Summer of Love or Hate?

While we were out getting drinks tonight, I spotted a psychedelic sign advertising a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of “Summer of Love” in Northampton. The advertisement said that the event would feature bands like Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin’s old band), and Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Granted, this “Summer of Love” won’t nearly be as cool as the one that featured Joplin in her hayday, Hendrix, The Who and Eric Burdon. And it won’t be full of LSD and rampant sex (or will it?).
But a part of me looks at that sign and thinks, “What I wouldn’t do to be a wild, crazy, free-loving hippy back then!”.
It would’ve been so exciting to be part of such a passionate event, to And as much as I know it’s dangerous to use mind-altering substances, a part of me wishes I was part of that wild, trippy pandemonium that was so full of hope and thoughts about a “new world”. It was almost a lavish, childlike hope. It was a solidarity of a generation, and a passion for music which America had never seen before, and I doubt will ever see again. Can you imagine watching Hendrix light that guitar on fire? Somehow anyone trying to copy the original, raw rock attitudes that were brought on back then just seems corny. It was a time when old-fashioned communication was still valued, and no one was text messaging their friends which bands were playing. You were either there or you weren’t, and you were living it up.
I’m sure that if I went to this new “Summer of Love”, I’d be sorely dissapointed. Grace Slick isn’t as “slick” as she used to be, and half the performers will probably need walkers to get on stage. I’m sure it will be too much patchouli and arm hair, and people still acting like “hippies” who shouldn’t be (C’mon now, 40-somethings, get a job!!).
But that silly daydreamer part of me that always gets into trouble wishes I could go there and relive that crazy time just a leeeeetle bit.

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