> The "Boom" ( a sudden large jump in the birth rate, 1946-1960), was supposedly created by soldiers returning to wives & sweethearts after World War II. It occurred in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia (Countries not directly attacked). I believe that our purpose was to implement, enjoy, proliferate and secure the hard-won freedoms that our parents handed us.
> We are the smartest, richest, healthiest, freest human litter so far. By our position in history and our sheer numbers, we were able to bring to the table many issues of life and love previously ignored. When we were young, we banded together for strength and protection, and we must do the same in our later years as well in order to accomplish our wildly idealistic mission of peace, love, and harmony on the planet. Our war was against war itself
> Many - not all - of the boomers became "
hippies" (flower children) in the 1960's.The 60's was a total package - music, politics, spirituality, lifestyle - all played a part in our identity.
> Lets not settle for "oldies" radio stations and "best of.." CD's and artists who rest on their laurels. Let's demand new, relevant art worthy of our intelligence and experience - art that inspires, motivates, and makes us proud. We might not spend as impulsively as teenagers, but we will reward quality and integrity with tenacious loyalty. We are the most powerful buying block in history, we need to use that power before we start dying out. Remember the 24 hours after John Lennon was killed - those images of 30-somethings all over the world lighting candles and singing songs? That was a peek at a generation looking for contemporary heroes. They all went home. They're all still waiting
> While we have a healthy distrust of technology and industry, we don't hesitate to use them for good whenever possible.
> Many of us will not have children, but will nonetheless seek our slice of immortality through other means
> We will produce a lot of technology and art in our lifetime, partly because there are so many of us. We are famous simply for being born. Our motto is "Volume, Volume, Volume!"
> While we live much longer than our ancestors, it's not just a longer "old age" - it's a longer youth and middle age as well. Personally, these extra years afforded me a second chance that I would not have had 100 years ago
Do's & don'ts: Don't begin a sentence with "In my day..." / Don't do (any more) drugs; if you didn't alter your consciousness enough in the 60's, it's too late now. At this point, the best things in life are drug-free
Back to haunt: "What a drag it is getting old", Mick Jagger / "Hope I die before I get old", The Who / Don't trust anyone over 30 (now I can't even trust myself). We should amend that statement to "Don't trust anyone born before 1940 or after 1960"
Influences : The Bomb, TV
> In the late 50's I had recurring nightmares that the Soviet missiles were on their way, and I couldn't get home to my mom, so I'd go to a phone booth, but I couldn't get through on the phone either. Anyone who thinks that nuclear holocaust wasn't heavy on the minds of Boomer adolescents just wasn't there. The air raid Sirens were tested on a regular basis. We knew all the signals - take cover, all clear, etc., and we had air raid drills in school. The running joke was, "in case of nuclear attack, put your hands over your head, lean forward in your desk, and kiss your ass goodbye"


> Unlike the baby boom, the "hippy" phenomenon of the 1960's occured in just about every industrialized nation in the world. We were connected by pro-love, anti-war, anti materialistic ideology, and above all, music (especially The Beatles). Not all boomers were hippies (and vice-versa), but no one was untouched by the culture
> My song Birds of America is about the hippy philosophy
- - - -
> We did lots of drugs, true (most notably, LSD), and acted zany, but we mainly did them to explore our minds. We looked at art, listened to music, talked, thought, communed with Nature, and closed our eyes and flew deep inside. For me, all this happened at a formative point in life (late teens), and has influenced my person significantly and permanently. I think that many of us had a glimpse of Heaven ( and occasionally, Hell), that changed the way we view our life on Earth
Trippin' Tales
Once I saw myself stripped of personality, I completely understood the oneness of all life. I never took people so seriously again.

> One time I saw people as really humorous, noisy apes. I was fascinated by their infatuation with "things". They carried them, wore them, stored them, like shopping cart people on speed (the gathering instinct gone mad). And when I saw them driving cars, I fell down laughing. Boxes on wheels, pushed along by little explosions. What do these creatures need to be happy ?

> My friends and I went to a show, thinking it was a movie. It was actually a play, with live actors. We were all squinting and squirming, and marveling at the clarity of the "film". In an epiphonal moment, I jumped up and yelled "it's a play", upon which all hell broke loose and we were escorted out.

> Phil and I were at an ice cream stand, feeling a wee bit paranoid, and trying hard not to look like insane maniacs. Phil leaned "casually" on the windowsill, waiting for the salesperson to show. Suddenly, she burst in from a back room, banging a door loudly. I involuntarily emitted a terse yelp resembling a prairie dog distress call. Phil immediately straightened up and slammed his head on the window frame, then hopped away, screaming in pain. I stared at at the salesperson for a long, frozen moment, then I, too, ran like a bunny. After that, I understood why the military had considered using LSD as a chemical weapon

> Vladimir was fresh off the boat from Russia in 1970. Washing dishes to pay the rent. He spoke little English. He clung to me like a kitten for support, so I dropped acid, gave Vlad a tab (no, he never), and took him to the Mummer's parade (Philadelphia's own "Mardi-Gras). There were people running around dressed like tomatoes, catterpillars, you name it. I was wearing shoes with springs on the bottom, and Vlad was running behind me yelling "Jeem! Jeem! and pointing wildly in every direction. Every time a firecracker went off, he jumped four feet. He waved me over to a subway entrance, pointing feverishly to a motionless clown at the bottom of the stairs. I studied the body for a moment, then said, "he's OK, I saw his finger move". Afterwards, Vlad took us back to his apartment, where he proudly showed us his new Radio Shack sound system. He proceeded to tune in a station playing elevator music, and then looked at us anxiously for approval. We tried not to laugh, and then, of course, burst out with laughter. He kept flipping frantically through the stations, but was unable to find one that did not make us laugh. Poor Vlad. It must have been a tough initiation to his new land. He's probably a millionaire now.
- - - - -
> I think Brian Wilson's fakin' it
> 60's action figures: Mr. Pothead
> I used to think that love was the answer. . . I still do
> Youth was not wasted on us (but we were wasted on it)
> To a hippy, the spirit of the individual will always matter most
> We lived hard, and the shifted gears. Those who didn't went over the cliff
> Another thing I liked about the hippies - We didn't need Guinea pigs, we experimented on ourselves
> Flower Power should not be an age or generational thing. I hope it lives on forever in the human spirit
> So you blame the hippies for making America a hedonist society. Did we make anyone emulate us ? Did anyone emulate our idealism ?
> In '69, I fouund marijuanna plants growing out of the carpet in the rear of my car. Seems it was damp back there, and some seeds had fallen. What's weird is, I couldn't get pot to grow in expensive topsoil in my yard!
- - - - -
Enemies List ;
Nixon / Spiro Agnew / J. Edgar Hoover / Governor R.Reagan
> Favorite 60's groups ; Beatles / Hendrix / Joplin / Sly / Chicago
> Representative 60's songs ; All you need is love / Takin' it to the street / For What it's Worth / Time's They Are a-Changin' / Kid Charlemagne
> Songs for old hippies : Almost cut my nose hair (it was gettin' kinda long) / Golfin' USA / All She Wants to Do is Sleep / While my Cigar Gently Weeps / Take a Walk on the Safe Side / Let's Nap / The Answer is Blowin' in the Computer / Hurty-Wurty Back (a line dance) / Two Tickets to Mumenshanz / When I Think of You, I Wet Myself / Feel Like Makin' Soup / When a Man Loves a Poundcake / I Guess That's Why They Call It the Poo's / Why don't we do it in the Bed
- - - - -
Hippy History
(If you remember it, you weren't really there)
> In Memoriam
Remembering our fallen heroes

Jim Morrison. Found dead in a wheelbarrow full of Jell-O beneath the Eiffel Tower on Christmas Eve, 1969. A pioneer in freedom of expression. He had the courage to say "weenie" on the Ed Sullivan Show, even though Ed specifically asked him not to.

Janis Joplin. A hard living, independent woman. She was singing "Take a Little Piece of my Heart" when she actually coughed up a piece of her heart and left the surly bonds of Earth. Crazed audience members fought fiercely over the fleshy projectile, which recently sold for $18,000 on eBay.

Jimi Hendrix. The greatest guitarist of his era. While playing a solo with his teeth, a guitar string snapped in his face, causing him to fall from the stage, and he was trampled by his adoring fans. When the rescue squad finally arrived, there was nothing left but an indentation in the dirt.

Elvis Presley (The King). Although not a hippie, he did do huge quantities of drugs, and started the whole long-hair thing. Toward the end of his career, he was playing less-than-stellar venues. During a performance at a Pennsylvania Dutch Harvest Festival, his cape tragically became caught in a leaf shredder. He was instantly sucked in and sprayed out over a horrified crowd, many of whom have suffered serious health problems to this day.

1972 - Mama Cass is accidently shot while participating in a Civil War reenactment
1975 - Marvin Gaye killed in a frying-pan fight with Donny Osmond on live TV

Let these unfortunate occurrences serve as examples to the young people of today.
Kids, please - stay in school, don't go psychotic.


> TV : TV is the modern campfire. It is a prosthesis, allowing us to see & hear around corners & through walls. I don't think its influence on the boomers & beyond can be overestimated. It has become a "separate reality" in our lives, almost indistinguishabe from the really real reality. It has spawned mass-movements
> America is The Big Show. There's a palpable shared sense here of being part of something very big and very exciting
>TV is like the group unconscious; it's always there, it contains universal themes and we all tune in and out intermittently. I see the internet as a deeper level in the stream. I like the way the internet reduces us to words. You become what you read & write, not defined by your body or your age. It's like communicating psychically
> SHOWS ; (50's) Clutch Cargo / Fury / Circus Boy / Rin Tin Tin / Sky King / Zorro / Mickey Mouse club / Winky-Dink / Maverick-Sugarfoot-Cheyanne-Bronco Lane-Bat Masterson-Wyatt Earp-Yancy Derringer-Rifleman-Gunsmoke-Broken Arrow-Wagon Train-Bonanza -Wild Bill Hickock-Roy Rodgers-Gene Autry-Hopalong Cassidy
> Rumors : (50,s)The Virgin Mary appeared to some children and gave them a letter for the pope, to be read in 1960 / Some girl wore her sprayed "beehive" hairdo for so long that it had roaches living in it (60's) Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen. (Ancient England) Catherine the great dated a horse
> Bumpers stickers / Slogans : (60's) America - love it or leave it / Have you had your pill today? / Better living through chemistry / Flower Power (70's) Honk if you're horny (gee,do you think a male dreamt that one up?)
> Clothes : (50's) cleats on shoes. They made a cool noise - drove teachers crazy / White socks with black shoes - sharp! / Flat-top haicuts / "D.A."(duck's ass) hairdo'


 > Chidhood was a world unto itself, with its own rules, characters and values. I look at it now, with nostalgic fascination, as a finished story that I, an outsider , am privileged to have read

  > The Dirtbombs was my first musical group. We ran from 1958 (when I was 11), to 1964. We were best friends and did everything together. Originally called Danny & the Dirtbombs, we eventually dropped the "Danny" part of the name, since there was no one by that name in the group

Me - ukelele & guitar
Dave ("Hundig" - he took the name from a Wagner Opera. He had a inexplicable interest in Wagner's "Ring Cycle" of operas. Quite strange, since, other than that one significant abberation, he had no aspirations to any culture higher than Looney Tunes) - lead guitar
Ray "the pay" (No meaning, we just called him that because it made him mad)- percussion (pots, boxes, and a huge cymbal) and trombone (from the H.S. marching band).
Billy - Bugle (ibid) & bass guitar

> We only had one gig - a cub scout banquet - and devoted the rest of our 6-year run to recording. I had a big German reel-to-reel tape recorder with belts that kept breaking, and we had a few shoebox sized recorders . No multi tracks, not even stereo. To overdub, we bounced tracks between machines. It was full of noise & hiss but it sounded great to us.

> Our songs invariably began with angelic 4-part falsetto A Capella, (the prelude), then exploded into a cacophony of shrieks, pots, and bugle calls (the fanfare), then settled into a long, frenetic, incessant interchange of two totally unrelated chords (the development). They would end when we all started laughing, the tape ran out, or a belt broke. They had names like "Swahilli Riverboat" or "Pentron", usually thought up immediately after the tape recorder was turned on

> Dave & I were the composers. We wrote about everything we did or saw, and were fiercely competetive. When he came in with the darkly Fruedian "Do Not Enter", I countered with the whimsical "Left Turn Only". Sometimes he would learn a popular tune and tell me that he wrote it. For almost a year, I thought he wrote "Willow Weep for Me", until I heard the Dave Clark Five doing it on the radio.Our favorite group was the Beach Boys until the Beatles arrived, which was really near the end of our existence as a group. It's kind of funny, I felt we paralleled the Beatles early (ie adolescent) years in many ways, so that , when we saw them, we were blown away by the familiar sense of fun & irreverent sarcasm

> Once, we tried to crash a huge debutante party. The Turtles were playing there. We queued up at the grand portico in our beat-up Corvair wearing our signature berets & carrying our instruments. The tuxedoed valet opened the car door, stared blankly at us (we stared back in slack-jawed wonder), then calmly closed the door without a word, and we drove off . On the way home, while yelling to some girls, we crashed into a tree.

> We recorded all our adventures on portable tape recorders : eg; Prank phone calls (which always ended with a blast from Billy's bugle) / Riding in the trunk of Ray's car and yelling "help" when stopped at busy intersections / dropping a dummy off the roof of my house
* * * * *
Future adventures; Exploding cigarette pack / "who's next?" / pretzel & balogna bombs / cheating at Monopoly / Hundig's Autobiography / The Dirtbombs are Coming / roof dummy / The doily affair / The Sedgwick Theater / Chariot of Fire

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