MPE Award of the Day (Maximum Possible Error): James Rado and Gerome Ragni: The Age of Aquarius.
The hit song with the catchy gimmicky tune and the inane lyrics was written for the musical Hair, in which the singing actors stripped to the altogether and showed more hair than decent people cared to see. It’s astonishing to consider how quickly not only moral sensibility but taste collapsed, so that people soon were doing in public what would have roused disdain and ridicule only a few years before. Hair hit the stage in 1969. If you watch a tape of Game 1 of the 1968 World Series between the Cardinals and the Tigers, you’ll notice that the women are wearing dresses and hats, and the men are wearing white button-down shirts. That was in early October, in St. Louis, on a very hot and muggy day. Bob Gibson struck out seventeen men in that game (still a World Series record), shutting the Tigers out, 4-0. You can tell how hot it was by the sweat pouring from Gibson’s forehead and cheeks. And yet the people were well dressed. By 1975, you’d see shirtless men with painted bellies, and baseball would have a big problem with drunks in the crowd.