Friday, May 10, 2013

Granny takes a trip

While in Sydney we wandered from the vicinity of Chinatown south-eastwards to Paddington.

One website describes the suburb in these gushing/uber-cool terms" "A luxe, boutique-strewn suburb, Paddo is famous for fine threads, pretty residents and a very Eastern Suburbs private school vibe. And let's face it: that's why we love it. Come here to be transported. Narrow William Street's got you sorted for high-end duds, while all the Big Shops have a home on Oxford Street."

We didn't make it as far as Williams St, but we did traverse a small portion of Oxford St.

We were taken by some of the 'retro' boutiques in Crown St - 'retro' because they specialise in clothes & accessories from the 60s and 70s.

One in particular took my eye - Grandma Takes A Trip!

When I saw it I was convinced it was named after an obscure 60s pop song by one of the British underground psychedelic bands like the early Pink Floyd. The shop assistant didn't know much about it, but did think it was named after a shop in London in the "swinging sixties".

A little research after I got home showed I was NEARLY right!

There was both a shop AND a song. According to Wikipedia "Granny Takes a Trip was a boutique opened in February 1966 at 488 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, by Nigel Waymouth, his girlfriend Sheila Cohen and John Pearse. The shop, which was acquired by Freddie Hornik in 1969, remained open until the mid-70s and has been called the 'first psychedelic boutique in Groovy London of the 1960s' ".

The song was called - strange to relate - "Granny Takes a Trip" and was written & recorded by a group called The Purple Gang - one-hit wonders.

YouTube is also a useful source of content.

This clip has a wonderful promo clip from 1967 for the single

A second clip is a BBC interview with one of the founders, John Pearse.

And to prove that aging hippies don't die - they just move north, have a look at The Purple Gang performing the song at The Castle Pub in Macclesfield about 2007!

Ah me - now if I could only find another shirt made of fabric with a pattern of Groucho Marx heads on it!

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