The Summer of Love 1967

In: Other Topics

Submitted By emmie2015
Words 2868
Pages 12
It was billed as “the Summer of Love,” a blast of glamour, ecstasy, and Utopianism that drew some 75,000 young people to the San Francisco streets in 1967. Who were the true movers behind the Haight-Ashbury happening that turned America on to a whole new age?
In a 25-square-block area of San Francisco, in the summer of 1967, an ecstatic, Dionysian mini-world sprang up like a mushroom, dividing American culture into a Before and After unparalleled since World War II. If you were between 15 and 30 that year, it was almost impossible to resist the lure of that transcendent, peer-driven season of glamour, ecstasy, and Utopianism. It was billed as the Summer of Love, and its creators did not employ a single publicist or craft a media plan. Yet the phenomenon washed over America like a tidal wave, erasing the last dregs of the martini-sipping Mad Men era and ushering in a series of liberations and awakenings that irreversibly changed our way of life.

The Summer of Love also thrust a new kind of music—acid rock—across the airwaves, nearly put barbers out of business, traded clothes for costumes, turned psychedelic drugs into sacred door keys, and revived the outdoor gatherings of the Messianic Age, making everyone an acolyte anda priest. It turned sex with strangers into a mode of generosity, made “uptight” an epithet on a par with “racist,” refashioned the notion of earnest Peace Corps idealism into a bacchanalian rhapsody, and set that favorite American adjective, “free,” on a fresh altar.

“It was this magical moment … this liberation movement, a time of sharing that was very special,” with “a lot of trust going around,” says Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, who had a baby with Ken Kesey, the man who helped kick off that season, and who then married Jerry Garcia, the man who epitomized its fruition. “The Summer of Love became the template: the Arab Spring is related…...

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