1960’s – 1970’s CULTURAL CHRONICLE
SAN SOUCI ARDMORE PSYCHEDELIC “the TRIP” MANSION
I guess just too much time has passed, because it is very hard to find any info on this enigmatic Mansion.
The “Mansion” was the legendary abode for the Roger Corman / Jack Nicholson / Peter Fonda classic movie “the Trip” and many a rock star stayed there like Hendrix, Joplin, the Mothers and the Dead, as they passed through or hung out in Los Angeles. It had very cool architecture with a ballroom and hidden rooms. I know this first hand as I was there for the Eviction Party.
As you can see by the ad in the L.A. Free Press, all were invited! Greenpower (not Green Peace) were there supplying food and drink as they were famously known to do at the major Love-Ins and Be-Ins that took place at selected parks and events.
It was February 7, 1970 a Saturday, a nice day for a solo bike ride with a cool destination.
I remember pulling up in front of the mansion on my motorcycle and seeing people everywhere. I believe it was three stories high and people were in every window, doorway and all around on the grounds.
Once inside I got a cup of punch (not spiked) and climbed the circular staircase to the balcony overlooking the ballroom below. There were Hippies, Freaks and Straights, it was fun to see and wonderful to feel the love from everyone. As weird as this may sound now, back then we didn’t even think about it – it just was.
You could spot people in a crowd and when your eyes met there was a bond, a bond that couldn’t be denied – they were one of our tribe – and smiles appeared and knowing and understanding connected you both without a word spoken. It was real, it was animalistic, it was cool, it was love for another by an unknown-‘til-then connection.
Now you know what it was like to exist as a Hippie in the ‘60s – we were livin’ on another planet.
I continued on up another level to the roof. There was simple roof access and there were people sitting, smokin’ doobies and bowls of hash, drinking and enjoying the beautiful view.
Although it was a sad day, (the eviction would be followed by a tear down – it’s a parking lot today) there was still laughter and high spirits as we were all learning to adapt to a nomadic mindset of not just places but ideas, concepts and understanding.
I sat down and before I could light up a number of my own, a guy walks up and sits down next to me and hands me a joint. The sun was in my eyes so initially all I could see was his silhouette, so I took the joint, and a hit as he sat down, and I handed it back to him. I then saw that he was in full military uniform, a US Marine, he smiled, gave me the nod, hit it and passed it back to me. As I was taking another hit I sensed someone else sit down to my right and “doing the natural brotherly thing” I passed it on to him – as he took the joint I saw it was a Cop.
Now normally I would have probably been busted on the spot – but that was not the case today – he just smiled, took a hit and passed it back to me. So here I was in full Hippie mode on a rooftop smokin’ marijuana with a Cop and a Marine while we all three gazed out over L.A. taking in the view and the effects of the weed. Groovy!
Not only is this a true story, but it’s one that needs to be archived, for as much as we were at war with the Cops, (daily, hourly – especially the narcs), just like any situation, there were exceptions to the rule.
Around this time I was doing some very light dealing out of my beach pad, just to friends and friends of friends. I shared this really cool place with two good buddies. It was on top of the garage and home of the owner, a young “mystery” woman who liked having three guys upstairs. We had our own entrance via a wooden staircase outside, a short walk to the beach, nestled-in village atmosphere – yet straight-away access to the city – it was the coolest place I ever lived.
But I guess we exceeded our level of dealing enough to be noticed by the local cops. One night when we came home there was a note tacked to the door, it read: “Knock it off.”
We knew that it was the local cops because when we were “dealing less” we knew that they knew what we were doing – one of the cops was the older brother of a friend from junior high school days and we used to give each other the mutual nod of recognition when we’d see them cruising the area.
The point is that, just like the confusing state of allegiances that the war instilled in nearly everyone; so was the relationship with the cops. Back then, many cops were conflicted as to what was morally right versus the clamped-down law.
There were cops that would want nothing more than five minutes alone with a “Longhair” to fuck you up – then there were others that were having a very difficult time with the power they had and the way they used it.
Some had compassion as they had been “you” in some cases or at some time, or had a brother or sister that you represented and sometimes fascism was replaced with benevolence.
They were truly Strange Days.
Today there is no benevolence, just injustice, police brutality and obscene abuse of power – across the board in every city of America and all over the world.
We live in what is called a Democracy which initially, truly was set up as a Republic but quickly mutated into a Democracy which essentially deprives you of your individual rights. Do we live in a Democracy or a Republic?
And for all of you who are under the spell and think we still live in the Land of the Free; do your homework, the only thing that is undeniably and statistically-proven is that we live in a Police / Prison State and that’s the absolute truth. No nation on the planet has more prisons and police than the U.S. And why is that? Prisons are big business and the injustice system needs to churn out prison populations.
I’ve seen this happen, with a lifetime of history to arrive here, and it would be terribly sad if it were not so mind-numbingly imbecilic.
I used to think that Evil had been given the nod, but now I realize it’s much, much worse; Ignorance has been given the nod.
And it all started when the non-elected president, Bush the smirking fool, and his constitution defying and trampling “administration” took office. Since then American society has just given up.
Reality shows or American Idol anyone?
We were a Generation of Action and surely would have protested this “dumbing-down” of American society (and civilization) and essentially did back then.
However it is understandable that the unity of yesterday is weak today because the fear of injustice has been instilled in society and everyone now knows for sure that if you “step out of line the Man will take you away” .