It was the year that Cold War protagonists sought a truce, the race into space stepped up a gear, feminism and civil rights flexed their political muscles, and President Kennedy's assassination numbed the world. But as the front pages of history were being printed, the scoop of the century slipped by unnoticed. On January 13th 1963, two then largely unknown acts made their first appearances on nationwide television in Britain. Neither The Beatles nor Bob Dylan could have known it at the time, but by some strange alchemy the anthems of a social upheaval were being heard by a mass audience-and they were the catalyst. Within the year, their voices were commanding millions of ears around the world. The Beatles had become the poster boys of a revolution that still influences us to this day, and Dylan its prophet. 1963, in short, saw the birth of a global demographic power shift. Within that one year, youth, for the first time in history had become a commercial and cultural force that commanded the attention of government and religion and exercised the power to shape society.
1963 is the first book to recount the kinetic story of the emancipation of youth through music, fashion, and the arts - and in the voices of those who changed the world so radically, from Keith Richards to Eric Clapton, Mary Quant to Vidal Sassoon, Graham Nash to Peter Frampton, Alan Parker to Gay Talese, Stevie Nicks to Norma Kamali, and many more. It is an oral history that records, documentary-style, the incredible roller-coaster ride of that year when a group of otherwise obscure teenagers would become global superstars. It serves not only as a fast-paced historical eyewitness record but as an inspiration to anyone in search of a passion, an identity, and a dream.