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Days in the Life by Jonathon Green
on 7 April 2013
I would never read this book for fun. Even so, it is worth buying. Historians of the period will find it a gold-mine.
I bought it for some research that I was doing and found it invaluable for this purpose. It consists of a series of chapters on different aspects of Sixties life, within which are many edited interviews with "movers and shakers" of the period, many of whom were destined to become infamous or famous. This does not make for easy reading, although it contains some intriguing, startling and funny anecdotes.
Some of these interviews are utterly fascinating, casting new light on their subjects' lives. Among other things, I read two interviews with the author Duncan Fallowell. Fallowell was at Oxford in the late Sixties and early Seventies, where, as he admits, he abused LSD and presided an LSD-using circle; most of whose members were (then, at any rate) gay or bisexual, as is Fallowell himself. This might not have been such an unusual thing to do at that time, although it was much less usual at Oxford or Cambrdge than at some other universities, and it was still illegal.
It is startling, reading between the lines, to discover who else took LSD with Fallowell. They included Robert Nairac, a military hero was was abducted and murdered by the PIRA in 1977 and later awarded the George Cross; Alasdair McGaw, later Derek Jarman's companion and a film actor; and some future very respectable MPs and other pillars of the establishment. Yesterday's tearaways are today's Garrick Club members.