Sixties Surpluses of Money and Time


The atmosphere in which music flourished then had a lot to do with economics. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. People are supposedly wealthier now, yet most feel they haven’t enough money and time is at an even greater premium…. In the sixties, we had surpluses of both money and time.

Friends of mine lived comfortably in Greenwich Village, Harvard Square, Bayswater, Santa Monica and on the Left Bank and were, by current standards, broke. Yet they survived easily on occasional coffee-house gigs or part-time work. Today, urbanites must feverishly maximize their economic potential just to maintain a small flat in Hoboken, Somerville, Hackney, Korea Town or Belleville. The economy of the sixties cut us a lot of slack, leaving time to travel, take drugs, write songs and rethink the universe.

Joe Boyd, 2006

From the book White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s