Posts Tagged With: Hippie Legacy

Mickey Hart Accelerates Next Stage in Music’s Evolution

Throughout a career spanning over 50 years, Mickey Hart has been an innovative and inspirational leader in musical research and performance.   Known as “The Rhythm Devils,” Mickey and Bill Kreutzman were the driving force behind The Grateful Dead – particularly during their extended jam experiences.  It is only fitting that Mickey’s latest venture – Mysterium Tremendum – is ground-breaking and entertaining at the same time.  Mickey and his band weave together a host of musical styles and influences, including world music, electronic wizardry, hippie rock, and psychedelic trance.

In this article I will personally review Mickey’s latest CD project.  I will include selected lyrics – written by Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter.  After that I will summarize some other CD reviews, as well as reviews of the band’s live performances.    I have abstracted  some recent interviews with Mickey and several band members – bassist Dave Schools and producer/keyboardist Ben Yonas.  After that you can read about some of Mickey’s innovative, interdisciplinary research projects, as well as some of the awards he has received.  He is truly an interdisciplinary musical scholar who has written some really fine books.

I find the fact that Mickey has been a lifelong musician, who has also explored cutting-edge science to be personally and professionally very inspirational and unique.  I just spent almost three decades in academia earning degrees in Biology, Journalism, and Sociology (Ph.D. Iowa State University in 1986.)   I worked as a Professor of Sociology and Food Science at North Carolina State University from 1987 – 2010.  For the last 15 years I have again been playing a lot of music (guitar, mandolin, and percussion) – something I had done a lot between 1965 and 1980.

Click Below to learn “all you need to know” about Mickey Hart’s life-long and continuing contributions to the evolution of music (and society.)

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Categories: Musician Tributes, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hippies Deserve Respect for their Values and Vision

The Occupy Movement owes much to the Hippie Movement of the sixties.  Now, the right wing has predictably started another round of “Hippie Bashing.”   The hippie subculture was a youth movement that began in the United States during the early 1960s and was largely gone by 1973.    The word hippie is from hipster (used to describe kids who flocked into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district.  Hippies inherited the counter-cultural values of the Beat Generation.  They also created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as marijuana and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness.  Above all, hippies were promoting the idea of peace, love, unity and freedom.

Hippie fashions and values had a major effect on culture, influencing popular music, television, film, literature, and the arts.  Since the 1960s, many aspects of hippie culture have been assimilated by mainstream society.  The religious and cultural diversity espoused by the hippies has gained widespread acceptance.  Their adoption of Eastern philosophy and spiritual concepts has now spread to a wide audience.  The hippie legacy can also be observed in contemporary culture from health food, to music festivals, to contemporary sexual mores, and the cyberspace revolution.  It is also clear that the well-established environmental movement owes a lot to the hippies (i.e., tree-huggers.)

This article includes recent reflections on the hippie movement in light of the occupy movement.  Original writings about the hippies from the sixties are also included.  This article includes quotes from Timothy Leary, Abbie Hoffman, Eldridge Cleaver and others. Finally, there are links to the best hippie videos on Youtube.   Click below to learn more about why the hippies are more important now than ever.

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Categories: Hippie Legacy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pigpen was the Heart and Soul of the Grateful Dead

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was born Sept. 8, 1945 and died from alcohol abuse on March 8, 1973.  His father had been a San Francisco radio DJ who played deep blues, soul and R&B, which greatly influenced his son. Ron had always had a wild streak, but was also known to be a really nice guy.  He could definitely play harmonica and and sing the Blues better than most white kids.  In fact, even growing up in the San Francisco Bay area he proved to be a true rebel, with an attitude and approach to the world that inspired many people (especially wanna-be hoods like me.)  He thrived off of African-American culture – just like his contemporaries Brian JonesJim Morrison, and  Janis Joplin did.  In many ways, Pigpen is the forgotten Grateful Dead co-founder – just like Brian Jones became the forgotten founder of the Rolling Stones.  Both were treated quite badly at the end by their respective band mates who were in their defense young and ambitious at the time.

Jerry Garcia was quoted saying that without Pigpen the band never would have made it.  He was the the Dead’s front man because of his passionate voice and willingness to face the audience – while Garcia and Weir were still shy bout singing in public.  He knew how to really work a crowd into frenzy.  Like Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin he avoided psychedelics but drank more than he should have.  He did quit drinking and ate well for an extended time before dying of cirrhosis.  In the case of the early live Dead shows (pre-1972) Pigpen acted as an anchor to his flying off into space band mates (particularly during the early “acid tests” where the band played a lot of covers that Pigpen liked to sing.  He also was, according to Jerry, “The heart and soul of the Grateful Dead.”  This article collects and edits damn-near everything that is currently on the Internet – including media stories, song lyrics, quotes from Jerry and friends, as well as my enhancements of the best pix of Pigpen on the web.  Enjoy and tell your friends because Pigpen deserves the same recognition that have been paid to Jim and Janis, not to mention while considering the history of the Grateful Dead.  Click Below to learn about his contributions, roots, lifestyle, and unfortunate early death.

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Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dobie and Maynard were Key Role Models for Sixties Counterculture

Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) was an average teen living in America between 1959 and 1963.  This was right before so much started to change in 1964.  Like other red-blooded American teenage boys of his time, Dobie thought about money, cars and girls.   He wished he had more of all three which led to funny schemes that never seemed to work right.  Dobie’s best friend was Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), a beatnik who shuttered at the word “work.”   They both questioned the authority of adults – particularly parents and teachers.  They were also quite likeable and never meant to cause any real harm.

Like millions of others, I watched it every week between the ages of 8 to 12.  In fact, my earliest role model was Maynard – played so well by the late Bob Denver who next starred on Gilligan’s Island.   Their views on life shaped the attitudes and behaviors of many kids who grew to be hippies a few years later.  This article includes just about everything there is to know about this wonderful comedy series.  Included are show summaries and tributes – along with insights directly from Dobie (Dwayne) and Maynard (Bob).   I have also located and crafted some cool pix for your enjoyment.  CLICK to “Get Hip” to the Legacy and Lessons of Dobie and Maynard!

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Time for Progressive Pot Party to Counter Tea Party

One year into the Obama administration and many progressive voters are having “buyer’s remorse.” We are not getting the change we believed in and voted for.    We need to do more to increase awareness and support for a truly progressive agenda.  One great place to start is by ending the unethical and ineffective war against marijuana.

Where is the progressive outrage and protest needed to counteract the growing tea party movement?  Now is the time to stand up and be heard about the real problems we face that go beyond economics and health care.  This is a call for concerned citizens to create and foster a Progressive Pot PartyLearn how to do it and share your ideas by leaving comments.

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Categories: Legalize Ganjah | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Please President Obama: Stop War on Marijuana

One of the first things FDR did when he became president in 1932 was to end the failed prohibition of alcohol. This single act freed up resources for needed public works programs and added lots of new tax revenue.  That  also dramatically improved public mood as promised by his 1932 campaign song “Happy Days are Here Again.”  Another benefit was the dramatic drop in crime  and fewer prisoners.   We will see these and other major benefits once the wasteful weed war ends.

President Obama has the same chance to restore a sense of freedom and happiness in our country.  One easy thing to do is end the unethical and ineffective war on medical marijuana.  This will also improve how the rest of the world views the United States.  Read all about what we all can do to persuade and pressure our new president to “Do the Right Thing” for millions of medical patients and recreational users across the country and around the world.  The US is the only country standing in the way of global ganjah legalization.

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Categories: Legalize Ganjah, Prez Obama | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

My Research Shows that Food Creates Both Comfort and Confusion

Dr Tom at Chicago Water TowerIn this column I present myself as a lifelong scholar of and advocate of farming and food. My graduate research during the 1980s focused on ways to encourage farmers to take better care of their soil and water resources. My professor job at NC State University focused on the social and environmental impacts of farming and food production. You can read all about that in the first part.  Then read a new column I just wrote that ties together food, spirituality and the hippies.  I also include some cool pix and quotes. In addition, read the review I wrote of the fine film “The Future of Food,” by Deborah Koons-Garcia.

To start with I invite you to read how my views on the subject of food biotechnology (a.k.a., GMOs) has changed over the past decade. These changes in attitudes about my profession ran along with some major transformations I have also made in my personal, political, and philosophical lives!!  I have spent over 30 years studying and working to change the food production and distribution system to become more sustainable and successful.  Americans do enjoy an unbelievably cheap and abundant food supply – that has been under serious threat since the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s and Chemical Revolution of the 1950’s.

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Categories: Environment | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Getting Back In Touch with Earth

This article builds on my life-long connection to the land. I grew up in the country among farms and spent much of my professional life helping farmers deal with new technologies and public policies. Personally and professionally I have been an environmentalist for almost 40 years. Over that same time I have studied and learned from the native Americans who hold the land in high esteem. Through this I hope to once again to revive the hippie ideal and ideas about living on the land. Continue reading

Categories: Environment | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Hippies Had the Best Ideas

It is now popular to look back to the sixties for inspiration and insight into how to change society for the better.  Candidates are trying to capture the charisma of JFK and other leaders.  However, most baby boomers are quick to distance themselves from the hippie counterculture.  This social movement is more relevant for our young people than their parents want to admit.   Young people see their parents and others as  hypocrites for abandoning the hippie agenda for a better world. Continue reading

Categories: Hippie Legacy, Visionaries | Tags: | 19 Comments

Wit and Wisdom of Jerry Garcia

One of my favorite BLOGs are the tributes that I pay to musicians and others who have had an enormous influence on my life. This BLOG was originally posted on May 17, 2007 at my MySpace Blog. Hope you enjoy the lessons and love!! Continue reading

Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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