I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong

I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong
38 x 31cm
Mixed media on card. Acrylic double-tray-frame.

Muhammad Ali, who had recently changed his name from Cassius Clay, declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to go to the Vietnam war. He was subsequently denied a boxing license in every US state. Ali’s stance was clear "I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger." Stripped of his titles in the US, he toured Europe, successfully defending his World Heavyweight title against Britain’s Henry Cooper. In an interview that year, the Champ explained how he got into boxing “Someone stole my bicycle and I said I was going to learn to fight so that I could catch him and beat him up. But I never did catch him. But I ended up the champ of the whole world.”

The band toured the far east, playing Tokyo at the Nippon Budokan, amongst high security. This year saw the demise of the band’s famed ‘mop-top’ hairstyle. On a hiatus before recording began on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, each Beatle privately grew a moustache. On 29 August 1966 they played their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. George Harrison marries Pattie Boyd.

1966 saw Cherilyn Sarkisian and Salvatore Bono touring to promote their new album - The Wondrous World Tour - with a performance at London’s Finsbury Park Astoria, Cher going barefoot.

That year, the same venue would see visits from The Beach Boys, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, The Small Faces, Roy Orbison and The Who.

Cher would also be promoting her second solo album - The Sonny Side of Chér. Which included the hit Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)…

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
Cher's first million-selling single
Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2024.