Funny thing about decades: There are never really where they should be. People may say 50s and they don't mean 50 to 59. They mean that time after the war where every body was happy in suburbia drove around in cars with big fins, and they listened to the beach boys, and mowtown coming out in the jukebox in diners. Its basically 1946 to 1963. Sure Mowtown started in 1959 but you cant run a 50s diner with out it, and The Kennedy family so embodied the happy 50s that they had to shoot him in order to end the decade. In reality things had been wrong all along.
It took some time to get the 60s started but In 1966 a young black man landed in London. His name was Jimi Hendrix. If you lived in London the sixties started in 66 everyone else had to wait another year, but Like no other decade the 60s was an explosion, so strong that even 68 is a decade in it self. Woodstock, Sgt. Pepper, Easy rider, May68, The acid test, Kent State, 2001, Vietnam, Summer of love, Led Zeppelin, Free love, I have a dream. Its the kind of thing that couldn't last very long. It was too strange to live but too rare to die. And in 1972 it was over. Or to quote Hunter S Thompson: "So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back." - Jimi was dead.
I think the 70s was just some sort of mutant cousin of the 60s. I have dream became Watergate, Dodge Challenger became the oil crisis, Free love became wife swapping, Freedom fighters became terrorists, and the tripped out outfits became ugly brown Manchester. Nobody knows how, but somehow the forces of old and evil stayed in power. The fun was just over, and Pink Floyd wrote the soundtrack. "Everything under the sun is in tune, But the sun is eclipsed by the moon." The movie theater wasn't full of stars, but rather a sobering world of Taxi drivers, Godfathers and Napalm in the morning. The artist grew bolder but there was nobody they could move. The punks tried, so did Warhol, but disco won out.
I really cant tell when the 70s turned to the 80s, 1982 perhaps or 1984? But at some point I think people just embraced inequality, bad taste, sock less loafers, and stopped hoping for the 60s to come back. With enough Coke any one can do it.
Lucky for all of us I don't think the 80s lasted very long. Without even trying the wall came down and nothing would ever be that same. For the powers that be the 80s was a comfortable place, and there was a few years of nothingness but in 1991 an unknown group released the single "Smells like teen spirit", and for almost the first time in 20 years something felt real. The 90s had begun. The flood gates opened when Charlie made the charts, for Rave, the Chemical brothers, Daft punk, Portishead, Massive attack, björk and so on. We went to see Pulp fiction and had never seen anything like it! Every music video was a peace of art. I really like the 90s, on the face of it not much happened, but it was a decade where the really great stuff was made in cellars, bedrooms and garages by people without financial backing who just really wanted to do something great. The technology was cheep enough so that more people could do it, but hard enough to use to keep the dabblers out. I have feeling the 90s ended in 97-98 and the last defining moment was Aphex Twins Window licker.
We where all really sure new years eve 2000 would be the seminal moment with the end of days planes crashing, and cars flying. So when it dint really go that way its understandable that we where a bit confused. In hind sight its very easy to see when 00s started: 9/11 2001. In my mind the 00s where very bad, It a lazy time where everybody thought they could Stop a war without protesting, Win a war without fighting, Make movies without stories, get rich without working using the stock market, have a clothing line without designing, become a musicians by mashing other people music, and become a celebrity without doing anything at all. 1984 happened 20 years later, but it turned out that that people would subject themselves to being filmed not because of their blind belief in big brother, but their blind belief in TV celebrity.
Luckily it has already ended, it ended in the fall of 2008. The question is has the 10s started yet? I don't think so, I think we are still in the never-never land between decades. I don't know what it will be but I hope that it will show me something I have never seen before. I hope it will be people taking initiative and doing things themselves, not in haphazard YouTube kind of way, but in grand aw inspiring way. At some point its has to happen, and I'm working really hard to make it happen sooner Rather then later.
Until then, Happy new year