Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Hippie Shake with Lizzie Lamb


As my latest book, Storm Clouds Gathering is set in 1965 I thought it would be great fun to take a peek at that amazing era. This week Author of Tall Dark & Kilted, Lizzie Lamb  joins The Hippie Shake and shares some of the memories and pics that represent that wonderful era, the 1960’s.



Leicester Summer 1966



You know when you think everyone else is at some great party to which you haven’t been invited? Well, that was me in Summer 1966. The word ‘hippy’ was just creeping into my consciousness and I had a vague feeling that if I only knew what being a hippy entailed, it’d be for me. I wouldn’t fully understand the movement until after the release of the Beatles ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE a year later, by which time the party would almost be over.


Leicester in 1966 - civic motto, Semper Eadam “always the same” - was a long way from Haight-Ashbury and wearing flowers in your hair.

My mother had walked my friend and me to De Montfort Hall for a ‘pop concert’ and took this photograph. I’m surprised that my face doesn’t show my disappointment. Chaperoned by my mother, forced to wear a dress that was humiliatingly too young for me, minimal makeup and showing the effects of a bad home-perm, I felt thoroughly depressed. Even the thought of seeing the gorgeous Scott Walker couldn’t raise my spirits.




I longed for a Mary Quant, black and white Op Art shift dress and matching poker straight asymmetrically-cut hair. I also wanted three-quarter, white PVC boots and, if it wasn’t too much trouble - a mini-trench coat. Oh, and a pair of gloves with holes cut out over the knuckles accompanied by a handbag that looked like a swiss-roll on a chain.

Sadly, the one pound, one shilling and a penny I was paid for helping out at the local green grocers on a Saturday wouldn’t stretch to buying my heart’s desire. I had to settle instead for browsing the newly opened (and very exciting) Chelsea Girl before moving on to the much cheaper C&A where mini-kilts were sold for nineteen shillings. But, as a consolation prize and rite of passage, I bought my first pair of tights (necessary because of the shorter skirts) that summer; and consigned  suspender belt and stockings to the fashion graveyard.

As for the pop concert, my friend screamed so much when Scott Walker came on the stage that she hyperventilated and I had to take her to the St John’s Ambulance station to be revived. Thereby missing the gorgeous Scott. We stopped being friends soon after that, the girl I mean, not Scott Walker and me. I still think he’s gorgeous and have kept all my LP’s.

Happy days - what are you memories of that era?

                                                                                                   
A little about Lizzie






With Scottish, Irish, and Brazilian blood in her veins, it’s hardly surprising Lizzie Lamb is a writer. She even wrote extra scenes for the films she watched as a child: The Parent Trap, Pollyanna etc. Until she was drummed out of the playground for keeping all the good lines for herself. Luckily, she saves them for her readers these days. A huge fan of Jilly Cooper, Lizzie had some short stories published and even found herself an agent - but, her writing went on hold while she pursued a successful teaching career, finishing up as a Deputy Head teacher of a large primary school in Leicestershire. Back to being a novelist, her début novel Tall, Dark and Kilted – themed Notting Hill meets Monarch of the Glen – echoes her love of her homeland in every page, not to mention heroes in kilts. She is currently writing her second novel: Boot Camp Bride about a rookie journalist sent undercover into a boot camp for brides in order to investigate a drugs dealing/money laundering trail that reaches all the way from Columbia to Norfolk. At her side is her nemesis and infuriating fellow journo Raffa Ffinch. Will she get her scoop? Can romance flourish in the Norfolk marshes? Lizzie has the plots and outlines for several more romantically themed novels which she likes to describe as 'humorously ever after.'


Lizzie has also formed an indie publishing collaborative with three other members of the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers Scheme. Calling themselves the New Romantics 4, they strongly advocate ‘sisters doing it for themselves’ and to that end have self-published on Kindle and Create Space and held Red Carpet Events to showcase their talents. Lizzie firmly believes that which is written and has been edited and revised, should have the opportunity to be read.


Lizzie's Publication





Lizzie's Links
Tall Dark and Kilted:  http://tinyurl.com/cdjyec6
joint blog with NR4: www.newromantics4.com

twitter: @lizzie_lamb






If you would like to join in the fun of The Hippie Shake please leave a message in the comment box so that I can contact you.



31 comments:

Lizzie Lamb said...

Morning Pauline and thanks for having me on your fabulous blog. Reading through my blog entry took me back to the heady days again and certainly made me laugh.It is mad how something like the 'wrong dress' as chosen by my Mum was enough to ruin my day, if not the rest of my life. Bitter and twisted, me - as if!! LOL. I hope that anyone who lived through that period of change will enjoy reading all the posts on your blog. Good luck with your novel Storm Clouds Gathering, too.

Lucy Felthouse said...

Love it! I always think I'd have had great fun growing up in the 60s or 70s. Looks like you did! :)

janerisdon said...

LOL Lizzie you must have been inspired by my Summer of Love story and the Summer Solstice/Hippie and the Summer of 1967 theme which kicked me off on that trail of re-discovery. I posted a BBC documentary all about the Summer of 67 which you might enjoy - check it out. both on the same track. How funny and entertaining you are and what we all and to put up with from mothers back then. My mother spent her time trying to squeeze me into dresses which didn't allow for boobs - not allowed a bra until I was old enough! The shame of not being 'hip' or 'with it' was excruciating and never lived down. A whole life to come living with the 'shame' of not wearing the latest Samantha Juste or Cathy McGowan clothes or hair cuts! I thought I'd never survive...lol. You are so funny, thanks. Enjoyed it.

Shani Struthers said...

Ah it was the eighties for me (well, I hit 13 in 1980) but the sixties sound such fun! And Chelsea Girl, wht a fab shop, I remember that! Fun interview ladies, thank you! xxx

Jo Lambert, Writer said...

Hi Lizzie,

I too had an overprotective mother! My best friend and I used to go to into town at weekends but were forced to take my 11 year old brother with us as a deterrent against being chatted up by any boys! She also had me in some dreadful clothes although once I started work and had my own money I took control of what I wore. The Rolling Stones were the devil incarnate as far as she was concerned - in fact she saw the corruption of our young minds everywhere. And Scott Walker - he was wonderful wasn't he? One of my big turn on is eyes - and his you could drown in - gorgeous man!

Kate Hardy said...

Totally with Shani on that one (and, actually, Leicester was a big part of my life in the 80s as I went to uni there) :) But oh, the picture you paint of the amazing clothes back then. (I'd like a handbag like that...) And how sad that you missed the concert!

Thanks for sharing xxx

Pauline Barclay said...

Lizzie, it is a great pleasure having you here and I love your post. What a fab time those days were! xx

Pauline Barclay said...

Lucy, thanks so much for stopping by and I'm pleased you enjoyed Lizzie's look back at such a fab decade. x

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Jane, thanks for stopping by and I'll also take a look at your books, they sound fab!

Liz Ringrose said...

Love this post, Lizzie. It brought back memories of 60s Leicester for me. My friend Ann went to that Scot Walker concert and talked about it for years.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Shani, Chelsea Girl was such a fab shop, a tad expensive it seemed back then, but great clothes. Thanks for calling by.

Pauline Barclay said...

H Jo, great to see you here, thanks for your comments, what an era to look back. x

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Kate, thanks so much for stopping by. I bet Leicester was a tad different when you were at Uni.

Jan Brigden said...

Such a lovely post, Lizzie. You write with such warmth. I don't remember much about the 60s (born in '66)but I do fondly remember growing up in the 70s. Glam-rock and all that - lol! I do remember Chelsea Girl - we had a branch in Croydon (get us!) and it was FAB. Love your photos and I can vividly imagine your expressions! Thanks for a really heart-warming read Xx

sharonbooth23 said...

Oh, Lizzie! I can sooo relate. I don't remember much about the sixties (sadly) being born in 1963, but I do remember the disappointment of being forced into a hideous A-line skirt and polo-necked jumper by my mother for a school disco and feeling about six instead of the grand old age of 13!
My trendy aunt, who was eight years older than I, used to shop in Chelsea Girl and took me in there once. I remember it being quite dark and loud music playing in the background and being full of very modern young women and racks of very cool clothes. Unfortunately, by the time I was earning money to shop in there it had closed down. I loved the whole idea of the summer of love and wish I could remember it! I loved If You're Going to San Francisco and the Mamas and Papas and all that hippy peace and love stuff...and The Beatles, of course! I have been to De Montfort Hall once, in 1979, for an Elvis Presley Fan Club convention. Grand place. Such a shame your friend made you miss the concert...no wonder you weren't her friend for much longer! :)

Lizzie Lamb said...

Thank you to everyone who's posted a comment on Pauline's lovely blog. How many of us were prevented from leaving the house by our parents uttering the immortal words: "You're not going out in THAT" ??Obviously our teenage years were filled with humorous moments as well as angst. We did have our moments in Leicester but they were few and far between. I attended a 'happening' on Victoria Park which involved a hippie with a bucket and a sponge trickling dirty water over our heads! I 'borrowed' a little brass bell in the shape of a Welsh woman in native costume which my mother had brought home from Ryhl and I walked the length of Leicester's main street ringing it. I thought I looked like a cool hippie but rather suspect that people thought I had leprosy. Happy writing everyone.

Madalyn Morgan said...

Great blog Pauline. I loved Lizzie Lamb's interview. Interesting and fun too. It took me back to the 1960s. Church Gate wasn't Carnaby Street, but it was good enough for us Leicestershire girls. Joking apart, I have the good fortune to know Lizzie. She is an inspiration

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Loved your recollections, Lizzie! And I sympathise with missing Scott Walker - and with having to wear a pretty dress!

Madalyn Morgan said...

Swoooooooooooooon, Scott Walker of The Walker Brothers. Noel Scott Engel was his name. We had all the records on the jukebox in my mum and dad's pub. Happy happy days. x

Lizzie Lamb said...

Thanks Madalyn and Rosemary, I swear, to this day I can't hear Scott Walker singing THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHONE ANY MORE without my heart skipping a beat. He was so part of my growing up and gorgeous with it. I saw him a documentary quite recently and he still looked fab for his age. Maybe he has a portrait in the attic?

June Kearns said...

Hello, Pauline and Lizzie.
Love the blog, and your post, Lizzie. That was very much my era, too. Like you, I longed for a straight Vidal Sassoon/Mary Quant cut - but my hair was wild and frizzy. No straighteners then, but I remember leaning over the ironing board, covering my hair with brown paper and dragging the iron over, while my Mum shrieked, 'You'll be bald before you're twenty!'Those were the days. Great to remember them.

Kit Domino said...

The good old swingin' sixties. London was certainly the place to be. Some lovely memories brought back here. Scott Walker was a real dreamboat - still have all his records and a fab double CD of all his songs. Swoon... Wasn't into the Beatles then, more a Rolling Stone gal, me and too many swingin' nightclubs in Soho - good job my mum never knew where I went! Great post, ladies, Thank you.

Lizzie Lamb said...

June, you have such gorgeous hair. Howe you must have suffered over the years. LOL. But at least you haven't gone bald. Great times as you say, thanks for sharing your memories, too.

Lizzie Lamb said...

Kit, wasn't Scott just so gorgeous? I've posted a photo of him on my Facebook page for all the ladies who swooned over him back in the day. I must admit that I liked the Stones better than the Beatles but everyone said you had to be a Greaser, as opposed to a Mod, if you liked them!!Good thing most of our Mums had no idea what we got up to (wink, wink).

Pauline Barclay said...

Thanks, Jan, Sharon, Madalyn, June and Kit for taking the time to come along to Lizzie's fabulous The Hippie Shake do!Lizie's look back is amazing and has created a lot of interest.

You are all welcome to share your moments when you have time.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Rosalind Adam said...

Hi Pauline, hi Lizzie, you know me and Lizzie went to the same school and I too have De Montfort Hall related memories but I'll say no more now as I'm composing a post for this feature right now... Am I too late, Pauline?

Lizzie Lamb said...

Hello Ros, Demontfort Hall seems quite tame these days next to huge open air festivals like Glastonbury. My husband Dave went to the second Glastonbury festival back in 1970 which was then called the bath blues festival I believe. Happy days.

Terry Tyler said...

Love it! I was a child in the 60s (born in 1959) but still know exactly what you were on about - I had some Op Art earrings that I always wore when I watched Top Of The Pops! My gig going started in 1975, when I used to go to a place called the County Rock in Northampton, and see bands such as AC/DC and Judas Priest for 90p. I used to go to the De Montfort a lot in the late 70s to see people like Ian Dury, and we always used to sneak in - as we did the first time I went to Knebworth, in 1976! I haven't been to Glastonbury for 20 years - it was still a hippie festival then but just starting to get bigger, alas.

Oh, and my first trendy handbag, bought in 1969, was black patent and
cost 19/11 :) Another world...!

Lizzie Lamb said...

Hi Terry, its amazing how many things we all have in common. Didn;t go to Knebworth but got caught up in its traffic jam once. Does that count? Probably not!! Everything seemed so new back then, now everything seems to be made of recycled ideas passing off as VINTAGE! Oh, loving the sounds of that handbag, too.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Ros, I've got your post and you will be here in a couple of weeks :) x

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Terry, big thanks for stopping by and having a chat. :)