Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Psychedelic

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The Psychedelic Era

The Psychedelic Era refers to the time of social, musical and artistic
change influenced by psychedelic drugs, generally described as occurring 
during early 1960s to the mid 1970s. Some consider the psychedelic era to be more tightly limited to the years of 1965-1969.
Psychedelic drug use encouraged unity, the breaking down of boundaries, the heightening of political awareness, empathy with others, and the questioning of authority.
Writers who explored the potentials of consciousness exploration in the psychedlic era included Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Ram Dass among others; an important journal of the time was The Psychedelic Review.               Via Wikipedia 
THE SUMMER OF 1967, with its "Love-Ins," "Be-ins," and "Flower Power," came to be known as "The Summer of Love," and was one of the seminal moments of our generation. Over forty years later, we who came of age during the turbulent decade of the sixties are dismayed to realize that, to the young adults of today, those years are now ancient history.
The "Psychedelic Sixties" broke the rules in every conceivable way from music to fashion (or lack of it), to manners and mores. Boundaries were challenged and crossed in literature and art; the government was confronted head-on for its policies in Vietnam; the cause of civil rights was embraced by the young; and mind-expanding drugs were doing just that.
Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of times? Did Western Culture evolve and did we as individuals? Are we better for the experience? We who were there have our own answers, but it is the historians who will write the collective answers for posterity. In any case, for better or worse, this dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth, our creation, and our legacy. 
Kathryn Morgan, Associate Director for Special Collections
Alderman Library, University of Virginia

More on 1967, the Summer of Love 

Image Via Fan Pop

Psychedelic San Francisco's Hippies and the Birth of Flower Power

Psychedelic Music

For most people, what first comes to mind about the Summer of Love is its music. Centred on a small number of venues, including the Fillmore, the Avalon Ballroom and Winterland, this music developed around a number of bands including The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Country Joe and the Fish.
his psychedelic style of music (drawing largely on blues, garage bands such as the 13th Floor Elevators, folk music, and also the Indian influences introduced earlier to popular music by The Beatles and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones) had developed over the previous year and spread rapidly across the world. 1967 saw an explosion of truly memorable music and culminated in the Monterey International Pop Festival.
he music was new because it broke the mold of relatively short, well-planned and precise songs that would fit onto a 45 rpm ‘single’, receive airplay on national radio and be played in then same way each time they were given a live performance. It became permissible to have large elements of improvisation in live performance and albums, not singles, became the main focus of the bands’ recording. The music was free-form and the innovative use of stereo, with different instruments appearing in different speakers and sounds moving from one speaker to the other giving a ‘swirling’ sound, became ‘mind-bending.’

Psychedelic Drugs

This music had a symbiotic relationship with the drugs that characterised the Summer of Love, cannabis and, above all, LSD. These drugs were associated with notions of personal development and LSD in particular was believed to offer a route to enlightenment. This desire for enlightenment (stemming in part from a rejection of consumerist culture, the nuclear threat underpinning the Cold War, and the Vietnam War) tied in with interest in Eastern mysticism. Part of the appeal of these two drugs was the ‘naturalness’ of cannabis (it is a plant) and the ability that LSD gives those who take it to ‘become part of’ the greater whole and to engender amazement with the wonders of nature.

Psychedelic People 

Those involved in the Summer of Love were known as hippies or flower children. The latter came from the use of flowers as symbols of peace and symbols of the rejection of US militarisation and the Vietnam War. They wore clothes that were colourful, flowing and drew on Art Nouveau, popular representations of gypsy style and other travellers, and Indian symbolism. Interpersonal relationships were based on love, and the phrase ‘Free Love’ became notorious the world over due to the emphasis on sexual love placed on it by most who heard it.

The End

By the end of 1967, the hippie scene in San Francisco had changed out of all recognition, becoming a victim of the very thing it rejected -  commercialism. Instead of becoming psychedelic by lifestyle, it was now possible to buy a psychedelic lifestyle. Their innocence and belief in the inherent goodness of people had left the Flower Children prey to crooks, con-men, parasites and perverts, and the scene had become very seedy.

The Legacy

Many of those who were part of the international Summer of Love went on to become part of the broader counterculture out of which developed the Women’s Movement and the Green Movement. The music is also still there.                               Via Rock Music Suite101
Psychedelic Rock #1
(21 songs - 79:36) 


Psychedelic Era & 1960's 

Super Groups Music CD's 


The Summer of Love and Me

In the summer of 1967, I was not a hippie - not even a weekend hippie. I hated Acid Rock but I still liked the Beatles even though they were going places I didn't want to go. I continued to be into the Motown Sound, Lesley Gore, The Mamas and the Papas and The Four Seasons. But my musical tastes were expanding; I had discovered Jazz and Julie London. In short, I was a white bread and mayonnaise kind of guy.
So, I never went to Woodstock. I thought Janis Joplin was a rather unattractive screamer. And my idea of fun was a Frankie and Annette-style beach party rather than tripping out on acid. But I actually did give LSD a test drive that year but only once. That trip and its foggy 24-hour aftermath really creeped me out, so I never did it again. 
No doubt about it, I was hopelessly square. And, all the things hippies disdained - short hair, trendy clothes, tidy urban lodging and big, shiny cars were all the things I aspired to. And, from my perspective, the proto-New Agers looked rather suspicious with their long, unkempt hair and ragbag,  almost Biblical threads. Mostly, they looked unclean and had the aroma to prove it. You might say hippies and I gravitated to opposite ends of the spectrum.
Fortunately, for me, I wasn't the the only one who didn't heed Timothy Leary's call to "turn on, tune in, drop out." Although, I do have to admit we non-hippies were a scant few compared to the hordes who did. Still the Summer of Love happened for me too. The free love aspect of hippydom was not wasted on those of my ilk. My friends and I embraced that concept with enthusiastic gusto. It really was a good summer...
Hippie fashions looked like this although what's pictured here looks pretty uptown to me. Check the transportation photo for the real hippie look.

Generally when I see a couple, and I’m in love with the guy I want the girl to perish. Yet when I see Angus and Isabel I just want them to get married and move into a hippy all white interior house with little australian kids running all around their ankles as they eat tofu and broccoli. I dont know why.
In 1967, my clothes looked something like this.
My waistline was even similar to this back then 
- minus the ripped abs, of course. (sigh)
Hippie transportation looked like this.
In 1967, my transportation looked like this... a 1959 Ford Galaxie Sunliner 500 Convertible. 
My 'lifestyle' was financed by a job at the local TV station where I worked both in front of the cameras and behind them. I earned $84.50 per week after deductions. Actually it was whopping good take-home pay at the time and equal to just under $570 in 2011. ...Looks like I'm wearing a Starfleet uniform here.
A hippie house looked pretty-much like this.
In 1967, my apartment was small but comfortable and looked better than the place pictured below. My potted plants actually flourished. It was furnished similarly with everything coming from secondhand stores or hand-me-downs from family. I spent my money on clothes, maintaining my car and partying - all of which contributed to getting laid. It was truly the best of times...

Looking back, I somehow think I made the right choice - well, at least, right for me.

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