Re: 1967 and the Summer of Love

08/20/17 - posted by Paul Judge

We too found the “Art of Consciousness” poster exhibition at the just opened Haight Street Art Center quite interesting and well curated. Among the many exhibitions marking the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love this exhibition stands alone in its vibrant examples and descriptions of the artists, their intent, and the evolution of their remarkable art form.

The Haight Street Art Center “The Art of Consciousness” runs through September. Free. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 215 Haight St., S.F.

Reflecting on that period with chums and associates from the Avenues we were coming of age living within blocks of all what that period symbolized. Many of us ‘locals’ didn’t immediately gravitate to it’s ‘calling’. Perhaps for many a combination of connection to our family upbringing, our schooling, and our community lent ballast to propel our trajectory and outlook. Yet for certain we enjoyed and resonated to the music that came to be called the San Francisco Sound.

Starting about ’64 (Beau Brummels) through ’66 (Charlatans, Jefferson Airplane, etc.) it was evolving for us on the radio airways and learning about their nightclub venues. Eventually DJ, Tom "Big Daddy" Donahue and KYA AM pals and others created KMPX FM and eventually KSAN FM. Some pop music piggy-backed on this trend and was discernibly insipid, I’ve always detested Scott McKenzie’s rancid “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”. The free concerts in the Panhandle and Speedway Meadows and seeing an array of amazing talent pass through the Fillmore, the Carousel Ballroom/Fillmore West, the Family Dog, etc.informed and shaped our coming of age.

One can’t dismiss the political atmosphere of the Civil Rights/Black and Indian Power (Alcatraz!) and Anti War / Draft Resistance movements. Public demonstrations, the social satire performances of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Congress of Wonders, and the Pitchell Players, Stewart Brand's publication of the Whole Earth Catalog, the poetry of Gary Snyder all registered as an influence of thought and world view. For me the influence of ‘all that’ cooked at a simmer, the best of the ideas and values came to shape my outlook and choices in life.

Here’s link to a something the SF Chronicle put together

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