s one of the 1960s' many one-hit wonders so nearly put it, there was something in the air. Intangible, indefinable, irrepressible, it was like a virus or a meteorological phenomenon, capable of transforming phalanxes of young girls to hysterical jellies and encouraging their male counterparts to believe that all they needed to "get it together" was a Fender Stratocaster. If you ventured into a teenager's bedroom in, say, 1965, you couldn't see the floral-patterned wallpaper for a patchwork of pictures of pop stars cut out from NME or Melody Maker or fanzines. Every week, it seemed, a new singer or group – nobody called them bands in that pre-pretension era – emerged from the boondocks to rocket to the top of the charts, only to slither down them again when one of the behemoths released their latest single.
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