Summer … 55 years ago | TEMI

The second week of calendar summer is just around the corner. It is therefore an opportunity to return to the year five and a half decades ago, which has been recorded in pop culture history as the “summer of love”.
San Francisco became the world capital that summer. This legendary city, as well as much of the American west coast, then exploded with a thousand colors, the ubiquitous music of guitars, the sound of Indian instruments, splashes of flashing light, the smell of sandalwood incense, the smell of marijuana, colorful fabrics and beautiful albeit utopian ideas.
The Monterey Pop Festival, which was recalled last week, served as a sort of overture to the “summer of love.” In fact, preparations for that season started much earlier, mostly in San Francisco. In 1965, the poet-beatnik – Allen Ginsberg, according to the theory that if a certain amount of “good vibrations” existed in one place, everything would be possible, organized the first be-in (“be in”) in “Frisko”. These be-ins, “organized for disorganized activity,” have become a favored countercultural activity on both sides of the Atlantic, and the “summer of love” has been referred to as an extended be-in.

If you go to San Francisco, don’t forget the flowers in your hair. When you go to San Francisco, you meet friendly people there. For those who come to San Francisco, summer will be a season of love. On the streets of San Francisco, friendly people with flowers in their hair. Amazing vibrations are flowing all over the country. People on the move, a whole generation with new answers. This hippie manifesto, sung by Scott McKenzie, promulgating a naive vision of a world in which anyone can join if they wish, has become a mega hit. The song also confirmed that that summer San Francisco, perched on picturesque hills at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, became a mecca of the “flower power” movement.

For “flower children”, the term “flower power” served as the slogan under which their gatherings were held. The first representatives of this movement handed out flowers to passers-by as a symbol of a peaceful, friendly attitude. Youths drew this floral inspiration from sources as diverse as traditional Hindu customs, the ornamentation of Pre-Raphaelite art, and the romantic cult of nature. Flower Children wanted to prove that there was an alternative to military and economic powers. In the US, representatives of the movement put flowers in the barrels of law enforcement guns during anti-war demonstrations.

The most famous neighborhood of “Frisco”, which is actually a hippie enclave, was Haight Ashbury, while the most famous building was the building at 710 Ashbury Street. In it, the members of the Grateful Dead band lived in a compatible commune with – let we call them – accompanying persons. This object, while not the only one of its kind, became the most photographed building of that summer. Another landmark was the building with its imposing colonnade overlooking Golden Gate Park. Initially it was painted black and richly decorated with gilding. It stood at 2400 Fulton Street and was the office of the Jefferson Airplane band and famed singer Grace Slick. The spiciness is added by the fact that her band members, allegedly because of Grace’s “hot taste”, never dared to live in a commune.

It’s worth knowing that the legendary fortnightly rock and roll Rolling Stone, which resulted from the counterculture vibe of “summer of love”, also made an appearance in San Francisco. The first issue of this magazine featured a lot of material from the Monterey Pop Festival, an interview with Donovan and a story about the acting skills of John Lennon, who appeared in the film How I Won the War. Hippie youth, not just in San Francisco at the time, were guided by the slogan make love, not war. This was the result of opposition to the Vietnam War. Hippies believed in the power of flowers, sought positive vibrations in the world, believed in the power of love (especially free love), and led their illusory path to a utopian society of the future, thanks to drugs, through different states of consciousness .

Finally, it should be emphasized that true hippies have never used the name “hippie” when referring to themselves. They used to call themselves freaks. The English term hippie was a patronizing term for young people given to them by older musicians or representatives of bohemia. The press caught the term. And she followed the lead of Herb Caen, a journalist from… San Francisco.

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