One more look at the Time Of All Times. This is the 50th anniversary, after all. In the spirit of that time, just to let you know and tell your friends, my book, “Under A Tie Dye Sky”, about The Summer of Love will be free as a Kindle ebook at amazon.com from June 20th through June 24th. Don’t forget it’s also in paperback at The Country Bookshelf on Main Street in Bozeman and also on Amazon.
The following is a very special chapter from my book. XOXO! And tomorrow marks exactly 50 years ago.
Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco couldn’t have been a better place to celebrate the solstice.
As the bands belonged to us, we belonged to them. Here are names of some who gave us their offering that day: Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mad River.
These were legendary groups.
That day I saw the Airplane’s female singer, Grace Slick, and Janis hugging each other before the Airplane started to play.
Red Mountain wine, swill in green glass gallon jugs, provided a cheap means to stay hydrated. Slung a certain way over the shoulder tilted the jug at just the right angle to line up with your mouth. This made guzzling effortless. Passed around the crowd along with joints, thousands of us sat on the ground, peaceful little monks purring in unison due to a pleasant buzz provided by the wine and grass. Like gifted creatures, we danced in the tall eucalyptus trees surrounding the meadow.
Besotted by Summer Solstice, this astrological event geared us up for the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. June 21 1967 was the Summer of Love’s apex.
Quicksilver Messenger Service sang spiritual words to feed our souls: “Oh God, pride of man, broken in the dust again…shout a warning unto the nation that the sword of God is raised…you bow unto your God of gold, your pride shall be a shame.” They go on to sing about god restoring the earth at last. Now, realize this song was not being sung by a Christian band. Many of ‘our own’ bands sang what was named Acid Rock.
Earlier, I did my best to try and explain the far–reaching effects of dropping acid. I described how taking an acid trip opened a door into another dimension. For me and lots of us, it was a highway to god. Straight to god, no passing ‘Go’ where, if there was a Jesus, he’d be sure to camp, excited for visitors. From tidbits I’d heard in my Sunday School days, I figured that ‘Go’ would be a suitable site for J.C. to linger, being the go–between god and man and all.
The Desiderata, found pinned to most walls and taped to glass windows of store fronts, declared what could be considered our rallying call of metaphysical pursuit, our mission statement. “Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there is in silence.” It goes on to give glory to god, and for circling sheep like me (baaa), kept my thoughts rounded up. I bleated anxiously along toward the fold. Of course, I couldn’t have defined how or why, yet I so knew Love made its home around there somewhere taking care of those stupid sheep.
Summer Solstice, a tribute to our impossible Dream. We tried to “reach the unreachable stars.” I will forever believe that, indeed, “the world was better for this.”
Today, when I close my eyes and go back to June 21 1967, I see dancers in the trees and smell the strong scent of eucalyptus. I see rag–tag singers on flatbed trucks and hear holy music. I see a congregation of radiant multicolored worshipers and listen in to gentle voices speaking our language of Love. I smell ocean and incense. I taste sourdough bread. My fingers sink into short soft grass, differentiating the smooth small petals of dwarfed daisies, so plentiful they’re like ground cover. I see faces shining with a fine wonder, too innocent for this world.
There ends the chapter. But one more thing . . .
P.S. I Love You.