2017 is the 50 year anniversary of the Summer of Love; or is it? There are a number of misconceptions shrouding the history of the Summer of Love and the Hippie Idea. And acclaimed author Danny Goldberg has set the record straight in his most recent book, In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea. Goldberg tells us, “There was a time when the word, “hippie” wasn’t a joke, but it didn’t last long.” The word “hippie” may actually have expressed its truest meaning, resonating with what is now the lost chord, in the summer of 1966 – The real Summer of Love
Goldberg takes us along on a historical journey to the places he wasn’t old enough, or cool enough, to be a part of. If he could time travel he’d like to be a lot of places: When Muhammad Ali refused the draft, Dr. King’s stand against the war, the anti-war protest when protesters pretended to elevate the pentagon, when the Beatles made Sargeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band…But there is no place he’d rather have been than the Be In. He talks about what was so threatening to the established order by the counter culture movement. And he conveys what it was that so many “hippies” experienced that has stayed with them their entire lives.
The true Summer of Love existed before there was the barrage of suffocating publicity; it was an innocent time. It is a misconception of the hippie hey day that it was a time of dropping out… The multitude of counter cultures were actually leaning in very deeply.
Peter Coyote famously said,” Acid showed you what was there but didn’t deliver it.. like a helicopter taking you to the top of a mountain and then back without providing a guide to get you back there.” And just maybe that’s what the hippie movement did. Goldberg confirms, “You’ve got to do the spiritual work of a lifetime… A group of us got a glimpse of the way the world can be and something to aspire to, but there’s not that kind of a short cut to utopia.”
By 19967 The coming apart had begun. As soon as Height Ashbury got famous, it was doomed. The media creation of the summer of 1967, brought the summer of dissolution – predators arrived, heroin dealers and the dissemination of the true movement, as the ramifications of over 100,000 people descending upon this small neighborhood set in after the Be In.
By 1968 the balance of forces had grown significantly darker. People today complain about our government and the FBI, but today’s obstruction is nothing like that experienced with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. The killings of the two greatest leaders who could have bridged the gap between the the functioning society and the ideals of the protest movement, were a tragic end. In October, 1967 a significant ritual was staged.. the Death of Hippie, a coffin was marched through the streets – the external symbols had lost meaning, but the inner values stayed with people and do to this day.
With head, heart and soul, Goldberg leads us through this fantastic journey, shining amidst the peak of hippie idealism and its coming apart to rediscover the incredible lost chord of humanity.