Friday, July 06, 2007

1967 was a good year

On August 25th Ruta Maya will be hosting a hoot night in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. 21 local bands will each perform 2-3 songs of their own choosing from the year of 1967, while also performing one song from their own collection, in the spirit of the Monterey Pop Festival. Doors are at 3 pm. There will be live sounds from the Summer of Love from 4 pm until 3 am, with beer and barbeque, and a portion of the $8 cover will be donated to the Roky Erickson Trust. This is a Bleu French Laundry Production.

I took a couple of friends to the Led Zeppelin hoot at Ruta Maya a few months ago, and it was by far the most outrageous time I've ever had in an establishment that serves coffee. Below is a list of artists who will be performing at the Summer of Love hoot on Saturday August the 25th, along with at least one of the bands that they will be covering:
Keep an eye on this event (and invite your friends) at


Here are a few things designed to get you in that Summer of Love mood:
  • Watch: The PBS documentary titled Summer of Love right here:
In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people from across the country flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district to join in the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 the celebration of free love, music, and an alternative lifestyle had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams, and occasional violence.

Through interviews with a broad range of individuals who lived through the Summer of Love -- police officers walking the beat, teenage runaways who left home without looking back, non-hippie residents who resented the invasion of their community, and scholars who still have difficulty interpreting the phenomenon -- this American Experience offers a complex portrait of the notorious event that many consider the peak of the 1960s counter-culture movement.

  • Read: "Summer of Love: 40 Years Later", right here:
Forty years later, the ripples from the Haight-Ashbury are still being felt in our culture. The event itself may have gone bad almost at once, but the fact that the Summer of Love had a profound and lasting impact on American life -- that's one thing on which all the now-gray leaders of what was once called the Youth Movement agree, even if they debate what lasted and what didn't. The effects are here, undeniable and quantifiable -- in pop music, human relationships and sexuality, racial and ethnic diversity, a whole agenda of social thought and, yes, drugs.

I see remnants of that movement everywhere. It's sort of like the nuts in Ben and Jerry's ice cream -- it's so thoroughly mixed in, we sort of expect it. The nice thing is that eccentricity is no longer so foreign. We've embraced diversity in a lot of ways in this country. I think it's done us a tremendous service.
  1. The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever" (Demo Sequence)
  2. Big Brother and the Holding Company - "Call On Me"
  3. Pink Floyd - "The Gnome"
  4. The Rolling Stones - "She's A Rainbow"
  5. 13th Floor Elevators - "You're Gonna Miss Me"
  6. Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit"
  7. The Doors - "Love Me Two Times"
  8. The Mamas & The Papas - "California Dreamin'"
  9. Jimi Hendrix - "The Wind Cries Mary"
  10. Buffalo Springfield - "For What It's Worth"
  11. Scott McKenzie - "San Francisco"
  12. Van Morrison - "Brown Eyed Girl"
  13. The Velvet Underground - "I'll Be Your Mirror"
  14. The Yardbirds - "White Summer"

Things you might not have known:
  • On The Velvet Undrerground
Via the Margaret Moser interview with Austin Daze:
The most standout story I’ve done would probably have to be the piece I did on Sterling Morrison in 2000. Sterling Morrison was a member of the Velvet Underground and he left the Velvet Underground mid-tour in ‘69, I believe. They were leaving a series of dates they had done in Texas and they were in Houston at the airport and Sterling took a suitcase to the airport and got midway in the airport and said, “I’m not going with you.” And he decided to stay in Texas and came to Austin and settled here and began working in remedial studies at UT and ultimately got his Captain’s License to be a tugboat captain. He turned his back on what was arguably one of the great rock and roll bands of all time for this academic course.
Via Wiki:
In 1970, when The Velvet Underground was back in New York City to play an entire summer's engagement at Max's Kansas City, Morrison seized the opportunity to complete his studies and graduate (from City College). In 1971 he was offered, and accepted, a position at the University of Texas at Austin, which meant leaving the band. He played his last gig with them on August 21 in Houston. When it came time for the band to return to New York, Morrison packed an empty suitcase and accompanied them to the gate of their departing plane, before finally telling them he was staying in Texas and leaving the band. Morrison's tenure in the capital of Texas made him a well-loved and admired member of the local music community as well as an influential voice. During John Cale's renaissance in the late 1970's, Sterling could be seen playing with his former bandmate on stages such as the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin.
  • On Janis Joplin
Via Wiki:
Janis Joplin was born at St. Mary's Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas, on January 19th, 1943. While at Thomas Jefferson High School, she was mostly shunned. Among her high school classmates was another individual destined for stardom: future college and NFL coach Jimmy Johnson. In a 1992 Sports Illustrated profile of his career, Johnson claimed that he gave Janis the high school nickname of "beat weeds." Primarily a painter, in high school she first began singing blues and folk music with friends. Joplin graduated from high school in 1960 and attended the University of Texas at Austin, though she never obtained a degree. She lived in a building commonly referred to as "The Ghetto" which was located at 2812 1/2 Nueces Street. The building has since been torn down and replaced with new apartments. The rent was $40 a month when she lived there.
  • On the 13th Floor Elevators
Via Wiki:
Singer Janis Joplin was a close associate of the band. Joplin sang with the band at a few shows, and considered joining the group in Austin, before she headed to San Francisco and became part of Big Brother and the Holding Company. Director Keven McAlester recently completed a documentary film on the life of Roky Erickson entitled "You're Gonna Miss Me." The film is set for release July 10, 2007. The group's first single, "You're Gonna Miss Me" (actually a second version—the song had been recorded once before by the band when it was known as The Spades, with bassist Ernie Culley), reached #2 on local charts in early 1966, eventually reaching #56 on the pop charts nationwide. The band was contemporary with other Austin psychedelic bands including Shiva's Headband and the Conqueroo.

The International Artists record label (also home to contemporary Texas underground groups such as Red Krayola and Bubble Puppy) in Houston signed the Elevators to a record contract and released the album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators in the latter part of 1966, becoming an underground classic among the burgeoning counterculture. Not uncontroversially, the album's sleevenotes advocated LSD as nothing less than a guaranteed gateway to a higher state of consciousness, a philosophy the band's members adopted with a vengeance. Drug and legal problems resulted in turmoil for the band. In 1969, facing a marijuana possession charge, Erickson chose to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital rather than serve a prison term.
Via Austin 360:
Late 1965: Psychedelic guru Tommy Hall puts Erickson together with the Lingsmen, a band from Port Aransas, to form the 13th Floor Elevators, who recut "You're Gonna Miss Me" for their debut LP, "Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators." Under the supervision of Hall, inspired by the 1961 psychedelic research project helmed by Harvard professor Timothy Leary, Erickson and the rest of the band drop acid, which is legal until October 1966, to expand their musical minds.

1966: Hall asks former University of Texas student and Erickson fan Janis Joplin to join the Elevators as second lead singer. But she doesn't like acid ("I'm an alky," she tells Hall), so Joplin instead moves back to San Francisco and joins the bluesier Big Brother and the Holding Company.

1967: The Elevators peak with second LP, "Easter Everywhere."
  • The Summer of Love mix album covers:


alan said...

nice post, but why are the velvet underground included in the bands? they despised and rejected the whole west coast hippie love-in thing.

Mr. Curiosity said...

Because they were doing their thing in 1967, and that's what I was going for.

I didn't realize they despised it though. I know Nico spent some quality time with Jim Morrison, at least.

Silent 3 said...

Ah, yes, I remember staring into the cover of The Stones' Their Satanic Majesty's Request for hours... and after a while it seemed like the picture actually MOVED!

bleu french laundry said...

dear alan ~

this is bleu french laundry productions who is throwing this event. the 1967 Hoot Happening will covering music of 1967, not just the ideal of the summer of love. it is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the summer of love in spirit, as well as landmark LPs released that year like sgt pepper's,...i'm not attempting to depict it. all bands invited to perform were given the opportunity to cover all genres & several are choosing to cover the velvet underground.
if you live in austin you should come out! it's going to be KILLER. many cheers! bleu french laundry