On this day in the year of the summer of love, 1967. Over 25,000 people attended The Human Be-In – A Gathering Of The Tribes at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The event was a forerunner of major, outdoor rock
concerts and featured The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother And The Holding Company.
The hippie era was in full swing. Young kids as young as 16 were leaving home and flocking to the streets of San Francisco with no money, no job and no ambition. Just flowers and love and acid. Probably 100’s of them sleeping in one room in filth with barely any food.
Their parents home in a state of panic and disbelief. I can only imagine what it was like.
As we look back we think this was a special time in history, but I am sure it was in many ways, a nightmare. The threat of communism, the draft, the drugs and the uncertainty of a future for the young.
But the music was good, right? Well, maybe not so much. When I listen back to a lot of the music of this era, it wasn’t very good at all. It was a haze of drug induced hippie crap.
This festival was probably the beginning of the end. From what I have read, the hippie era became so overwhelmingly popular and it burned itself out rather quickly.
Far too many casualties resulted from the era.
Mostly, the entire movement was destroyed by two events. The Rolling Stones concert in Altamont when a Hell’s Angel “allegedly” killed a girl in the crowd. And when Charles Manson and his “family” of brainwashed hippies committed murder. It proved to the world that the whole counter-culture thought process was just one massive fuck up.
Peace and Love my ass…
In the words of Pete Townshend: