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The Summer of Love Turns 50!

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 11:24am by amy

The Summer of Love’s foggy origins lay in the Bay area’s 1950s Beat culture, the merry pranksters’ 1964-66 acid tests, and politically disaffected Berkeley students. In January 1967, The Doors release their eponymous album in Los Angeles and the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park promotes cultural decentralization, communal living, radical politics, and higher consciousness fueled by drug use. In February, Jefferson Airplane takes off with their breakout album, Surrealistic Pillow, and by May the Mamas and the Papas’ John Phillips writes “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” whose Scott McKenzie cover will hit #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 by July 1. As if all this wasn’t enough, the Beatles release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band on June 1 and two weeks later The Jimi Hendrix Experience performs at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, the Detroit race riots at the end of July bring John Sinclair’s Trans-Love Energies commune (and future White Panthers) to Ann Arbor, and in August they stage a free concert by the Grateful Dead in Ann Arbor's West Park.

And this is how the summer of 1967 gave birth to the hippie!

Here are a few videos to help you make sense of all this hippie love:

Beatles Anthology
Berkeley in the Sixties
Complete Monterey Pop Festival
The Jimi Hendrix Experience live at Monterey


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