Monday, July 29, 2013

War is over if you want it

I found this photo on ebay and I thought it was interesting.  Some GIs taking some rest and relaxation from the Vietnam war in Nice, France at Christmastime in 1967.    What else do these fellows need?  They got their whiskey, got great music (can't get much better than Sgt. Pepper), oh yeah and of some them wrote on the back of the photo that they are stoned.   


  1. What a cool, historic photo! Oddly enough, I happen to be reading the outstanding book "Dispatches". "Dispatches" was actually written in Vietnam, and its author later went on to write the narration that Martin Sheen speaks in "Apocalypse Now" and co-wrote the script of "Full Metal Jacket" with Stanley Kubrick.

    In the book "Dispatches", he talks about how important getting (and bringing back) albums was when you'd go on leave. He specifically mentions hearing "Magical Mystery Tour" for the first time, in Vietnam, after a particularly grueling time. (ironically enough, like this photo, this story dates from December 1967.)

    I will try and find the passage. The Beatles are mentioned multiple times, and the love of rock and roll and what's going on in the music scene was obviously very deep with the soliders back then (Hendrix, Zappa and The Doors are mentioned as well).

    The book also mentions how, like these guys in this great picture, getting stoned was a major thing over there. Not unlike it was over here!

    Fantastic picture, thank you so much for posting it, wow. Look how excited they are!! Like you said: they got the whiskey, the weed....and Sgt. Pepper. I salute them!!

  2. Stoned used to mean very drunk.

    1. Not in 1967 holding Sgt. Pepper on leave from Vietnam. Yeah, maybe in the 1950s, but by December of 1967, marijuana was all over Vietnam and stoned meant stoned, not drunk.

      Again, I refer you to one of the definitive accounts of Vietnam, "Dispatches" by Michael Herr, written in 1968, which talks at length about the soliders' enthusiasm for both weed...and the Beatles!!!!

      (not to pick a nit but in this case I have to!!!)