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1969: Frozen in Time Out

Posted at 10:00 am, February 23, 2012 in News
Frozen in Time Out: 1969

1969 – the only year to have a sexual position named after it, the year in which man made his first tentative steps on the moon and Rupert Murdoch purchased the News of the World. ‘Frozen in Time Out’ takes you back to this week in time when Jimi Hendrix headlined the Royal Albert Hall and burgundy crushed velvet bellbottoms weren’t just for fancy dress.

Widely considered to be the greatest electric guitarist in musical history, Jimi Hendrix graced the front cover with his sell out show at the Royal Albert Hall. Later that year Hendrix would go on to close Woodstock with a headline set at 8.30 on a Monday morning, before being found dead at his girlfriend’s Notting Hill home the following year. The Royal Albert Hall remains virtually unchanged and this week punters will be seeing the opera, Aida.

The Graduate’ starring Dustin Hoffman was playing at the Berkeley Cinema on the Tottenham Court Road, a film which would eventually go on to be 21st highest grossing film in US history. The Berkeley was a little less fortunate, after undergoing a stint as a night club, the whole stretch of road on which it was located was closed for redevelopment. Today it’s an Odeon cinema, and this week they’re showing ‘The Iron Lady’.

Dame Margot Fonteyn performed in a gala ballet performance in aid of the ‘Friends of the Fatherless Families club’ (a name adopted by the National Council for the Guidance of the Unmarried Mother and her Child). Fonteyn famously spent much of the 1960’s dancing with Rudolph Nureyev despite the 18 year age gap, retiring to Panama a decade later. These days we’ve swapped ‘Fatherless’ for the more PC , ‘single parent’ a term that encompasses nearly a quarter of British households.

At this point, Time Out was experimenting with a new way of reviewing London’s clubs according to atmosphere, clientele and ‘the risk of being hustled’. Today Ronnie Scotts is a staple of Soho, a respectable member’s bar and jazz joint, but back in 1969 the reviews were bowled over by the revamp which boasted air conditioning and a ‘beautiful new discotheque’. We wonder what they  would have made of Fabric’s laser holograms? Didi Mae Hand

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