EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY & 1960s & 1970s CULTURE!
If there ever was a time-capsuled hermetically-sealed essence of the ’60s; this album is it!
Released forty-five years ago this month; “Hair” was a cultural event and a must-see for everyone on both sides of the Generation Gap.
Here was the first true representation of what the Hippies, Flower Children, Students, Activists, Revolutionaries, Intelligentsia, Artists, Musicians, Poets, Politicos and Sons and Daughters of the traditional generations before us could embrace as a fun and exuberant medium to express our feelings, concerns and love.
Like most of “My Generation”, this album, these songs, are all imprinted indelibly in our memory to the point of knowing all the words even if not heard for over four decades. This album was in everyone’s collection and was played when alone or in when people were hangin’ out.
It contained joyous anthems that went on to be big hits by many who covered them and spoke volumes about the spirit in which we were reveling in.
I saw the live performance at the Aquarius theater on the Sunset Strip toward the end of 1968 with my girlfriend while we were still in high school. We dressed accordingly; it was a time of bell-bottoms, wide belts and paisley shirts for the guys and mini-skirts, hip-hugger bell-bottoms, natural long hair and Mod make-up for the girls – and cut-offs, Hippie beads, sandals, headbands and tie-dyed t-shirts/tank-tops for both sexes – groovy.
“Hair” was vastly important; it covered everything from the aforementioned dress “code” to the nudity which our generation embraced; from the war in Viet-Nam to the war in the streets of major cities all over the world in protest of that war; from racial prejudice and injustice to political injustice – and the prejudice and injustice that the youth were experiencing – just because we were young!
I use the word “tribe” in my posts when referring to many of my generation because we were.
No matter where you were if you saw another of your “tribe” there would be an unspoken acknowledgement of brotherly love. There was a unity like nothing I have experienced since. And this album expresses those feelings excellently.
It is sad that many joke and belittle the symbolism of that period; the feelings were true, heartfelt, honest and pure – I knew some hypocrites, but they were just like some people today, not mature or brave enough yet to grasp their own inner feelings and so they used cynicism or sarcasm to cover up their vulnerabilities.
The “stoner Hippies” were not the cliched space-cases that are portrayed today; we were intelligent, opinionated, articulate and well-read. We wanted to be informed and to join in meaningful conversations with others of our tribe and have credibility in debates with those who opposed our vision.
We saw beauty in diversity and never downed anyone for their personal expression whether inward or outward. Sure there were many who never “got it” because they were too entrenched in their traditional up-bringing, but that was their loss. We were living day to day with a once in a lifetime opportunity to be real individuals, without any inhibitions to hold us back from expressing our views on life and love. And “Hair” was a fantastic vehicle for all of us to ride from town to town and rejoice together in our accomplishments as a tribe.
So, as you listen to this album remember that the words you hear spoken and sung that today are considered horrific and politically incorrect were words of our parents’ generation; to us they held no negative weight, in fact we made fun of their use because so-called “negative” words only hurt or have weight if you respect those who say or use them.
- Aquarius – Tribe and soloist (often Dionne)
Donna – Berger and Tribe
Hashish – Tribe
Sodomy – Woof and Tribe
I’m Black/Colored Spade – Hud, Woof, Berger, Claude and Tribe
Manchester England – Claude and Tribe
Ain’t Got No – Woof, Hud, Dionne and Tribe
I Believe in Love – Sheila and Tribe trio
Air – Jeanie, Crissy and Dionne
Initials (L.B.J.) – Tribe
I Got Life – Claude and Tribe
Going Down – Berger and Tribe
Hair – Claude, Berger, and Tribe
My Conviction – Margaret Mead (tourist lady)
Easy to be Hard – Sheila
Don’t Put It Down – Berger, Woof and male Tribe member
Frank Mills – Crissy
Be-In (Hare Krishna) – Tribe
Where Do I Go? – Claude and Tribe
- Electric Blues – Tribe quartet
Black Boys – Tribe sextet (three male, three female)
White Boys – Tribe Supremes trio
Walking in Space – Tribe
Yes, I’s Finished/Abie Baby – Abraham Lincoln and Tribe trio (Hud and two men)
Three-Five-Zero-Zero – Tribe
What a Piece of Work Is Man – Tribe duo
Good Morning Starshine – Sheila and Tribe
The Bed – Tribe
Aquarius (reprise) – Tribe
Manchester England (Reprise) – Claude and Tribe
Eyes Look Your Last – Claude and Tribe
The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In) – Claude, Sheila, Dionne and Tribe
“LET THE SUNSHINE IN”
Excellent comment from if6ws929 on May 8, 2013 at 9:03 AM said:
Another spot on post! Thank you!
The old saying that history is written by the victor is never more true than when referring to the 60′s. Perhaps the same was true of those that went through the Roaring 20′s. Maybe something else was going on then but the story that we’ve all been fed about that time is a consistent flow of images showing wild parties, hedonism and excess.
There were very few of us in the 60′s who “got it”. It didn’t seem like it at the time but we were a minority within our own generation. Yes, as the decade progressed more and more were added to the ranks, especially after the Woodstock movie was released but the original meanings became diluted as the youth of the world assimilated into the counterculture.
Arlo’s pithy announcement “lotta Freaks” at Woodstock was inaccurate. Most of the festival’s attendees had short hair and were only recently introduced to the music. Many of them didn’t understand the origins, influences or intentions of the music. After the Woodstock documentary came out the flood gates opened and it was the beginning of the end for the counterculture – death by absorption.
The music became our raison d’être, it gave us our conceit and it validated everything (what could be wrong if this was so great?). Musicians were our peers, not ivory tower inhabitants. Musicians may have had an advantage where they sat in the ship’s bird nest as they shouted down to us what we were all about to see but musicians were freaks and they created music for freaks. They were concerned with how we felt and we were all connected by their art.
Webster hasn’t created the words to explain how that music touched us. We knew that the musicians and artists were going through the same experiences as we were. They were our brothers and sisters. If it’s true that art takes the viewer/listener to the level of consciousness that the artist was at when it was created then it can also be said that to really understand Hendrix, his music needs to be experienced while tripping.
Quantum physics tells us that everything is one, the cosmos and everything in it emanates from the same source material. We were the only generation that experienced this truth on a subjective level, the only generation with a support system which held our collective hands as we traveled on that cosmic journey. We are star stuff, we are golden and we owe it to ourselves to set the record of our history straight, lest we be remembered only as a mid century version of the Roaring 20′s.