THEFLASHBACKSTAGE
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"It was 40 years ago today"
the imagination of the western world 
was captured by the ideas and music 
of a "counter-culture still  known till 
this day as "hippies" It was the 
"dawning of the Age of Aquarius",
it was "The Summer of Love" It was
the time before granola was sold in 
bulk at Safeway... Yogurt was 
another culture that few had ever 
heard of.

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Victor Maymudes and Bob Dylan
(photo by Lisa Law)
 
MUSIC BECAME THE POLITICAL FORCE, THEIR POWER WAS LOVE.
The fifties has set the stage for rebellion. The youth of post war America, whose identity was characterized
by bras, flat-top military haircuts, girdles, bobby socks, and backyard bomb shelters was ready to explode.
Then came the payola scandals in Rock n’ Roll. As the decade came to a close the noose around the young
culture was drawn tighter.

Elvis was drafted into the army, Chuck Berry and Allan Freed, the man who coined the word Rock N’ Roll,
were both put into prison, Little Richard had become a preacher, Eddie Cochran had died in a auto wreck
and then "The day the music died"...Buddy Holley died in a plane crash with The Big Bopper and Riche
Vallens.   FLASHBACK on the day the music died..


Whole Earth Catalogue and herbal tea.
Tie-dies and long hair
Psychedelics and all natural,
Free love and skinny dippin’,
Mini skirts and bra burnin’
Tune in, turn on and drop out.
Black lights and strobe lights
Green Peace and Black Panthers
Mother Earth News and Indians
LSD and the CIA
Timothy Leary and Ram Das
Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters
Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady
Rainbow gatherings and pop festivals
Flower power and peace signs
Acid rock and the British Invasion
Beads and sandals
Peter Max and Yellow Submarines
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Billboard Magazine reports on the new movement of "folknicks", a young Bob Dylan is playing his first concerts...
the times they are a changin’. Some saw rock n’ roll as dead, while Polaris missiles are being fired, satellites
launched, Doo-Wop music and the twist set the beat...Dion, Pat Boone’s "White Sport Coats and Pink
Carnations" are the order of the day...underground Bohemian ripples are beginning to cause waves.

A producer named Spector starts a record label and Dick Clark’s "Caravan of Stars" is setting a stage. In
Europe a British Invasion is a seedling growing in Liverpool England. Kennedy is inaugurated. John Glenn
orbits Earth and Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring. Janis Joplin is still in Texas and the CIA is
experimenting with LSD.
 

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Ken Kesey.  One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Cover
Ken Kesey we will miss
you and the secrets of 
fun and escape that you 
lived and taught us.

Flowers are beginning to be worn around San Francisco and around Stanford University inner space is
opening up as is outer space. Elvis is on the charts again. Then in 1963, the year before the Beatles
blitz America an American President is shot in the streets of a Texas town.

The Beach Boys and Motown is how America defines Rock N’ Roll, but underground something more
than a "fad" was bubbling...the "folk" movement and their "hootenannies" were singing of radical political
beliefs...soon, things would change again forever.

Before the decade of the sixties was half over the Beatles would invade America and America would
invade Vietnam, while Ken Kesey and his merry Pranksters loaded in a psychedelic painted 1939
International Harverster  school bus and blasted out of their minds and high on the times went on the
road, Jack Kerouack and Neal Cassady style.  We remember the beat writers like Allen Ginsberg
William Borroughs, Kerouack and Cassady.

In Los Angeles a band called the Byrds had formed and the Warren Commission declares that Oswald
acted alone. Steven Stills says,

"Something is happenin’ here, what it is isn’t exactly clear"

The establishment and the revolutionaries, war and peace. Between the generations there is a gap,
everwideing and escalating. Joan Baez speaks forth and rock becomes art and a statement made by an
entire counter culture, from the old world across the sea to the new.

The SUMMER OF LOVE 1967, began early in the year with a "Human Be-in" staged in Golden
Gate Park in San Francisco, it was called a "Gathering of the Tribes", all the National press coverage
marked a beginning. The Oracle

Then in June the Monterey Pop Festival took a counter culture and their music to the world, that same
month the Beatles released, SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND and there was a huge
paradigm shift of the youth...psychedelic went around the world...rock music was changing and creating
a new nation. After the Summer of Love America’s youth would never be the same.  Otis Redding

dies.  The year will introduce us to Country Joe and the Fish, the Avalon Ballroom, Big Brother and the

Holding Company and Janis Joplin...Quicksilver Messenger Service.  Haight-Ashbury and the flowers in

the hair.  Alan Watts, Jerry Rubin, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert.  The Diggers, a Haight-Ashbury

collective of street-theater...OSLEY STANLEY THE BEAR.

 

It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let the evening go
Sgt. Pepper's lonely, Sgt. Pepper's lonely
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
It's wonderful to be here
It's certainly a thrill
You're such a lovely audience
We'd like to take you home with us
We'd love to take you home
I don't really want to stop the show
But I thought that you might like to know
That the singer's going to sing a song
And he wants you all to sing along
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Billy Shears
And Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

"Turn on, tune in, drop out."  The Age of Aquarius is dawning in 1967...the Merry Pranksters are staging

large parties...the Warlocks play, they become the Grateful Dead.  In a Western-style dance hall, the Red

Dog Saloon the Charlatans are playing on Acid, they become the Family Dog.  Bill Graham and the Avalon,

a new psychedelic rock and roll is born.  The Fillmore and the dance-hall scene breaks out...Golden Gate

Park, Allen Ginsburg, Gary Snyder,

"In The Year 2525" topped the charts as Senator Ted Kennedy drives off a bridge at Chappaquiddick.
Richard Nixon is inaugurated as a nation begins a "bum trip". A young fan is killed at Altamont while the
Rolling Stones rock n’ roll, and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" ask, "Who are those guys"...Jerry
Garcia forms the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

 


 

It is the end of the sixties decade and we have

first original Woodstock poster
THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL.
 Lavalife.com
 

Image by FlamingText.com

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Confirming that the counter culture was alive. Man lands on the moon while Arlo Guthrie, Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Country Joe and the Fish

and many others gather on a farm in upstate New York. 

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