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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Monday, 21 January 2013

How Jefferson Airplane Defined the 'Summer Of Love'

I found this remarkable article almost by accident through the good offices of Google News Alerts. What makes it even more extraordinary is that it was written by a 17 year old student. She is definitely someone to watch...  

File:Jefferson Airplane.jpgJefferson Airplane's 1967 album, "Surrealistic Pillow" is one of the most enduring and beloved representations of San Francisco's Summer of Love. Indeed, the anthemic "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love" define the Airplane for much of the public, and some of the album's deep tracks, such as "Plastic Fantastic Lover" and "Today," are also gems in the band's catalogue, but the social impact of the album is just as significant as the music. Released several months before The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Pillow" exuded a new kind of liberation, and spoke for an as-of-yet unrepresented group of listeners who would go on to populate an entirely new psychedelic subculture as the snowball of the late 1960s kept on rolling.

But the often-idealized, now-legendary Summer of Love was just that--and when it was over, it was very much over. The new world that many romantics envisioned never came. The psychedelic Mecca at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury was left impoverished and overcrowded, with disturbingly young homeless and increasingly hard drugs. But it was immediately clear that the aftermath of the Summer of Love would prove to be an interesting year for the original alumni of California's most far-out street. 

Read on...

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