Rock Music Documentaries: The Summer of Love
What’s now considered a social experiment, the Summer of Love took place in 1967. You’ve heard of it. Right? You know. Haight-Ashbury occupied by more than 100,000 hippies, music, art, drugs, and most memorably…the total lack of sexual inhibition. One of the biggest social phenomenons and counter-culture movements of all time brought an era of “question” to everyday people. Alternative lifestyles created gatherings of gender equality, communal living, and yes, FREE LOVE!
The hippie movement, which evolved from the beatnik re3volution that was popular in the 50’s, created effects that echoed well into the 70’s.
The summer of ’67 brought an alarming number of young people to San Francisco. The crowds making a pilgrimage to the Haight-Ashbury district overwhelmed the police and the residents. The funny thing is, the ongoing news paper articles and media coverage they hoped would stop the influx of students traveling to San Francisioc for Spring break actually led to larger groups arriving. In an effort to control the crowds, members of the community created the Council of the Summer of Love. What else could they do? If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. The biggest coverage coming from the counterculture’s own media, particularly The San Francisco Oracle, with a pass-around readership of over half a million.
I suppose the hippie, or flower child, movement is best known for the drug usage, promiscuity, and political protests. Really, the music leaves the biggest impact; and impact that spawned some of rock n roll’s greatest acts. Clearly this movement left an indelible mark having been the motivation behind the song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” written by John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papa and the foundation for the musical “Hair”.
The Summer of Love produced some of the most important acts in rock history at rock n roll landmark event, The Monterey International Pop Festival. This festival was the birth of Jimi Hendrix, #Janis Joplin, Canned Heat and Steve Miller; it also hosted established acts like #The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds. This festival is widely known as THE FIRST ROCK N ROLL FESTIVAL. I suppose the LSD was important top some, more actually. The biggest offspring of the Summer of Love were Woodstock, #The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Club Band album and most importantly, the Civil Rights Movement. Not bad for a group of young people hanging out for a summer, eh?
Enjoy the documentary. I did.