This summer marks the 45th anniversary of “the Summer of Love” in San Francisco. A look at the movers and shakers in Haight-Ashbury in 1967:
Joplin’s creative epiphany occurred after a friend of Getz’s gave her acid for the first time—slipping it into her cold duck—and they went to the Fillmore to hear Otis Redding. ‘Janis told me she invented the ‘buh-buh-buh-ba-by … ’ after seeing him,’ says Joe McDonald. ‘She wanted to be Otis Redding.’ Grace Slick salutes her 1967 co-queen (who died of a drug overdose in 1970), her soul sister in prodigious ‘swearing and drinking,’ by saying, ‘She had the balls to do her thing by herself. A white girl from Texas, singing the blues? What gumption, what spirit! I don’t think I had that fearlessness.’ Slick sadly regrets, ‘I was so Episcopalian that when I saw a certain sadness in Janis’s eyes I felt it was none of my business.’ If she could turn back the clock, she says, she would have tried to help her.
Victor Moscoso says that 1966 was ‘when it worked. You’d walk down Haight and nod to another longhair and it meant something.’ Rock Scully adds, ‘We painted our houses bright colors. We swept the streets.’ The Grateful Dead all crammed into a house at 710 Ashbury; so did Carolyn Garcia, with Sunshine, her baby daughter with Kesey. Barely 20, Carolyn cooked every meal for that ‘boisterous, wonderful’ band, and she saw how ‘competitive to a fault’ Jerry was. ‘He would rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, and with these intricate fingerings—always wanting to excel, to be the best’ at the acid-fueled improvisations he now played, which he described as ‘something like ordered chaos.’ (Garcia died of heart failure in 1995.)
“Suddenly That Summer.” — Sheila Weller, Vanity Fair