Perhaps you share the sentiment I have experienced about wanting to visit the San Francisco Bay area to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. Should you be contemplating that journey this year I recommend you read the Summerof.Love Website.
The California Historical Society and San Francisco Travel have collaborated on this information source.
There is a treasure trove of information between the Summerof.Love site and the San Francisco Travel site. Well worth your time and investigation.
This old hippie 😉
BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley. This exhibition is part of San Francisco’s 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love.
Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia – Through May 21, 2017
This major exhibition is the first comprehensive exploration of the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s and its impact on global art, architecture, and design. It presents an extraordinary array of works—many of which have been added for the Berkeley presentation—including experimental furniture, immersive environments, media installations, alternative magazines and books, printed ephemera, and films that convey the social, cultural, and political ferment of this transformative period, when radical experiments challenged convention, overturned traditional hierarchies, and advanced new communal ways of living and working. In the art, architecture, and design of the counterculture one can see early stirrings of the tech revolution and ecological consciousness, as well as powerful expressions of the wish for peace and social justice.
The Cockettes, a flamboyant ensemble of hippies, gay, straight, and undecided, decked themselves out in gender-bending drag and tons of glitter for a series of legendary midnight musicals at the Palace Theater in North Beach.
The Cockettes were born on stage, New Year’s Eve, 1969. The collective passion was to take every fantasy, desire, idol and dream and in the most joyously flamboyant way possible, put it onto the stage.
Founded by Hibiscus (real name, George Harris, Jr.) the troupe performed outrageous parodies of show tunes (or original tunes in the same vein) and gained an underground cult following that eventually led to mainstream exposure. With titles like Gone With the Showboat to Oklahoma, Hell’s Harlots and Pearls over Shanghai, these all singing, all dancing extravaganzas featured elaborate costumes, rebellious sexuality, and exuberant chaos.
The Cockettes were soon heralded as the cutting edge of Freak Theatre appearing in Rolling Stone, Paris Match and even Playboy magazines. They attracted admiration from Diana Vreeland, John Lennon and Marlene Dietrich, among others. Truman Capote and Rex Reed attended a San Francisco performance of Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma, and Reed wrote a glowing review calling it “a landmark in the history of new, liberated theater…”
Available to order from the San Francisco Chronicle Store.
The First Human Be-In held in San Francisco on January 14, 1967, ushered in the Summer of Love. It was a pivotal conclave with an estimated 20,000+ people in attendance.
I love that the event served as the passing of the baton from The Beats Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg and Michael McClure to the Flower Child generation. It is where Timothy Leary stated, “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out”.
Today is the 50th Anniversary of that historic event, San Francisco, and the world will celebrate together!
If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there – Lyrics By: Scott McKenzie, Song: San Francisco
There are various locales that represent important music genres in the United States. I’ve been fortunate to visit New York City (infamous for Jazz), Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee (representing the Blues).
I recently wrote about the National Blues Museum in St. Louis being another step in the music journey.
I have discovered another vital American music museum to see, the San Francisco Music Hall of Fame. SF Music Hall of Fame showcases artifacts and memorabilia from San Francisco’s rich and storied musical history, offering visitors a fun and informative look back at the sounds that shaped The City and how The City shaped the country. Rotating exhibits across two floors will offer people of all ages a glimpse into the San Francisco Sound.
The San Francisco Music Hall of Fame is in the design stage and will offer a stroll through the history of some of the most influential music of our time. In the halls of Music City you’ll revisit the San Francisco Sound, the Summer of Love, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly Stone, Santana, Janis Joplin, and so much more.
Classic photography, concert-played instruments, vintage posters, and an ever-changing display of memorabilia is blended with modern interpretations of the music of the Bay Area to bring you a glimpse like no other into the classic rock era.
Installed in the sidewalk in front of Music City SF at 1353 Bush Street, over 330 intricately connected, engraved bricks, embedded in the sidewalk of the Music City SF building, honors local legends, including many who may never received national recognition, for their place in the rich, diverse and creative musical and cultural movements of the San Francisco Scene.
The Music City SF Walk of Fame celebrates the personalities, places and events that make up the community heritage of The City and the SF Bay Area. From Beat Poets to the San Francisco Sound explosion of the late 1960’s to the artists of today will be enshrined. The continuous story is told brick-to-brick, section to section of the times, places, artists and performers.
Stay tuned for grand opening dates and other exciting announcements.
(Much of the text above is courtesy of the SF Music City Hall of Fame Web site)
I love the immediacy of Jim Marshall‘s photographs. I own several of the late Jim Marshall’s music photography books. I treasure what his camera lens captured for rock music legacy.
Speaking of cultural history later this year we will have a new book of photographs culled from the archives of Jim Marshall, The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution.
Here is the book’s description from the publisher, Insight Editions.
Widely regarded as the cradle of revolution, California’s Haight-Ashbury grew in the sixties from a small neighborhood in San Francisco to a worldwide phenomenon. Legendary photographer Jim Marshall visually chronicled this area as perhaps no one else did. Renowned for his powerful portraits of some of the greatest musicians of the era, in this one-of-a-kind book the full extent of Marshall’s Haight-Ashbury work is stunningly displayed: live concerts, powerful candids, intimate sessions with icons of the day, street scenes, crash pads, and more.
Featuring hundreds of images, from Bill Graham, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane to Carlos Santana, Donovan, The Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, and Timothy Leary, The Haight tells the complete and comprehensive story of the revolutionary aspects of the day. Written by bestselling San Francisco music journalist Joel Selvin, the story behind each of these incomparable images is disclosed through an intimate and revealing narrative, lending the images a fascinating context and perspective.
I welcome this future book and the history it portrays.
If time travel was an option, I would love to be transported back in time to The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. When I look back on what Monterey Pop accomplished, the rich set of artists that performed, there was a magic that weekend that formed peace, love and the power of music for generations to come. It’s the music festival I would most want to attend and experience.
I would love to attend that festival at the age I was in 1967, close to 16. I would also like to experience the event fully with no understanding of the events as I know them now. What I mean is that I would love to witness each act unfold, be surprised by The Who and Jimi Hendrix, boogaloo to Otis Redding. I would just love to have been there from beginning to end.
Imagine meeting his Majesty Prince Jones as he walked amongst the crowd. Monterey Pop celebrated its 45th anniversary this past June.
Five years ago I wrote a blog post about the 40th anniversary of Monterey Pop It serves as a fitting testament to the event.
There are so many rock stars that are no longer with us who performed at Monterey Pop. For that reason alone revisiting the Monterey Pop Festival would be worth it.
Imagine seeing The Who go insane smashing their instruments amidst the smoke bombs and fireworks Keith Moon planted under his drum set. Or witnessing Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. Hendrix was in top form that night as he one upped Peter Townshend of The Who.
There is a fantastic official Monterey Pop International Festival Web Site. I visit it often. I urge you to go hear Eric Burdon sing Monterey and watch the images, view the vast information available. Then go rent or own the rock documentary, Monterey Pop, directed by D. A. Pennebaker. That’s what I plan to watch later today. I own the deluxe video set (no surprise there folks…).
If that’s not enough content for you, I wanted to point out that there is a new book available about Monterey Pop. Maybe Santa Claus will be good to me and put this under my Christmas tree, hint, hint 😉
I leave you with this video clip of Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company. This was THE breakout moment for Janis and her band. Of all the performances that happened that weekend, this one is truly special. Enjoy.
- Otis (fishandbicycles.com)
- New Jimi Hendrix exhibit at EMP not to be missed (seattletimes.com)
- Remembering Janis Joplin: Some Classic Live Performances and Previews of a New Joplin Musical (openculture.com)
- Jimi Hendrix – The Ultimate Lyric Book and more…. (musicofourheart.me)