The 5 Rock n’ Roll Milestones Of 1969
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The Best of 1969
Before rock entered its golden era, the ’60s ended with a bang. From launching the career of would-be legends to historic festivals, 1969 had something for every rock ‘n roll fan. But it also saw its share of band breakups and other losses. But at the end of the day, the year will be remembered for laying down the foundation so the genre can dominate the ’70s.
Here are the most notable things that happened:
5. Johnny Cash performed at California’s San Quentin State Prison on February 24, 1969. He played two songs on stage for the first time – “San Quentin” and “A Boy Named Sue”. He didn’t just hold concerts in prisons but he also campaigned to improve the conditions for American prisoners and he even lobbied for prison reform.
4. John Lennon married Yoko Ono on March 20, 1969 and they hosted the two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace a few days later. One was at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and another at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. This was their nonviolent and peaceful means of protesting the Vietnam War.
3. David Bowie’s released the single “Space Oddity” on July 11, 1969 to coincide with the United States’ Apollo 11 moon landing. Written by Bowie himself, he drew inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The song featured the popular fictional astronaut Major Tom.
2. Though they have retired from touring in 1966, it was on January 30, 1969 when The Beatles performed their last live gig on the rooftop of the Apple Corps office building in London. The unannounced and impromptu 42-minute set initially confused a crowd of onlookers who were mostly on lunch break. George Harrison said, “We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.”
1. History was made with the Woodstock Music and Art Festival and The Isle of Wight Festival. Many careers were catapulted to greater heights because of Woodstock but the event also helped give some rock acts their well-deserved legendary status. On the other hand, The Isle of Wight Festival originally took place in 1968 and then it became an annual event. Some of those who performed in 1969 were Bob Dylan, The Band, The Who, and Joe Cocker.