Two sides of the 60s experience

THEY sometimes call the 1960s the start of the 'me' generation and nowhere was this better illustrated than when listening to the latest Desert Island Discs which featured 60s singer Sandie Shaw.

I was a fan of Sandie for years, as I know Morrissey was (she did one of his songs), but by the end of this programme I felt very disenchanted. Although not without its entertaining and poignant moments, most of the conversation with Kirsty Young (a pleasant yet able interviewer) seemed to revolve around making money and how to get lots of it (even employing Buddhist techniques to do it). Sandie now claims to be a Buddhist and clinical psychologist.

The saddest thing came at the end, when Kirsty offers the Bible and Shakespeare to take to the fictional island, as is customary. Sandie would like to take a book on Buddhism.

Fair enough "Do you still want the Bible then?" "Nah," she replies, dismissively.

How telling, yet also how predictable. She didn't do herself any favours there. Some are not as open-minded as they would have us believe. Buddhism as a fashion statement. A 60s time-warp.

In the 1960s some people embraced Buddhism and other eastern faiths because they were 'different' and implied a rejection of the then (often limited) experience of Christianity they had had after growing up after the Second World War.

How about an open-minded reading of the Bible, Sandie?

Kinks' songwriter Ray Davies is often seen as a 60s icon too. Yet, watching the recent Imagine documentary (BBC2) on him, we can see how wise and astute he was/is.

His masterpiece The Village Green Preservation Society (then selling little and very 'uncool') challenged and went against, in a subtle way, the self-obsession, drugs, mayhem and tunnel vision of the late 60s. "Drugs seem to narrow minds rather than open them up" as brother Dave Davies said.

As Ray said: "The only things that were swinging in the 60s were the handbags." Spot on, Ray.