MOJO contributor Jon Savage’s award-winning music and social history tour de force, 1966: The Year The Decade Exploded, has become a BBC TV documentary under the Arena umbrella. Arena: 1966 – 50 Years Ago Today airs on BBC4 this Sunday, July 24, at 10pm. Expect an evocative recreation of the year of Aftermath, Revolver, Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland, Morgan – A Suitable Case For Treatment, black power and feminism. Television was still in black and white, but the world outside was bursting with colour and controversy.
In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, the revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late ’50s reached boiling point. In popular culture and the mass media, 1966 was the year of restless experimentation and the search for new forms of expression – particularly in pop music.
The film is made entirely from 1966 archive, featuring the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Twiggy, David Mercer, R.D Laing, Sandie Shaw and Cathy Come Home.