temple university. george is a journalist who has written about the music scene in philadelphia, numerous different publications, and is a professor at temple teaching journalism practice. between the three of them, we have a nice mix examining both the local scene and national scene. you know that i am the director of a pain center, but this panel is exciting because i am also a musician and for a while i was playing in various venues across the country and was a voting member of the recording academy, the grammys, so this panel combines two of my passions, music and history, so it is particularly exciting for me to be a part of this.
so i thought, larry, maybe we could start with you, and maybe do a little reminiscing to start. it was 50 years ago that the electric factory came into being. maybe you can tell everyone a little bit about how that all came about. what was the impetus to create a rock venue like that here in philadelphia? larry: i was, up to that point, i was an agent living in new york working for a big talent agency, but i would return to philadelphia. it was my hometown. and invariably, i would wind up at the jazz clubs in philadelphia. one of the clubs, there was, the
owner was very successful, not only at his club, but he did a lot of jazz concerts in philadelphia. and he wanted to get into the rock business, and invariably i would turn up at the showboat, which he owned, which was at broad and lombard. and we just started talking and he asked me how to get in business, and i said you have to start with a club. little by little, we had conversations and then i realized i wanted to come back to philadelphia and be a part of something that had never been really successful. and i thought i might have the missing ingredient based on my knowledge of entertainment in philadelphia.
and i left my job in thanksgiving of 1967. i called herb the day after thanksgiving and said, i am here. i am back. and he said, great, where are you? i said i am at my mother's house. but i am anxious to get started. there was silence on the other end of the phone and i said, you did sign the lease, we are starting? and it was silence. then i just saw my whole life flash in front of me. [laughter] larry: great job. >> you were ahead of him. he had not even signed the lease yet. [laughter] larry he went over and signed : the lease that monday and we opened february 2, 1968. >> so was there a rock scene in philadelphia at that time, or
was the impetus that there was not anything like that yet? larry: there was a small club around the corner from us called trauma. it was run by this visionary, manny rubin. it was a very small club, and as an agent having worked with a lot of the newer acts like jimi hendrix or janis joplin, when i went to him to try to tell him that he could have these acts, but he had to pay them, and he had a price limit. i said, you know, you have to raise your prices, expand, or someone is going to open up a club to compete with you. i did not realize at the time that it was going to be me, but
in philadelphia there wasn't an entertainment scene as there was in every major city in the country. there was nothing here when i was a kid. there was very little in terms of live music. it wasn't set up. there was no one that invested in that. and i was 25, 26 years old, yeah, 26, and i was fortunate that it turned out that i could have a hand in this and the future in this business. >> so tell us a little bit about the opening of the club. was it an instant success? who were some of the first ask cts you had?
did people show up? larry: the first weekend, we played a band called the chambers brothers. it was a mixed race band. it had a lot of the philadelphia flavor to it. we were an instant success. it was an amazing situation. we did two shows a night, a matinee on saturday, two shows saturday night, and two shows sunday night. and we would allow people to stay for both shows, although they pretty much were seeing the same show, unless we sold out, and then we changed the audience. it was an amazing thing because no one had ever seen anything
like this in the country, and it happened in philadelphia, where we used a bit of theatrics. we had a lot of different creative ideas that weren't just for a venue that had music, played music. >> what is an example of one of those? larry: at the time in 1968, i remember that we had strobe lights, fog machines. well, let me just say -- as you came -- this was on 22nd and archer, and as you came on 22nd street, the whole building was painted in day-glo colors. we had lights, the designs would vary. i guess the only word would be psychedelic art. and it made the building vibrate, and when you open the
doors, you were met by a fog machine, so you were kind of walking into something very, hopefully, that we thought was a little mystical, and as you walked in the box office, where you paid your was on the right. $3>> to see jimi hendrix? $3.rry: [laughter] aside, people came into the club. they didn't always have paper money. d intimes they panhandle front of the club. then we had strobe lights that
hit you with an extrasensory idea that we had. we had a tunnel that you walked in, which was on the left. and the tunnel was mirrored. it was in an l shape. we had strobe lights. to make it more interesting, on the floor we put mattresses so you kind of floated through. there was a jungle gym people sat on on the right. the refreshment stand we formed, it was like an art an r. crumb cartoon of a , person's mouth. food, you wered ordering through the person's mouth. we had boxes slanted at a 30
, 45-degree angle where you just laid back. somebody called them conference -- coffins and it stuck. you could watch the show. the seats were playground benches that we painted. we got kids, students from the pca come over and pain this, -- paint all of this make , posters for us. we had a lot of crazy things. footprints on the ceiling. >> i'm just curious, any of our audience members remember going to the electric factory in the early years? a couple of you. are these jogging your memory or your lack of memories perhaps? [laughter] larry: the first month we had jimi hendrix, frank zappa and janis joplin.
big brother and the holding company. and the response was overwhelming. the amazing thing about that, the opening night, there were -- there was a society writer for the "philadelphia bulletin." for "theusband worked inquirer," he was a society writer. they came and brought tennessee williams with them. i got a chance to talk to him for a little bit. it was great. >> george, i wonder if we can bring you into the conversation at this point. you have written about the philly music scene in a journalistic way and from a historical perspective. the electric factory, the philly music scene in general, how to -- does the club larry established fit into the larger picture? george: i run a magazine called
"jump," a quarterly music magazine. we document what is going on within the city limits. all genres. we have had everything from basement punk shows to the philadelphia orchestra. we covered a lot at the factory and some of the clubs they work with. you know, i think the electric factory is monumental. and i think that when the factory was moved to 7th street, which is where i go, i am there fairly frequently. it is a pretty amazing spot. and i think the great thing about it is that it brings in everybody. it is a large room that was not here, there was not a space for that kind of venue before.
they had the wells fargo center. they had the big shows at the , now defunct. the electric factory was a different sized room. is it about 3000 people? larry: 2600, which is the size of the original club as well. george: i think it brought in a whole different level of acts. i spent my time in the smaller the news -- smaller venues that would hold 100 or 200 people. we really document the philadelphia scene now which i think has changed largely because of what happened during the 1960's. i teach journalism and communications so i think of these things through the lens of journalism. we went through about 100 years of conforming as a society, in the 1840's, we had the creation of the associated press which created a uniform language that
went across the country. in the 1880's, the postal act allowed magazines to bulk mail. and when they bulk mailed ideas around the country, it is a transferring of ideas and saying, this is what the national culture is. we had radio in the later half of the 19th century and then the compulsory education which ultimately was everywhere by the early 1900s. it created a uniform identity. everybody had certain things in , and because of publication things. we go into things like world war i which creates a common identity, the depression, then world war ii. that created a sort of identity as people. we all had that thing in common. in the 1950's, we had this wave where people recognized that they did not necessarily fit into that identity so we started
seeing the growth of the various movements. civil rights, women's rights, lgbtq. out west, the chicano movements. and with all of those movements and freedoms to be rather than conform to society came all the different styles of music. especially in the latter half of the 1960's, it gave people the ability to go out and create different sounds and do their own thing. we are fortunate today that philadelphia has an amazing music scene where we have everything. i think right now, the prevailing sound, they call it punk but it is not really punk. it is like a pop punk, i call it suburban punk. or mall punk. it is not the punk of the 70's where people were angry and screaming about things. now it is more like kind of an
emo punk thing. that opened up because after we started going through the various movements and started allowing various forms of expression, everybody started having the ability to have their own voice. what it has done for us is, there is a venue, an outlet, a publication, a way for everybody to get their voice out there. philadelphia is an amazing place. we have been drawing people to probably -- wer have always been drawing musicians and everything but over the last decade or 15 years, there has been more of a movement of people coming to philadelphia because it is affordable. you don't have to be based in new york or california, you can be based in philadelphia and travel the world. so i think that is a lot of what is happening here. jason: this is a good time to
bring in our historian. we wanted to bring steve in for many reasons but so much of thinking about music in the 1960's connects with civil rights movements. maybe we could zoom out a little bit and talk more broadly about the late 60's and how music is intersecting with these social movements. steven: i am really enjoying listening but i will talk. i noted right away, february 2, 1968, the venue opened as the shockwaves from the tet offensive were rippling through american society with respect to the vietnam war and the reaction to the war at home. we have some detailed timeline benchmarks. the famous walter cronkite editorial, we are mired in stalemate. that was johnson bowed out as
february 27, 1968. president for a second term at the end of march. and your venue opened almost exactly two months to the day before martin luther king jr. was assassinated in april. when we think about a rock history timeline, what i do in my classes is i disappoint a lot of students because i tell them my classes not a rock 'n roll history class. we are using rock 'n roll music to understand american history and the social movements of the time. we are not going to do a comprehensive history but whenever we can, we will put a music history timeline in the context of a broader american history timeline. when you do that, it is staggering to imagine the experience of opening this music venue and all the excitement and dynamism of booking these acts . and people like me reflect back on this and think about the romance of it and the excitement of it.
and then you put into context of a very vital and divisive and painful larger historical events as well, it is staggering to imagine all of this. the issue that i am interested in as i talk to people about 1968 is, there is so much collective reflection on 1968, raising up to scrutiny and debate this idea of a good 60's and a bad 60's where 1968 is the pivot considered point between the good and bad 1960's. as if there were idealistic, well mannered protest movements and music that we could understand. and then after 1968, there is fragmentation and chaos and
things went far too extreme and too radical. if you look at the timeline, this does not fit in any neat way. there is so much creativity and vibrancy after 1968 and some of the aspects of social movement history in the united states emerged only in the latter 60's and early 70's, particularly feminism and particularly with respect to the black freedom struggle and related freedom struggles with regard to racial oppression, ultimately the gay-rights movement as well. these are, for most people who have sympathetic or enthusiastic attitudes about the 1960's these , are part of that sense of admiration and inspiration and yet these are mostly developments from the latter part of the decade into the 1970's. as far as the chronology, they do not fit which is why i think we need to reorder our thinking
with respect to the chronology. jason: i love this idea of toying with people's expectations. i think historians are good at that. [indiscernible] i wonder if, larry, from your perspective you can talk about opening a club during a moment like this where there is the tet offensive and the assassination of dr. martin luther king. are you aware of either at the time or in reflection, how an act like this fits into these larger timelines? did you have a sense of that when you are embarking on this journey in 1968? larry: absolutely. working in new york at that time, which was a center, you could see that music was expanding. frank zappa played this club in the village every week.
i went down there, i had to see what was going on. it was amazing. askthen working with newer -- acts, they were just an afterthought. we had made a deal with a big british agency and they had a lot of standard acts like tom jones but with them came these new emerging acts like hendrix. what happened really goes back to the 50's, the beginning of rock and roll which give kids a voice for the first time. and obviously, as the music grew through folk music, protest music, it lent itself to other forms of music. and then you have dylan.
that voice seems to be channeling through these musicians. there were some things happening in california, especially san francisco, the summer of love, where a complete different expression was emerging. seeing what was happening -- and i was the youngest person there, i was brought in as the rock. that was going to book. everybody else was older. they were booking different acts, different types of acts. and to get involved with this was an amazing thing, especially to help philadelphia become a center. and at one point, it was the biggest, most important market in the world.
we had something to do with it but mostly it was people that lived here. we had a stake in its creativity, but you have to have people that are willing to be a part of that. you could see it growing from the community, the small community, and it kept growing and growing until we started attracting kids from the suburbs . and at one point, we said we are going to need a bigger venue. that was it. jason: once you get kids from the suburbs, it is all over, i know. [laughter] jason: i was one of those kids, i ruined everything. i am curious what the reception to the club was. clearly, it was successful. but you talk about california and san francisco which had a
very particular lifestyle and movement that existed out there. did philadelphia at that time have a counterculture that appreciated the arts and where were they? larry: for rock music, there had never been a major front. theaters played r&b shows. urban music. you had one-night shows with a lot of people on, the state theater on 52nd street. but they were one night things with a lot of acts, they sang one or two songs. the headliners sang four songs and the show was over. everybody felt good. there was no investment in the rubin who than manny
did not dream big enough. he was a wonderful person but he limited himself. there was this void that i saw as a teenager. and as somebody that was just a rock 'n roll kid. music stuck to me like history sticks to other people. and entertainment. what happened with the factory, it became a rallying point. and we were sociopolitical. we did benefits for any organization. not that we wanted to, there was a need for people to come and say what they had to say. the acts themselves were very political.
we did a lot of different things. as we grew, a lot of the frills that we had disappeared and became really just the music. it became just a music venue that had a view of what was actually happening in the outside world other than this little compartmentalized place where music played. it was bigger. i think what was really important to me from historical perspective was that philadelphia as a whole, what do towe do and what do we make it better for philadelphia? what happened because of our venue? jason: i am conscious of the time. i want to make sure we have plenty of time for discussion. i want to hear from folks that went to the electric factory. there were a couple of things
when i was thinking about this time that i want to get your expertise on one is the notion . of the teenager. in our podcast series on 1968, we will do an episode on the notion of generations. and the real definition and dividing lines that seems to have emerged between generations. it strikes me that music plays an instrumental part in the creation of the teenager as sort of a 1960's teenager. in the early 60's with the beach boys or the late 60's with woodstock, and the other question is the evolutionary nature of rock music. right? building on african-american spirituals, blues music, jazz, even country with hank williams. and hankilliam dixie williams, there is no beatles and stones and hendrix. how that process fed into creating that music and then that music goes into creating
the music we have today, which would be a good chance to bring george back in. grandmother of rock 'n roll was just inducted. jason: either of those two things you want to take a crack at. steven: as far as teenagers and the emergence of a defined category of young people and a generation gap, one way i think about it is, what was understood as a generation gap emerged in the postwar period partly because of consumer culture and marketing efforts with the emergence of rock 'n roll. but that was dependent in some sense on a rising middle class and disposable income on the part of teens. but what is interesting is the way in which a generation gap that was not from the parents'
point of view but in terms of the status quo, relatively benign and neutral as a marketing category or part of a lifestyle in american life, then evolves and becomes part of the credibility gap in the latter part of the 60's. a generation gap and a credibility gap come together so that the same young people who identify themselves as a distinct population in american life are also identifying a problem in american life, being authority figures. and anybody over 30 years old. it is this generation of the establishment that has been perpetuating a rotten system that has gotten us into vietnam, that accounts for sexism and patriarchy and racism and class exploitation.
and they are saying, we are different from you and we have known that since we were younger. we do not see the world the way you see it but this is not just a minor point of difference. this could be a political point of difference. and we want to transform this society and remake this society, not just take our places as the next generation. i think it is really interesting as we reassess popular music of the period. i will put in a plug for a book that i just started teaching by an author from san francisco, a musician and activist and independent scholar. he wrote about san francisco music scene and revolutionary energies from 1965 to 1975 as a participant in that culture. as a musician and activist. a lot of what he relates in the
book, not a memoir, a history. he makes a point of saying is is -- this is not a memoir. it absolute corresponds with what you're saying. the experience as matt callahan puts it, i find it thought-provoking and compelling, he is trying to challenge some of the cliches of this era. particularly the idea that there was a fundamental divide between the politicos and the hippies. werethe serious people challenging the status quo and the flaky ones who are the musicians and artists. matt callahan is making the case and you said we are engaged in the social political exercise in our endeavors, he is saying this was all part of an alternative community, people doing different things within an alternative community. certainly, there was tension internally, as any broad
community expands, there's tension. but his argument is that the tension was overplayed after the fact, particularly by people who want to discredit this era. and they want to cast aside or minimize or dismiss the porton's the brush the importance of it -- and diminish the importance of it as a social movement. the point there is that those people who want to make this deep divide and even categorize the music, which was far more diverse and drew on on far more sources than we are aware of, like the chambers brothers. that is an example he mentions right away in the book. groups that -- sly and the family stone, other groups that were integrated groups that represented a change in american society, a breakdown of old social divisions. to dismiss these things is to be part of the counterrevolution he
, argues. jason: interesting. in today's music scene, philadelphia more broadly, do you see traces of 1968 and this period being influential for musicians coming up today? george: since our last election cycle, the young generation and musicians in general have been very active. we did an art show about a year ago. not music, it was art. we had deejays and things like that. people donated art and we raise $25,000 in a few hours. i think young people and musicians have been doing a lot of activism. they have been looking at what will get cut in the current administration. what will lose financing? they are raising money for all these different things. i was supposed to go to a show last night that was a benefit for lgbtq activities, i got to
o sleepy though. i was at a show wednesday and had a lot of fun so i took yesterday off. i think young people are taking advantage of what is going on in the world today and figuring out how they can make change. it is not just teenagers and stepping out of schools. there are people who are rallying and they are doing amazing things. i do feel like, i was not there during the 1960's, but i feel like it is that kind of spirit that is rising again today. there are a lot of benefit concerts. politicians are starting to recognize this. during the most recent election with our district attorney, who was everywhere during the election season, i saw him at an event. he showed up at the church, which is a music venue in the basement of the first unitarian church. they do largely punk shows but really everything. it is an all ages venue, and rather inexpensive so it is accessible to young people.
larry krasner got up on stage with his band called sheermag, one of the great revival bands here in philly and getting a lot of national buzz. he went up to expose his ideas and get people who probably were not from this city interested in these ideas. and then, he sang the clash. he sang with the band. it was great. it was great to see this person recognize that these people are young, they are engaged, they are there for a rock show but they are the next wave of people who will go do great things. jason: i want to make sure we have time for questions. i will ask devon to come up and mic.ed the m -- grab the while we get the mic setup, i did go back and look at some of the albums that were hits in 1968 and i am amazed how many of them were favorites that i listened to growing up in the 80's.
the white album came out in 1968. beggars banquet, one of my all-time favorite albums, the kinks. otis redding had three albums in 1968 that all topped the charts. i think today people forget what an amazing and talented man he was. electric lady also came out in 1968 which gets us back to hendrix. before we start the questions if you could get some personal anecdotes of what it was like to interact with jimi hendrix. >> he was terrific. he was great. what happened you have to look , at how did rock 'n roll actually began. it grew out of race music at the time, they called it rhythm and
blues by black artists. mergedtle by little, it with the white acts imitating the urban acts. hendrix came about -- he had played with little richard and he had played with the isley brothers and picked up a lot of his tricks. the different things he did with the guitar from playing with the , isley brothers. one of the isley brothers was a guitar player and he did this -- he did the same things hendrix wound up doing. he was great, very quiet. really, really a gentleman. he was involved with -- his representatives were part of the
old school of entertainment, which was controlled a lot by organized crime. and they were able to supply him with an endless supply of drugs. it was great. what had happened with hendrix, they played on a thursday night in philadelphia. philadelphia on the thursday night, who would actually come out on a thursday night? we had an interesting thing that we did, the first marketing idea that i had ever had. the only entrance to the expressway at that time was north on 22nd street, that was the only center city entrance.
you made a left and you got up on the expressway. there was no extension, that's where it was. people driving by 6:00 and 7:00, when people started showing up for the shows. instead of opening the doors right away, we started lining people up. it would around the block, the block was not that big but you started at twos and threes and fours, it was a lot of people. it was early, people see something going on and it was incredible. because it was such a crazy night with hendrix, i remember having to go outside at a club, standing on a car with a bullhorn directing traffic and people just wanting to get in. a few years later, there was a festival in england. it was called the isle of wight
festival. it was one of the early years. playing there, along with a million other acts. we had a band that we were working with from canada called lighthouse. and we stayed at a little boardinghouse on the isle of wight, and they would ferry you over to the venue, to the festival site. hendrix stayed at the hotel, that rooming house. there were only two rooms on that floor. i had one room, my wife and i had one room. and hendrix had the other room. we shared a common bathroom, there was only one on the floor. kit.ted to open up his dop
i never got to. he was a terrific guy. really quiet. jason: we are going to take a few questions, comments, in hopes of getting as many as possible we encourage you to , keep it on the brief side and share what you want to say and make common observations on the brief side. there is a lot we could talk about. we don't have time to talk about everything. right before we get to the questions i want to call , attention to this slide that has been up the whole time. the historical society has done an amazing job digging through the collections and pulling out objects and artifacts from the time. they are on display outside. they had some stuff related to the music scene in 1968. this is one of the objects they pulled, the music festival the academy of68 from thethey m music on broad and locust. when you think about music in
1968, it's not just the rock scene. classical, jazz, broadway, and a range of genres. when i did research i found a really interesting article about indigenous and native music in 1968. i began an effort to encapsulate that. -- there was an effort to encapsulate that. just to make sure we are putting on the table there is more to talk about than just rock 'n roll. devon has a microphone. it is on i hope. this gentleman wants to start us off. if you would not mind just introducing yourself. >> my name is david and i am here as an interested individual. stephen either said himself, or echoed, or told us the argument of the book that set the divisions of this 1960's are exaggerated. the follow-up question is, how it's -- how do you square that with the race riots kent state,
, the right outside the democratic convention and everything we know about the 1960's? >> i don't think there is necessarily a contradiction. i think we are talking about an escalation in terms of discord. we are talking about an expansion in terms of number of human beings involved in different types of activities at the time. we are talking about an escalation in the terms of expression and different folks who feel they now have a voice in this society. i like the idea of generations of conformity and that there is transformation into nonconformity and dissent. there is escalation in terms of confrontation. we could understand as an idea of action and reaction. if you identify the different apparatus of the state, there
-- they were escalating as well in terms of their resistance to change. this is a mutually reinforcing process of escalation as a -- as the vietnam war escalated. if we focus on the black freedom struggle, for exist -- for instance, one of the books i teach frequently, which i think is excellent and always blows "udents' minds is the rebellious life of mrs. rosa parks." rosa parks was one of the number of activists leaders from the time period who saw the different urban disturbances from the latter 60's is really a a boiling over of frustration on the part of people who had been trying to change the system for years and were meeting continued resistance over time. she was one who was going to
certainly not -- she did not think that urban disturbances were productive for change. but whenever asked by reporters, she wanted to shift the burden of responsibility onto the status quo and the establishment for resisting long sustained campaigns for making change. you could make the same case about the vietnam war where activists said, i sat in for years, i was involved in nonviolent forms of dissent for years and years. the war is going on as a 1970 -- as of 1970 under nixon. the war has been escalated again into cambodia. we have to escalate our terms of resistance. >> i agree with everything you just said. if we agree that things escalated how does an author make the argument that the escalation is exaggerated? is, i think, the point you said he makes. you just said they got worse and
worse during the decade. >> say that last part again? >> i agree with everything you said, the conflict got worse and worse. more violent. so then how do you have the thesis that divisions are exaggerated in popular consciousness? you just said they got worse and worse. that's the opposite of being over exaggerated. >> in the book i refer to deferred dreams. he is talking about the cultural -- the exacerbation of tensions between the cultural wing of the movement of the 1960's into the 1970's and the political week. wing. political that is what he is emphasizing. that that difference has been exaggerated. that there were people involved to did not refer to themselves as hippies. that is one thing callahan says in the book. that we didn't call ourselves hippies. we refer to a movement. whether we were painters, musicians or activists, we saw ourselves as part of a movement.
the idea that there was this enormous division between us. in other words, the serious people, the sincere people versus the flakes and the narcissists have been exaggerated. granted, there were tensions. you could hear activists from the time saying, you will not levitate the pentagon with your mind. we have to do concrete forms of organizing. there was certainly tension but he would identify that as overplayed. that is part of an effort to dismiss the whole era and certainly to dismiss the arts as less important than other forms of activity. >> we have a question from this gentleman on the corner and then we will go to you after that. >> i think -- >> introduce yourself, please. >> my name is pierre. i think we are all familiar with
some of the arguments about cross-cultural influences, revolutionary ones going back to the american revolution and french revolution. i'm curious because there were other significant events happening in other parts of the world in 1968. -- but musically, we know there was some cross-cultural experience prior to that. particular, thoughts about what had been happening in the music scene in 1968 related to those experiences. >> just in case everybody did not hear, the gentleman is bringing up a good point about the international aspect of 1968, which is a part of our program later on today, very intentionally. we will have a panel on war and protests. maybe stephen wants to talk about your expertise and that area and george as well. >> i am trying to remember the name of this documentary film
that was just out a few weeks ago. see if my colleague remembers. it was about france in 1968. -- not justumentary france in 1968, elsewhere as well. it combined footage with reflections on the part of the narrator, showing that there are commonalities between these wellsprings of change. what we typically identify as an anti-authoritarianism that was shared. whether it was a liberal ,emocracy or a socialist state that this was anti-authoritarian. whether it is left, right or center. and we want change.
the one thing i was thinking about earlier as far as an international context, the goddard documentary. is it called one plus one? it was a political film. surrealistic, political, educational. but it had the sequences. this might trigger some memories for you. it had the sequences of him filming the rolling stones as they were recording sympathy for the devil in 1968 in the studio. this was part of a film that have these other highly dramatic , symbolic politicized , sequences. i won't speak for everybody, but many people today just watched the rolling stones part. the rest is in comprehensible -- it gives us the sense of the
efficacy of popular culture and music. and the endurance. it is really interesting how you could see how the song changes from this folky samba. and if i remember correctly, robert f kennedy had been assassinated, and they put in the lyrics from kennedy. you can see how the song changes , the relationship between the events as theynd unfold. you can understand the international context. a french filmmaker, a british band, and a rock group that is revered with iconic status in the united states. and this is when the rolling as theare considered pantheon of 1960's music. >> larry, do you want to touch
on the international aspects of the electric factory and bringing in foreign acts. do you guys see yourselves as having an international presence, even initially in those early years or was it more philadelphia-centric? >> the idea was to draw people acts that people wanted to see. there had been an earlier british invasion that -- other than the rolling stones, a , didn'tre and there have the same message that they had later on. idea ofid not have any the british acts meaning more english there were ones. things happening in england, like the who, who definitely had something to say, something to add that was totally different than things that had come over
earlier. message, ie same would say, 19 65, 1964, and then became more popular in 1968, 1969. the idea was to bring people what they wanted to see, or what you thought would be good. obviously, the message was to grow our business. and what happened because of that, philadelphia, because the idea we were able to build shows. we did the first arena show. a rock arena show. and we did more than anyone in the world. i think philadelphia became an important part.
england, europe was just another outlet. the was the same thing with american acts. at that time you could only come to another country if you had a green card, a visa. for every act that you brought in from england, and american act had to go there as a trade agreement. >> do want to comment on the scene today? is it international in philly in the music scene? >> i think philadelphia draws people from around the world. i think the commonalities in 1968 were that all the movements we were seeing around the world were young people. it was a youth movement. that youth movement, i think, to bring it back to mass media and communications, in the 1950's, we created teenagers. there have always been people from the ages 13 to 19.
but through television and mass clark and hisk ilk, we created the idea of teenagers. as those teenagers started growing up and rebelling against the idea of that stereotypical idea of teenagers and seeing on television into the 1960's that stereotypical cartoonish figures of what youth people were, they started erupting and rebelling. i think young people have been doing it ever since. today it is even easier to go out there and rebel against your family, your parents, mass culture. you can go out there and start a band cap, a sound cloud page. you can create youtube videos and get your ideas out there. you can five five or 10 people to perform and we see that in philadelphia all the time. it is a really vibrant culture here. we have been running the magazine since 2011. i have been writing about music since 1994 and i think there are probably more people now making music and getting out to audience than ever before.
on saturday, tomorrow, it is record store day. that means record stores around the city will have specials and performances. in june, they do "make music philly." in west philadelphia they have this thing called porch-fest where people go out and because they have these beautiful victorian homes with large porches, people volunteer their time. >> >> the gentleman here on the and had a question and then we will see how much time we have after he has concluded. speak into the microphone please. >> how about now? i am a student of the 1950's and 1960's and i remember listening to the radio. and there was alan freed.
term -- i heard the all of a sudden there was rock around the clock. it started to take off. i am a person of new york city. i was very much aware of the clock down here in philadelphia with american bandstand. my comment here is that we are dealing with rock 'n roll right now, certainly jazz. how did the term rock 'n roll really evolve? i saw way back in the mid-50's from moon dog and alan freed and we would go dancing at night and listening to his take on what the music was. where did rock 'n roll come out from? >> the question is about the actual origins of the term in the concept of rock 'n roll itself. >> the actual term rock 'n roll
black rhythm and blues music. very sexual in nature. it was about a sexual in counter. hence, rock 'n roll. alan freed was credited with calling it rock 'n roll in 1954, but it had been around for quite some time. if you go back and listen to some of the songs in the late 19 40's and early 1950's of rhythm and blues, you will hear a lot of i am going to rock you, we are going to roll and that's it. it is very sexual in nature.
you mentioned bill haley. bill haley was a local band and they did country songs around chester. they played at various clubs and he did not want to record that song. it became a big hit and he identified with that and others. it was actually a country band that was very important in southern music -- southern music was very important in the creation of white rock 'n roll, which also came from blues as well. interesting how music evolved. >> i think a lot of it came from san phillips in memphis. sam phillips opened a recording
studio on the streets that was available to anybody. you could walk in and record up -- record at the studios, and one day, elvis walked in and i think everything exploded from there. >> i have to be a responsible moderator and make sure we stick to time. there's a lot to get through today. this is one of four panels with lots of scholars and perspectives. i want to give each of you a chance to offer a final thought, reflection about today, about 1968, about the connection between the two. then we will take a break, have some coffee and come back with our next panel. george, any final thoughts or comments about today, 1968, the time in between? >> when you look at young people and see what they are doing, it is easy to dismiss young people as being idealistic am unable to -- idealistic and unable to do stuff.
one of the thing that happened from the 1960's was those people became powerful people and were able to make change. we may look at young people today and think, those kids, but those kids are going to make change. and so, respect those children. steve, i just offered you a chance to give your thought, but something i want you to touch on while you do that. part of this whole looking back at 1968 for us had not been imparted asked the question of do anniversaries have value? it is his moment of nostalgia or we get to look back at something, or does it offer something more? as a historian-scholar of this period, does it do anything for 39 years or 40 years doesn't? >> probably just enables us to have a platform for the conversations that we have all
the time in our own peer groups. in our society, we honor birthdays, anniversaries. it gives us a broader sense and public forum. it matters, even just in the classroom. it is always a convenient teaching tool to say this happened so when so many years ago today. we are actually celebrating the anniversary today as we launch into our classroom material. i was thinking about young people and their interests. when i first started teaching, the music of the 60's especially, which is all i wanted to listen to growing up in the 80's, was not that far removed. so you could use it as a
touchstone to immediately jump into some lesson content. as i continued to teach, i haveed i would continue to to teach the group before i could even use it as a primer, as a touchstone. but it seems to be the case that young people are listening to the music they are making today, and are still fascinated by the music of this era. on our campus, we have all these 18-year-olds who are fascinated by nina simone. speaks to her music them, at her later music especially. you can see that it is not always the case, but in a lot of cases, good music continues to andeard and endorse -- endures. >> larry, you helped start this all 50 years later? >> first of all, nina simone was in philadelphia, lived in
philadelphia for quite a period of time as a young woman. performing at various jazz clubs . her husband at the time was a cop. beforeit just it started the 60's, it started in the 50's and white kids and didn'tt necessarily see a difference, especially in northern cities, a .ifference between races
growing up, mass media played an important part in the development of -- which showed the first national televised show for kids it was also a dance show that played music, spoke a different language than the protest songs. music, interests developing, giving kids a -- giving them their own voice, hoping to elect a -- the young president who people said they would never elect a catholic. i think there's enough people to. it did not matter to continueed us that voice, become a rallying
point, but also at the same time, there was a new art world developing as well. new everything. in 1968, right after we opened, there were new restaurants opening by young people. it never happened before in philadelphia. just philadelphia was changing .s well not too much later, we were able blue laws.with they were part of that, the campaign against that. , basically are today a lot of things that are happeningtoday start
in 68, but it really started a lot earlier than that. stop atnk we'll have to there. please join me in thanking all of our panelists. [applause] monday morning, watch our special world war i centennial. u.s. and france, 1918. easternnana clock a.m. on c-span's washington journal and on american history tv on c-span3. our guest is edward pringle, author of thunder inflames. crucible of the combat, 1917 to 1918. we will look back to key battles in northeastern france where american army soldiers and marines saw their first major combat on the western front, and more than 10,000 americans died,
were wounded, or went missing in the area. watch world war i centennial, u.s. and france, 1918, memorial day at 9:00 a.m. eastern. >> during the 1916 presidential election, woodrow wilson ran on the slogan, he kept us out of war and america first. this weekend on american history americanlk about how first ideology impacted u.s. foreign-policy between 1945 and 1968. here's a preview. in the 1940's, past and eisenhower start -- over this issue. taft is hoping he will become in 1952.lican nominee he gives a speech in the senate
where he lays out his economic vision for the united states and says, explicitly, the united states should maintain a high tariff economy. againsts vociferously the united states giving favorable terms to capital investments outside the united states. figure out to mechanisms by which money has to be maintained in the united states. when dwight eisenhower decides he's going to run for the presidency, and i need hitchcock here to make sure i don't screw it up too badly. eisenhower explicitly repudiates the economic messages that taft has laid out. he explicitly says the united states will have to enable a global economy that will assure prosperity for countries around the world if we are going to create a secure, stable environment for the united states.
and the people around the world. by the speechated and explicitly goes out in front ,f newspaper reporters and says he's putting foreigners ahead of americans. he didn't use the phrase america first, but it is implicit in what he is saying at that time. entire program sunday at 2:00 p.m. eastern, american history tv only on c-span 3. this weekend on afterwards, former national intelligence clapper with his book, facts and fears, hard truths from a life and intelligence. he's interviewed by democrat jim himes. water the weaknesses the -- has? i think a weakness that at
least the 9/11 commission came out with was the fact that the community was not as integrated, collaborative as it needed to be. so they recommended the creation whoseeadership position full-time job would be to foster and promote integration across the multiple components of the intelligence community. at one point to the run up to the law passed after the 9/11 commission, which established the position, and there was talk of the time about trading the department of intelligence, which i think would be a real mistake for this country. but notother reasons, one of which was the civil reason privacy such as juggernaut intelligence agencies.
for the united states model and our values, as awkward as it may be, as long as you have a champion for keeping an integrated parent -- integrated. >> watch that tonight on c-span two's book tv. vietnam war veteran john walker talks about his service as a vietnam veteran medic and his struggle with poster medicine stress disorder. this is about 35 minutes. this is joe galloway conducting an interview with johnny walker. on monday, september 21st, 3 p.m., we are located at the association of the united states army building on the wilson arlington vira.