Both saucer-eyed optimists and despondent cynics had plenty to feed on in 1969....

Both saucer-eyed optimists and despondent cynics had plenty to feed on in 1969. Pluses – the Woodstock festival, during which 500,000 young Americans writhed about in glorious mud to the sound of Hendrix, The Who and, er, Country Joe & The Fish. The moon landing, a by-product of which was to ignite David Bowie‘s career into orbit with his ‘Space Oddity’. Led Zeppelin were formed by disaffected ex-Yardbird Jimmy Page and instantly impacted with their barraging brand of heavy rock, a mad hatter called Captain Beefheart cut the hugely eccentric, hugely influential Trout Mask Replica and Marvin Gaye hit big with ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’.

Album of the year: Let It Bleed – The Rolling Stones

Single of the year: David Bowie – Space Oddity

Band/Artist: The Rolling Stones

1969 belonged to: The Rolling Stones, their Satanic majesty confirmed.

Also, Rolf Harris whose stylophone invention Bowie used on Space Oddity, and who also reached number one with his own ‘Two Little Boys’.

Key event of the year: The Woodstock festival, a collective fuck-you on the part of American youth to their warmongering elders

Gone: At Altamont, Jefferson Airplane‘s Marty Balin tried to pacify hells’ angels with words of hippy dippy wisdom onstage as they beat up a fan. So they turned round and beat the shit out of him instead. Flower power was over. Minuses – Charles Manson demonstrated the danger of reading too much into woolly pop lyrics when he ordered his followers to massacre half a dozen unfortunates in LA because, he reckoned, The Beatles had told him to.

Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones died and so did a fan, at their disastrous Altamont concert, killed by Hells Angels. Meanwhile, The Beatles, literally, couldn’t get arrested when they performed an impromptu rooftop gig to camera. John retired publicly to his bed with Yoko Ono, urged as to ‘Give Peace A Chance’, and made a couple of noisy, pointlessly cacophonous “avant-garde” albums to demonstrate the point.