EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY and COUNTER CULTURE VIBES!
00individual is pleased to have fellow Counter Culture Survivor/Adventurer, Psychonaut and East Coast Kindred Spirit, Gene O’Brien as guest writer of this week’s post.
Through this site 00individual truthfully attempts to relate not only historical cultural events of the ’60s and ’70s but also of the universal feeling; “the Vibe”.
The Vibe was omnipresent and therefore a part of every level of life as we experienced it.
With the following, Gene captures the essence and strange beautiful reality that we were all living and feeling:
I think the counterculture was as diverse as the music of the 1960’s and at times we all felt like an amalgamation of activist, revolutionary, protester, peacenik, hippie and dyed-in-the-wool freak. Over one million students considered themselves revolutionaries in 1969 but the media usually only portrayed us in one of two ways; as hippie or terrorist.
A wonderful and perfectly descriptive song that was played in college dorms and underground radio stations was the Dylan-like “Spirits of the Revolution” by Larry Estridge. When played, it brought everyone to a solemn silence and reinforced our commitment to each other and to the movement and it fortified our will to overcome and fight against whatever the system threw at us.
Protest and dissension was as much a part of our personal code as it was of the zeitgeist. If you haven’t had the chance, try giving a listen to Earth Opera’s 1969 epic “The Great American Eagle Tragedy“. It’s a great indictment of Nixon and the war.
The essence of the counterculture had become so diluted by the early 70’s that when Jagger sang in Salt of the Earth “…and when I search a faceless crowd; a swirling mass of grey and black and white; they don’t look real to me; in fact they look so strange…” he seemed to be talking about his inability to recognize a type of person he could identify with as much as he was discussing a musician’s view from the stage.
The counterculture eventually died from absorption and the new breed of long hair, who reveled in what they saw as a drug free for all, knew nothing about what came before them. And the people today have only the caricatures that the media feeds them.
We took drugs for enlightenment, we grew our hair, not because of fashion but from the direct connection to what felt natural, an insight that acid gave us.
We knew that everything originated and emanated from one source – LOVE and that too was born from our acid dreams. We shared and loved; spreading, like modern day Johnny Appleseed’s, the best of humanity as we hitch-hiked through what was our wonderland.
It took courage to be a freak, Amerika hated us but the warm sensation of meeting a brother or sister as we traveled on the road was an unimaginable joy that only we knew.
Amen, Brother. Amen.
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