Looking Back 1969 & 1970

Note:  The day the music died was February 3, 1959, but unfortunately a new date will now be added, April 18, 2012, the day we lost “Dick Clark”.  I will post the last of the Looking back series, then I will do my tribute to “Richard Wagstaff “Dick” Clark.  Gary!

Gary: “This will be the last of my series on Looking Back. I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my strange life. I will include a little of 1970, because there was one really significant happening in 1970.

I would become a father and have three Girls. Unfortunately my first marriage would dissolve in 1987; a 20 year experience, but any divorce is difficult and I do not recommend it to anyone.

I now have a new wife, who I met in 1991 and it is now 2012, so the theory is that we will go into the sunset together. I have 6 grandchildren; the oldest Jessica, 19 is in second year college… but back to the Sixties…

Looking Back

I still lived in downtown Toronto and still drove the company car, a  1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Next year I would have a 1970 Pontiac Lemans Sport, 400 cubic inch and 4 bbl carb, but after the first child my small fast cars would become a thing of the past.

My life was settling down. I was 29. My career was going well. I was going to Product & Training classes in Bedford Mass, once every 60 days. I was also starting to travel across Canada. My life had started to go in a different direction.

I still loved music and was really into Audio Equipment. I built my first Heathkit in 1959, had the first Sony Solid State Amps in 68, was involved with a man who produced custom speakers and this would go on for the next 30 years.

I found that a lot of the young people in the computer field were also Audiophiles, so I built up a large base of customers who would become friends. I still own these speakers, Leak 2075 and by today’s standards, they are just huge.

My business was starting to go really well and my hobby was costing me a fortune, but that would not change; my love of music and Audio Equipment still exists to this day.

My new wife in 1969 (Charlene) and I traveled to Texas, California, Massachusetts and across Canada & the US.

Here are some pictures, this will fill in some of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today!

My girls in the Eighties
Kim , Amanda & Shannon in Front
Me with my first wife Charlene – late Seventies
3 of my Grandchildren today
Gary and Birgit when they first met – 1991
Gary and Birgit today!

I hope you have enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Let me tell you, the most difficult part was the “Memory”; it’s not that good anymore!

I would live my life pretty much as I described it, if I had to do it again. Would I change some things? Of course, but hindsight, is 20/20 vision.

I made my share of mistakes, business gave me a hard shell (which I have today), but I never lost the love of the music or the idea of being “Honest” and having Integrity, which my Dad absolutely drilled into my head.

My sense of humour, has treated me well, but every now and then, I just need to be quiet. My mother tried to instill emotions and the sense of just being a good human being, because she was one of the best!

What I do remember ABOUT 1969:

For me, the most exciting item of news in ’69 (I was on Prince Edward Island at the exact time) was that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin piloted the Eagle, landed on the Moon, and the pictures were beamed back to earth. Funny thing about back then: in Toronto, television reception from Buffalo was bad once in a while, yet we got great pictures from the moon! Go figure.
Apollo 11 had done it!

Apollo 11 – First Step on the Moon

Apollo 11 – Aldrin with Experiment

Apollo 11 – Aldrin

I find this hard to believe, but the maiden flight of the Concorde, Toulouse France, was made.
I made an attempt to attend this concert, but NY Officials advised us to stay off the New York State Thruway.


Ariel View of Woodstock

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

The first entirely Artificial Heart is transplanted, by Dr. Denton A. Cooley; unfortunately, the patient lived only 4 days. 
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, left, Dr. Denton A. Cooley

After 147 years, the Saturday Evening Post ceases Publication

The Saturday Evening Post


Baseball: I’m not a huge fan, but in 1969, the New York Mets won the “World Series” (the World Series is named after the New York World Newspaper which originally sponsored it) and New York went wild.
  • NFL Vikings – beat the Brows
  • AFL- Chiefs beat Raiders
  • Super Bowl- Kansas City Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7
Hockey: Montreal beats St. Louis for the Stanley Cup

Movies and Television:

Best Actor / John Wayne / True Grit / 
Best Actress / Maggie Smith / The prime of Miss Jean Brodie / 
Best Picture / Midnight Cowboy / 

Other movies I enjoyed in 1969

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (loved this movie)

Robert Redford and Paul Newman

Easy Rider / 

The Battle of Britain / 

Spitfire 38mk

Goodbye Mr. Chips / 
The Wild Bunch / 

The Music of 1969:

Well, we lost some people in 69:
  • Brian Jones (Rolling Stones Guitarist) drowning /
  • Leonard Chess, Heart Attack /
  • Roy Hamilton, stroke /
  • Tommy Edwards, natural causes.
  • Dwight D Eisenhower,
  • Judy Garland,
  • Boris Karloff,
  • Rocky Marciano,
  • Thelma Ritter and
  • Robert Taylor.

The music was changing. I did not like all of it, so this is what I listened to in 1969:

The Games People Play / Joe South 
This Magic Moment / Hushabye / Jay & the Americans /
Dizzy / Tommy Roe / 
Indian Giver / 1910 Fruitgum Company /
Proud Mary / Bad Moon Rising / Green River / Down on the Corner / Fortunate Son / Creedance Clearwater Revival / 
Try a Little Tenderness / One / Easy to be Hard / Eli’s Coming / Three Dog Night / 
Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ / Crazy Elephant 
Twenty Five Miles / Edwin Starr / 
The Boxer / Simon & Garfunkel (Gary’s favourite) / 
Black Pearl / Sonny Charles & the Checkmates Ltd. / 
Get Back / The Beatles / 
Oh Happy Day / The Edwin Hawkins Singers / 
In the Ghetto / Suspicious Minds / Elvis Presley / 
Baby I love You / Andy Kim 
Get Together / The Youngbloods (I saw them in Yorkville, Toronto, great group) /
Good Old Rock and Roll / Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys / 
My Pledge of Love / The Joe Jeffrey Group / 
Sugar Sugar / Jingle Jangle /The Archies 
Baby It’s You / Smith / 
Whole Lotta Love / Led Zepplin / 
Up On Cripple Creek / The Band 
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head / B.J. Thomas / 



2 responses to “Looking Back 1969 & 1970

  1. Errol Timbers

    Great Stuff, Guys… Had a good read and a listen and really enjoyed myself. Many thanks. I’ll pass this on to some of my muso mates in New Zealand… Stay Healthy Cheers Errol Timbers.

  2. Melissa Ward (Errol Timbers daughter)

    Great reading. You have great taste in music. The Stones and Led Zep are the best bands in the world! Music is truly one of lifes luxuries and free for all to experience. Gods gift to all.

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