Wake up! It's nearly the centenary of the real invention of Sex Drugs and Rock'n' Roll


Does the definition of fun change from one generation to another? In the dying days of hedonism that was Rome, if you got an invite to a decent party you brought a couple of slave toy boys or girls for amusement and a feather. The feather tickling the back of your throat in the Vomitorium chamber quickly emptied your stomach after you had had your fill of poached larks tongues or sautéed bats' ears. It was a form of bulimia in a toga, as chucking up allowed you to go right back to fornicating, eating and drinking without being anti-social and taking time out to digest! Your party/orgy could go on for days! I am certain my grandmother's generation of the 1920's can lay claim to the first truly hedonistic society since Roman times. Cocaine and morphine were easily obtainable and even legal in many countries. Sex had reared its head as a result of the insanity of the First World War where chance or survival was slim and you seized the moment. People had got back into the habit of sex for sex' sake. Society was beginning to enjoy some degree of meritocracy as the generation of privilege and patronage lay decimated on Flanders field. There was public transport in the form of taxis, buses and trains so people at last could unhook the tether that kept them home. Speakeasies were the template for every nightclub and disco that has come since. Booze flowed freely (even in prohibition United States), the gramophone or radio provided music on tap and along with the telephone ushered in the era of spontaneous parties. Even elementary forms of contraceptives were available. (You could hear the bleat of relief from the sheep in Wales). To top it all off you'd go to the movies for a grope and fumble along with a popcorn and soda. Shamefully the massive contribution from the black American community in the form of Jazz (the first Rock'n'Rolll) was not enough to break down all racial barriers but Satchmo, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Ella Fitzgerald certainly dented them. There were drawbacks. Cigarette smoking became de rigour and the clap could still kill you. It's interesting to note that Al Capone went to jail in 1931 at only age 32. He was actually released from Alcatraz in 1939 due to mounting insanity from syphilis. He didn't actually die until 1947 and spent 8 years as a free man in Palm Beach. Nevertheless the roaring twenties whooped the inhibitions of 1500 years into the dustbin of history. They had fun.

...and another thing

You’d think that the horrors inflicted in the Second World War would have stoked the fires of depravity to white hot but the1950’s were relatively tame. A-line skirts and weiner roasts seem a major leap backwards from the flappers and cocktails of the roaring twenties.

It wasn’t until rock music and sports stardom created famous wealthy scruffy teen-angers that the ride took off again. The sixties and seventies were a snowstorm of cocaine, sex (thanks to the pill) and riotous parties…then wham bam… Aids, the side effects of too much drug consumption and the oil embargo got in the way. The party stopped and we all went off to earn a living passing the baton on to Generation X then to Y and now the Milleniums.

Er………then nothing! What have we created? I am not suggesting that each generation get wasted, nor that there are some young people zoning out. But where is youth’s collective flicking the bird salute at the status quo? Please don’t tell me youth’s rebellion is the battle cry of the Corbynistas, the Bernie Saunder’s fan club or the vanity of the selfie?

...and another thing

Yup I’m sorry about my generation’s legacy of pollution, the price of property and the plight of the polar bear but I have utter faith in man’s ingenuity to overcome the seemingly impossible. In the space of 25 years we have all but conquered AIDS, made quantum leaps in telecommunications and some people can even understand The Wire without subtitles. But fun? Where are the streakers, the men playing the piano whilst skiing down a mountain, or the Formula One champion insisting on a blow job before each race?

My rock stars would never have protested with a Tweet or neatly printed press release on a blog. John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a shag fest and went to bed for a week in the Amsterdam Hilton to protest against the Vietnam War! The idea of a rock star today giving an in depth interview on You Tube must get Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison spinning in their graves like a camshaft!

You did an interview on TV not to promote a movie but because you were interesting to listen to (Mohammed Ali, Peter Ustinov, John Lennon, ) or just plain funny to watch ( Keith Moon, Peter O’Toole or Robin Williams in full flow).

Now it’s all …….sanitised. Health and Safety, Political Correctness, not wanting to offend anyone, has taken some of the vinegar out of the salad days of youth.

Youthful rebellion is a game. We all know middle age and mortgages will get us, but at least have some fun and spread some humour along the way.

If you see me shuffling along in a pair of tartan booties and matching shopping trolley I’m not suggesting you jeer or assault me, but being mooned at would make me feel so much better.

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