Roll Up, Roll Up — for the Greyhound Bus Hippyland Tour!

Jun 12, 2017 | 2823 Views | 6 Comments

So, you're trippin' with your blue-jean baby down a marijuana-scented street, wearing your tie-dyed shirt, love beads and huaraches, when you hear an announcement blaring from a packed tour bus: “Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you look to your left you'll see a hairy hippie passed out in front of the Phật Phúc Noodle Bar. Ahead on the right you’ll notice a parade of shaved-head Hare Krishnas -- such a happy lot, wrapped in their orange gauze! Oh, and do you see those scraggly kids carrying signs that say 'drop acid, not bombs'? They're the pinko-loving,... Read More »

Motor City Mavericks: The Pleasure Seekers and Suzi Quatro

Jun 3, 2017 | 4202 Views | 2 Comments

When a group of sisters got together in the early '60s to come up with a name for their rock and roll band, they turned to that greatest of reference guides -- the dictionary. You could always count on ol' Funk and Wagnall for inspiration. Or even Merriam and Webster. (Kids, you can Google those names.) Leafing through the large tome, they came across the word "hedonist." Definition: a pleasure seeker. Bingo! Formed in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in 1964 by 17-year-old Patti Quatro, The Pleasure Seekers were born of Beatlemania and bred on Detroit muscle. The original... Read More »

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

May 28, 2017 | 17296 Views | 2 Comments

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?” That’s a question most kids eventually get around to asking when they learn their fathers served in the armed forces. Almost all of my childhood friends had dads who served in either World War II or the Korean War. In those days it wasn’t uncommon for veterans to keep their war stories to themselves, especially those who fought in battle or witnessed atrocities. The men who went to war back then were of a generation steeped, for better or worse, in silent suffering. They shared a collective stiff-upper-lip consciousness.... Read More »

David Peel: The Dope-Smokin’ Pope of the New York City Hippies

May 1, 2017 | 16838 Views | 7 Comments

Hello, ma'am. I'm working to clean up the neighborhood from parasites. Do you mind if I take a quick look around your house? I'm afraid you may have hippies. If you're familiar with the darkly funny animated series "South Park," you know there's nothing that tubby 9-year-old Eric Cartman hates more than hippies. In the 2005 episode "Die Hippie, Die," he gallantly waddles from house to house with an exterminator tank, hell-bent on ridding the neighborhood of the bad-smelling, peace-preaching stoners. Well, in my small hometown in the late 1960s, we had but one authentic hippie, and we intended... Read More »

We All Will Be Received in Graceland — Except for Bruce

Apr 29, 2017 | 6911 Views | 1 Comment

All The King's men. That's a royal court that could include every seasoned rocker whose creative spark was first lit by the sight and sound of Elvis Presley. They started out wanting to be him, and spent their lives dying to meet him. Some were fortunate enough to encounter The King long before their moms bought them their first guitars. Future country rock pioneer Gram Parsons was 9 years old when he shook hands with the new singing sensation backstage at the Waycross City Auditorium in Georgia in 1956. Tom Petty was 11 when his uncle introduced... Read More »