Today is the 50th anniversary of the launching of Telstar, and the birth of truly global information and communication technology (ICT). The Satellite Launches.
One month later, the song “Telstar” was released by the Tornados (basically Joe Meeks’s band). I discovered the song as a young child sitting in our car (1960 Rambler American Wagon) with my mother waiting to pick up my dad from work. It was a warm sunny day, the windows were open, and it was quiet in the parking lot, which looked like THIS, only instead of a Disney monorail, there’s a Johnson and Johnson factory…
She had the radio on (AM, of course) and the song Telstar came on and I was immediately struck by it. It was so completely different from everything I had ever heard or known, and from there sparked my creative interests and activities in electronic music.
Five years later, a broken and despondent Joe Meeks murdered his landlord, and committed suicide.
Two years after Meeks’s murder/suicide, the US Military glue computers to ICT and come up with ARPAnet, the forerunner of the Internet.
Everything about telstar was prophetic: It’s first image was of an American Flag, and this was not publicly available. The first image was of Secret Global American Hegemony via electronic culture – imperialism through technology, which was to follow.
The first broadcast fulfilled the first image: The first pictures were the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. News personalities like Huntley and Cronkite presented “news”, mostly American, with the BBC from Brussels. Kennedy was to speak, but the timing was off, so Sports Spectacle was offered – part of a baseball game. Later, a press conference with President Kennedy, regarding the value of US$, was broadcast. We live in the legacy of Telstar.
Telstar’s end is also important: its circuitry was fried by EMP from high altitude nuclear weapons testing, and stopped operating in 1963. It is still in orbit – SPACE JUNK.