1967 ~ The "Summer of Love"
I was sitting on an old bridge over Topanga Creek playing my guitar one day in 1967 when a pretty young hippie girl came over to listen and hang out with me. A few moments later a car pulled up and some very busy people with cameras and tape recorders rudely interrupted our barely budding relationship. It turns out they were "journalists" for a Mexican magazine, I think it was called, 'Que?'. Anyhow, they were on assignment in California to do an article on the phenomena of the hippie culture. They took pictures of me and my new friend of a few minutes, asked a bunch of stupid questions, then sped off. A few months later, during '67s "Summer of Love", I was living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco (of course) and while walking down Haight Street, saw my picture on the front of a Spanish language magazine at a newspaper stand. Even though I don't read Spanish I bought several copies (for my mother) and this self portrait is made from one of the pictures in that magazine. I liked the photo because of the nonplussed expression on my face as I scribbled my name and personal info onto a piece of scrap paper for the female reporter who had just interviewed us, using my guitar for a desk. Unfortunately, my lovely new friend seemed quite disillusioned that I would waste our precious time talking to people like that, and left right after they did.
The well aged photo is one of those crappy little halftone things that doesn't render well by scanning so I decided to lend it an authentic '60s feel by jazzing it up in Photoshop with some acidy looking psychedelic effects.
Oh, if you thought it was a photo of me writing songs, poetry, or philosophizing, I'm sorry to disappoint you. I was 21, and into Girls, Love, Nature/ Environmentalism, Peace, and Music, in that approximate order.
I have no regrets over my deliciously squandered youth, life is to be enjoyed, and I had the good fortune of being young in an amazingly uninhibited, free-spirited time & place.
Imagine the odds, out of the entirety of the vast cosmos, that your molecules, your atoms, would be evolutionarily woven into the living fabric of this beautiful planet Earth, of the stunning Milky Way, to eventually become part of a human, born and raised in sunny Southern California, just in time to spend your youth wandering the canyons and beaches of a rapidly fading paradise, amidst the 1960s no less, a time of unprecedented freedom of expression for our species.
In the end, we are but the stuff of stars, and I find peace in knowing the very essence of our being sings within the breath of time, while dancing toward the mystery of tomorrows.
(~; HAPPY NEW YEAR ;~)