Blue Skies in Camelot: An Alternate 60's and Beyond

Well, I find that more in the system of "complaint boxes" and "student surveys".
“Please fill out the provided complaint forms and mail them to your local constabulary. Expect a response in three to five months saying you filled them out wrong, and have to redo your complaint. Thank you, your feedback makes this country greater!”
 
I’m just catching up on the situation in China ITTL. The prospect of a Chairman Hu Yaobang is an interesting and intriguing one. I’d like to see how he does economically but I’d like to see how he does in terms of political reforms even more with no Deng to put a check on him.
 
Pop Culture 1976
Pop Culture in 1976 - “We’re on a Mission From God!”


Above: John Belushi and Dan Akyroyd as “The Blues Brothers”; the pair made their debut as characters on NBC’s Saturday Night Live this year. Akyroyd, who was also beloved for his impersonations of President Bush, also capped off a tremendous year of playing the President when he “clashed” with Congressman Mo Udall (impersonated by co-star Chevy Chase) in a series of debates held every Saturday Night after their real-life counterparts.


Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1976 (Top Ten):

  1. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” - The Four Seasons

  2. “Play That Funky Music” - Wild Cherry

  3. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” - Elton John and Kiki Dee

  4. “Silly Love Songs” - The Beatles

  5. “Love Hurts” - Elvis Presley

  6. “The Hustle” - Van McCoy

  7. “If You Leave Me Now” - Chicago Transit Authority

  8. “Rockin’ All Over the World - John Fogerty

  9. “Evil Woman” - Electric Light Orchestra

  10. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” - The Ramones

News in Music

January 5th - The Beatles’ road manager, Mal Evans, is shot and killed by Los Angeles police after refusing to drop what police only later determined was an air rifle. Deeply mourning the loss of their friend, the band begin to question whether or not they should take another hiatus from touring.

March 9th - Keith Moon of the Who collapses onstage during a concert at Boston Garden. Though he is rushed to a nearby hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival of a drug induced heart attack. Though the other members of the band briefly considered disbanding, they decided that that wasn’t what Keith would have wanted. They instead hire former Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham to be their new drummer. Moon was only 29 years old.


RIP Keith Moon
Aug. 23rd, 1946 - March 9th, 1976​


April 17th - The Ramones release their eponymous debut album, which features the hit singles “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”; this effectively launches Punk Rock as we know it. The genre is largely seen as a rejection of mid 70’s excess in Rock music, and an attempt to bring Rock back to its more rebellious roots.


April 29th - Rock superstar Bruce Springsteen’s dreams come true when he is invited by his hero and idol, the King of Rock N Roll Elvis Presley to perform a once in a lifetime concert with him in Memphis to a screaming stadium of more than 25,000 fans. The nearly five hour, one and only joint performance of The Boss and the King was blessedly recorded for posterity and would later be released as a live album box-set, shared by their estates. Most notable on the record are their duets on “Suspicious Minds”, “Promised Land”, and “Born to Run”.



May 19th - Tragedy strikes rock music once again as the Rolling Stones’ lead guitarist Keith Richards, is killed in a horrific car crash northwest of London while severely under the influence of cocaine. In an effort to keep the band going despite their loss (and inadvertently taking a page from the Who), Richards would ultimately be replaced by former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Richards was 32 years old.


RIP Keith Richards
Dec. 18th, 1943 - May 19th, 1976​


June 18th - ABBA perform “Dancing Queen” for the first time on Swedish television on the eve of the wedding of King Carl XVI Gustav to Silvia Sommerlath.


July 4th - Many outdoor music festivals are held across the United States to celebrate its bicentennial. Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and others fill stadiums the nation over. This magnificent display of music inspires Springsteen to write one of his biggest hits, the poignantly patriotic “Born in the USA”.


August 5th - Guitar god Eric Clapton arouses immense controversy and is booed offstage in Manchester, UK, when during a concert there he announces his support for Enoch Powell’s positions on immigration, and uses multiple racial slurs and slogans, including “Keep Britain White”.


August 25th - Comprised of former M.I.T. student and Polaroid employee Tom Scholz as lead songwriter and guitarist, Brad Delp as lead vocalist, Barry Gordeau on Bass, and drummer Jim Masdea, Boston-based rock band Mother’s Milk released their eponymous debut album. Its hit songs “More Than a Feeling”, “Peace of Mind”, “Foreplay/Long Time” and others would see it become the highest selling debut record of all time.


September 25th - Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. form the Irish Rock band Feedback in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. They would go on to become one of the preeminent bands of the following decade.


October 8th - English punk rock group the Sex Pistols sign a contract with Apple Records.


November 23rd - Early Rock N Roll star Jerry Lee Lewis is arrested after showing up drunk at Graceland in Memphis and demanding to see Elvis Presley. Presley declined his request, though he did meet with Lewis the following morning and helped to get his old contemporary checked into a nearby rehab center right away.


December 1st - Australian hard rock band AC/DC, whose blues inspired sound would make them rock legends throughout their career, release their first international album, High Voltage.


1976 in Film - The Year’s Biggest


Rocky - Sports Drama. Directed by John G. Avildsen and written by and starring Slyvester Stallone. Perhaps the most popular sports film of all time (not to mention one of cinema’s most inspiring stories ever), Rocky tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer, working as a debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. His life changes forever when world champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) challenges Rocky, an amateur club fighter, to a bout for the championship. Easily the highest grossing film of the year, Rocky would also win the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 49th Academy Awards the following year (1977), and cement Stallone as a major, totally unexpected Hollywood Star.


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Midway - War film. Directed by Jack Smigt and starring an international cast of stars including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, and Toshiro Mifune, Midway was the subject of mixed reviews upon its release, but was insanely popular at the box office. It was so successful that it launched the on-again, off-again trend in Hollywood of the big budget war picture once more. The film is also credited for pioneering the use of senusound to bring the engines, explosions, and gunfire closer to life than any war film before it.


A Star is Born - Musical/Romantic Drama. Directed by Frank Pierson and starring Elvis Presley and Olivia Newton-John. A beautifully told story about a self destructive rock star (Presley) and the up and coming young singer who both saves his life and falls in love with him (Newton-John), A Star is Born won both critical and commercial acclaim and launched the career of Newton-John while maintaining Presley’s film career.


Taxi Driver - Neo-noir/Psychological Thriller. Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Robert Duvall, and Cybill Shepherd. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City in the aftermath of the Wars in Cambodia and Rhodesia, the film tells the story of a lonely, disenfranchised veteran (De Niro), working as a taxi driver, as he descends into insanity as he plans to murder both the Presidential candidate (Duvall) for whom the woman he is infatuated with (Shepherd) works, and the pimp of an underaged prostitute (Foster) he befriends. Dark, gripping, and inspired by a combination of Scorsese’s personal experiences and the testimony of Presidential assassin Arthur Bremer, the film is extremely controversial when it was released, and is widely ignored at the box office and condemned by some media outlets. It does win accolades at independent festivals however.


News in Television and Film Throughout the Year


49th Academy Award Winners (March 29th, 1976):


Best Picture: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Best Director: Milos Forman - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Best Actor: Leonard Nimoy - Randall McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Best Actress: Louise Fletcher - Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Best Supporting Actor: Burgess Meredith - Harry Greener, The Day of the Locust

Best Supporting Actress: Sylvia Miles - Jessie Halstead Florian, Farewell, My Lovely

Best Original Screenplay: Dog Day Afternoon - Frank Pierson

Best Adapted Screenplay: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Bo Goldman and Lawrence Hauben, based on the novel by Ken Kesey.



Above: Leonard Nimoy, 1976’s winner of the “Best Actor” Award​


August 11th - The Shootist, arguably one of the greatest Western films ever made, is released. Starring Henry Fonda in the titular role as an aging gunslinger lamenting the end of the Wild West, the film would also star Jimmy Stewart, an old friend of Fonda’s as his character’s old friend as well. Today, the film is considered a fitting send off to the “Golden Age” of Hollywood westerns.


November 19th - Michael Eisner becomes President and CEO of Paramount Pictures.


Throughout the Year - Matsushita introduces the VHS home video cassette recorder to compete with Sony’s Beta-max System.


1976 in Sport

Super Bowl X - The Dallas Cowboys, led once again by their Quarterback “Captain America” Roger Staubach, edged out Archie Manning’s Pittsburgh Steelers, 21 - 17.



Baseball


April 17th - Mike Schmidt of the Phillies hit four consecutive home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs.


World Series - The “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds win their second straight World Series championship, sweeping the New York Yankees in four games.


NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics beat out the Phoenix Suns, 4 games to 1.


Boxing


“The Greatest of All Time” Muhammad Ali defends his World Championship belt in a globally televised match against Ken Norton at Yankee Stadium.



Hockey - The Stanley Cup


The Montreal Canadiens win 4 games to 0 over the Philadelphia Flyers.


Time Magazine’s Person of the Year: Mo Udall - The “Conscience of the House” managed to lead an insurgent, grassroots campaign to capture the Democratic nomination and thereafter the Presidency, and inspired a “people powered” revolution in American politics to do it.



Other Headlines, Through the Year:


President Ricardo Balbin of Argentina declined to seek reelection in 1977, instead allowing his Vice President, Carlos Humberto Perette to run as the nominee of the centrist Radical Civil Union.





June 3rd 1976 - Philip K. Dick publishes his third and final Alternate History Novel, Without the Winters Rye. Set in a world where there is no Cold War, due to the Russian Revolution being narrowly avoided, the story follows reporter Todd Philips, who is in New York to cover the visit of newly crowned King Arthur I, son of the late King Edward VIII and Queen Anastasia Romanov. However, it soon becomes a race against time as Philips discovers a small-conspiracy, led by a group of individuals who practice a forgotten political ideology called Communism, who seek to assassinate the British monarch upon his arrival, while Philips is desperate to save him. An instant bestseller upon its release, the novel, often regarded by fans as Dick’s best work, is however quickly banned in the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, the novel would quickly cement Philip K. Dick’s legacy as the ‘Father of the Alternate History’ genre, inspiring various other authors to dip their feet in the genre, including a young 27-year-old author from Los Angeles, named Harry Turtledove and a 33-year-old Georgian by the name of Newt Gingrich, both of whom are known today for their works of alternate history, following in the footsteps of Philip K. Dick.




The CN Tower is completed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The first commercial Concorde flight is completed in the United Kingdom.


The “Son of Sam” serial killer terrorized New York City. Mayor Herman Badillo swore that he would be brought to justice.


The $2 Bill, featuring an image of President Thomas Jefferson, is reissued in the United States as a cost-saving measure.


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Next Time on Blue Skies in Camelot: ACT III BEGINS


OOC: And just like that, we come to the end of Act II of Blue Skies in Camelot! Thank you all once again from the bottom of my heart for your continued readership and ceaseless support. I had no idea when I began this project almost two full years ago that it would turn into such a major part of my life and I'm so thankful for each and every one of you for making it as successful and fun as it has been so far. :D

With this being the end of Act II, The Seesaw Seventies, expect the beginning of Act III, Progress and Prosperity, sometime within the next month or so. :) I'm hoping I can start the new thread (and Act III) on the Two Year Anniversary of Blue Skies as a whole. I will also be adding the completed Acts I and II to the "finished timelines" forum soon. In the meantime, please continue to use this thread to discuss the TL. I will continue to follow it and try to provide updates and answer questions as frequently/quickly as possible given my busy schedule. We also have a picture/prediction thread going on in chat. :D I look forward to talking with all of you and uploading new updates in the near future.

I wish you all the very best,
President_Lincoln
 
Aw, no, not Keith Moon! IOTL he died from a tragic accidental overdose of anti-smoking medication, trying to quit his addictions IIRC. Did something similar happen ITTL?
 
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Great update although you have just killed the only good joke in Wayne's World 2 and Johnny Depp's inspiration of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean but as I enjoy this story so much it's a small price to pay.
 
Great update as usual. The first two acts of this TL have been phenomenal so far and I look forward to more. Also, I feel like 1977 is a great opportunity to use Southern Nights as a chapter title.
 
Keith Richard is gone?! Oh no!:eek:

Congratulations for getting this far with BSiC, wonder if we'll see an update for Argentina soon with the WC about the be hosted there, providing they still won the bid or if it was stripped from them?

Looking forward for the next update soon! :)
 
Congratulations on the end of Act II Mr President. It was a thoroughly enjoyable ride and certainly lived up to the name Seesaw Seventies. I'm very excited to begin reading the next Act Progress and Prosperity. Good name and title by the way. Sad about Keith Richards dying.
 
So many butterflies in that chapter @President_Lincoln!

Jerry Lee getting some help, dead Keith Richards, Oscar winning Nimoy (take that Shatner!), Springsteen and Elvis!, punk at Apple...

I bet 1976 will be looked back on at a great year on the nostalgia stations in 20 years time.
 
Glad to see Elvis finally appearing in A Star Is Born in 1976. Indeed, he was Streisand's original choice instead of Kris Kristofferson. The official story is that Babs could not meet Colonel Parker's excessive salary demands for Elvis but I think the real reason for not doing the film is that Colonel Tom did not want his "boy" exposed to the business side of showbiz and his worst nightmare was probably Babs talking with Elvis between scenes and convincing him to dump the Colonel.....
 
Thank you all for the kind words and positive feedback! :) I just wanted to give a quick shout out once again to @Nerdman3000, who contributed the dynamite section on Philip K. Dick and Without the Winter's Rye for this update. Thank you, Nerdman, for your, as always, stellar contribution to TTL!
 
Sad to see the two Keiths die. However, on the other hand we also got a Springsteen/Elvis team-up, a new Philip Dick novel, and an Oscar for Nimoy (well deserved, if I might say so). So, a bittersweet chapter.

Congrats for another awesome chapter, @President_Lincoln. Looking forward for Act III!
 
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