Summer Of Love 1967

by frugalrvers

2012 is the 45th anniversary of the Summer Of Love 1967. Step into the wayback machine for a trip into the past - hippies, flower power, counter culture, music and love.

The Summer of Love 1967 was a magical time for America, and has gone down in history as an important event in an important year. There was a mass exodus to the west coast and a celebration of community, peace, love and music that reverberates through the following decades, up to the present.

In the summer of the year 1967, something extraordinary happened. It was an intersection of social change, cultural development, and energy that was unprecedented.

It was a peak in many ways, yet it was reported by the media and seen by the masses as a beginning.

45th Anniversary Of The Summer Of Love 1967

Summary Of Events Of 1967

1967 - It was in some ways the best time to be young, but it was also a terrible time to be young for many of America's youth who fought in Vietnam or discovered destructive drugs.

As Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead observed, it seemed that a door opened for just a moment on a perfect world, and then it closed.

This year is the 45th anniversary of the summer of love 1967, and for me as for many who came of age in that counterculture era, it seems like only yesterday.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy................

In the backwards heartland of the country where I lived, we only knew what was happening on the west coast and in a few other parts of the world through the media - TV, newspapers, and magazines. In those days before the Internet, you had to watch television to get the latest information, or read a music magazine like Hit Parader or Billboard, which I did, religiously. Rolling Stone didn't make its debut until the fall of 1967, but TV was amazingly perceptive and a wonderful connection to the real world - after all, you could see major rock artists on Ed Sullivan, the Smothers Brothers Show, and the Johnny Cash Show, among others. And that's when I first heard about the summer of love.

If You're Going To San Francisco

In the summer of love 1967, history was made in so many ways it boggles the mind here 45 years later. Momentum had been building during the previous few years in a new wave of music, fashion, social change, and political radicalism. The west coast with its twin meccas of San Francisco and Los Angeles became the focal point of what was being called the counter culture - the opposite of the stodgy, straight establishment.

But a district of San Francisco called the Haight-Ashbury became the center that drew everyone in 1967 - hippies. freaks, sex, drugs and rock and roll brought young people from all over the country in an exodus from anywhere else to the Haight - more than 100,000 came to experience a new way of life that summer, and they left in the fall just as quickly as they had arrived. Although the summer had come and gone, and locals expressed relief, nothing was really over - the ripples widened far beyond, and the seeds planted in that magic time have only kept growing and changing as the years go by.

Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair

In terms of changes in style and fashion, 1967 was a banner year. While things had been building up over the early 60s, the explosion seemed to happen in 1967. Just a short list of some of the iconic fashions and looks of the time is truly incredible. These trends became all the rage, and many have continued to make periodic comebacks over the passing decades, while some have never left: long hair on men and women, granny glasses, bell bottoms, tie-died clothing, miniskirts, fringe jackets and vests, and sandals. And these were not merely fashion - they were statements.

A young man with shoulder-length hair, wearing a tie-died t-shirt, bell bottoms and sandals might not be a big deal in Los Angeles in 1967, but would probably be arrested in central Illinois. The way a person looked meant something - you were a part of a movement, of a brotherhood of sorts. At major universities all across the country, it was easy to see a freak population on campus - you just had to look for the longhairs.

When The Music's Over....

The legacy of that summer lives on in our culture and society, but the most visible and popular creations of that year that have managed to continue to be vitally important up to the present are the best albums of 1967. A small list of these records demonstrates their value as works of art, and as documents of a long-ago era. If you were not around for the real thing as I was, you owe it to yourself to catch up - there is no better place to start an education in rock and roll than with the hits of 1967. The Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967 jump started the careers of many icons - infamous Jimi Hendrix (who later joined the also infamous Forever 27 Club), the Who, Otis Redding, The Mamas and the Papas - but if you couldn't be in attendance at that historic event, there was a lot going on in the music scene to take in, no matter where you were.

The Popular Hits Of 1967

So Many Best Albums Of 1967 Were Born
60s Summer of LoveSummer Of Love: The Hits of 1967Summer of Love: The Sound of 1967
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Forever Changes - The Legacy

So other than style and music, what has the summer of love 1967 left us with? Social changes of course - the end of the Vietnam war began with the realization that activists could make a difference.  New age spirituality had its origins in the hippie movement which peaked and moved on to Indian gurus, eastern religious practices, and the drug culture. Many sociologists trace the growth of liberal attitudes, activism, sexual freedom, individual rights and freedoms to the late 60s, and the cultural explosion of 1967 was the beginning of these trends. So as the 45th anniversary of that amazing time rolls around, take time to remember what it was like, if you were there, or to appreciate it now, if you weren't.

Updated: 04/02/2016, frugalrvers
 
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iggy on 12/28/2015

I was born in 67 but grew up on these songs, know them well. Interesting article

Mira on 08/07/2012

After seeing that patchwork wrap skirt on Amazon, I think I'll make one, too. I don't know how to make it myself, but do have various materials and will take them to a tailor's shop. :-)

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