EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY AND COUNTER CULTURE LIFESTYLE!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA HIPPIE
24 HOURS – 1971
(Monday February 8, 6:30 AM PST through Tuesday February 9, 6:30 AM PST)
Definition of a Classic Hippie:
#1 Live with your working girlfriend.
#2 Bulk deliver the L.A. Times from 2 AM to 6 AM to all of the LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) terminals.
#3 During the day, make trippy candles to supply to local retailers.
#4 Get high and listen to KPPC, one of the Nation’s first Rock Underground Radio stations and the very first in Southern California while doing #1, #2 and #3.
Yeah, that was 00individual, once again blessed to be traveling through an incredible space in time and for about a year that was his schedule.
00individual, a L.A. Native, will probably Live and Die in L.A., so for the archives here is a true account of a Day in the Life of a L.A. Hippie during February 1971 – and for ambiance, each time-log links to an example of some of the latest classic songs that were playing on KPPC back when ’71 had just begun:
Monday February 8, 1971
6:30 AM PST The Grateful Dead – “Truckin'”
00individual arrives home as the sun rises from his L.A. Times/LAX L.A. International Airport graveyard newspaper job to spend some time with his girlfriend while she gets ready for work. After she leaves he feed their three pups.
8:30 AM PST The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
Somewhat still psychedelized from the previous night he joins his close buddy TFS at the local Marina restaurant for breakfast. As they waited for their breakfast to be served they discussed their independent Hippie Candle business. And while they spoke they stopped to take time to appreciate a tip from TFS’ Mom on how to cool down the coffee by putting an ice cube in it – only they didn’t do it to cool the coffee. Prior to the ice cube, they would add a couple drops of cream just to opaque the coffee and with a spoon, stirred the steaming hot coffee intensely until there were several Gs of centrifugal force pressing against the inside walls of the coffee mug and as the coffee swirled they’d lower an ice cube into the center vortex.
Then the magic began, the melting ice stayed in the center vortex and created a clear core that went all the way down to the bottom of the coffee mug – and for a few seconds you could look down into the mug and see what appeared to be a hole in your liquid coffee! Groovy!
If you think this sounds lame; then try it sometime the morning after, when tinges of psychedelic weirdness still loom in the ethers and a mug of hot coffee with a hole down the center becomes a whirlwind epiphany of scientific data involving mutual yet proportionately different dissipating heat to degrees of frozen H2O ratios and suddenly the macro and the micro of the universe is within the swirling magic of the coffee mug.
This just goes to show that they were not easily entertained, but creatively entertained and they appreciated the small wonders in life, of life.
9:30 AM PST Santana – “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen”.
After breakfast they head back to 00individual’s place to their “candle factory” to begin production. With hand-made wooden troughs filled with wet sand, slabs of wax, dyes, pots, scents, wicks, tongs, mixing utensils, propane torches and thermonuclear portable dual burners, they created a kick-ass operation all set up on the back patio of a duplex 00individual and his girlfriend rented.
They had it down, the whole process, they were in a once-in-a-lifetime position to sell “Hippie-Culture Paraphernalia”, specifically candles. The establishment saw the money to be made off of the Counter-Culture and that was fine, as this wasn’t mass-production, it was quality hand- made useful (scented/provides light and ambiance) and decorative (Hippy Trippy) items that they supplied for the current demand and in doing so, made a decent profit.
They were always in different continuous stages of production so whenever they had a decent amount of product they’d . . .
1:30 PM PST Deep Purple – “Child in Time”
. . . take their finished candles (they gave them model numbers; QR4 with driftwood and QR5 without, or QR3 with some sand still attached or QR2 torched-off to a high sheen, and so on) and cruise into the local Broadway department store to the “Notions” department. The Notions department was notorious to us Rock Fiends as most major department stores offered “electronic” tickets to most all of the L.A area Rock concerts through the “TicketTron Booths” installed there.
And like the slabs of wax they’d buy from a local petroleum company; they did business with the Broadway without any paperwork, vendor clearances, background or ID checks, disclosures or business licenses. Without any haggling – the female Notions clerk would pay them cash out of the register for the amount they requested (per each; totaled) and then she would be marking them up to put on the shelves as they were walking out the door. They’d be back the next week and their candles would be sold out! Right on!
Today the Home Décor Aromatherapy Candle business is a billion dollar industry – just remember who started and made popular all of this commerce – Hippies … you’re welcome.
2:30 PM PST Elton John – “Burn Down the Mission”
With the money made from their candle profits they planned to invest into a pound of Marijuana, usually $70.00 up to $100.00 for the better grade.
So back at 00individual’s pad he called up his L.A. Times/LAX partner, a Mexican Brother who he got their weed through his buddy who had kilos for sale and since he was coming out 00individual’s way he’d drop off a pound.
3:30 PM PST The Who – “Young Man Blues”
Once the Marijuana was delivered they’d clean enough of the weed free of stems and seeds to make a nice amount of lids to sell. Usually one or two phone calls would bring regular customers and friends over to purchase multiple lids at $10.00 each which made their candle investment back plus the profit off the pound plus a decent amount of free stash of weed. They’d get high with their friends/customers and listen to continuous music while getting higher. They were mini-entrepreneurs and didn’t even realize it – as it was a lifestyle, an alternative lifestyle that kept them high, happy and self-sustainable, for the most part.
9:30 PM PST Led Zeppelin – “That’s the Way”
They go to bed. 00individual usually get four hours sleep at night during the week. Sometimes he’d crash when he’d get home around 6:30 AM in the morning and sleep for a couple hours before starting the day or take a cat-nap mid-day. He was young, almost twenty with energy to burn.
Tuesday February 9, 1971
2:00 AM PST Van Morrison – “Moondance”
00individual and his L.A. Times partner/Marijuana connection load up the step-van and head off to LAX to deliver the bundles of daily newspapers to all of the terminals. This takes a total of four hours; 1/2 hour to load and 1/2 hour round trip from Torrance to LAX and back, and 3 hours at LAX – then add on a 1/2 hour round trip from 00individual’s place in Westchester to Torrance and back.
6:01 AM PST Quicksilver Messenger Service – “Fresh Air”
Before leaving LAX they’d take a coffee break and meet-up with a couple of airport workers at 6 AM and maybe lag for quarters at the south terminals across from the Air Traffic Control Tower. One of our Lagger group was a Black Brother, the Maintenance Head of the whole Tower.
00individual was just ready to get out of the step-van to meet up with them when the step-van started to move up and down. He immediately thought that it was his partner jumping up and down on the bumper so he hopped out the back to the ground and felt the strangest sensation.
He could barely keep his balance and he was on the ground! The asphalt was heaving and swaying beneath him! He was getting head-nausea fast from trying to gain his balance on the normally flat ground! Then he looked up and saw the light poles swaying from side to side and past that he saw the whole Air Traffic Control Tower slowly sway back and forth. This was nuts, what was happening? Had he finally taken too many drugs? Or not enough? Within that moment he realized that he was experiencing an earthquake, a major earthquake and within that moment it is never known whether one is experiencing the worst or the least of the earthquake’s wrath, generally if there are cracking and rupturing sounds around, it’s major.
Several minutes later their Black Brother came running toward from out of the Control Tower. 00individual had never seen a Black Man turn white, his face was ashen as he said that he and others at the top were literally thrown up against the walls, back and forth – he was freaked!
00individual tried to call his girlfriend but the public phone lines were down or overloaded, so he hauled-ass back to Torrance; and then double hauled-ass home.
6:30 AM PST The Moody Blues – “Question”
Once home, he found that all was well, his girlfriend and their pups were fine and there was no damage to the duplex, just a few things disheveled. It was a magnitude 6.6 earthquake on the
Richter scale centered near the San Fernando Valley fault zone that ultimately caused 65 deaths and over $500 million in property damage of mainly buildings, bridges and major freeways including Interstate 5.
As he rolled a joint, he watched all the coverage on TV, then turned the TV down and KPPC up, lit the joint and took a nice long hit, and once again realized how short life could have been, he exhaled and began to prep the Candle Factory, ready for another adventurous Day in the Life of a L.A. Hippie.
Zeitgeist landmark, “Isle of California” by The Fine Arts Squad – 1972 Venice Beach, CA
LAX Air Traffic Control Tower and “Googie” architecture UFO Theme Building.
Header image: custom edit of the motion picture “To Live and Die in L.A.” soundtrack album cover.
For more cool info on KPPC and HIPPIE CANDLE photos: see HERE.
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