PBS 2003: I've always felt that lies were told, that a kind of certain collective amnesia takes place, and a selective viewpoint takes place, when people talk about the period of the sixties, and it's just fallen into this cliché kind of compartment, and it's almost like, history is a selective recreation of the past…I've always felt the story wasn't told properly…and talking to people, in a very similar background to my own, you realize that there is a very interesting viewpoint and story to be told about that aspect of the blues and the reinterpretation of it…It asks the question, does it add up to anything? Was it worthwhile? Or was it just another sixties indulgence?
RP 1999: The issues surrounding Jimi and blues direct our attention to attitudes about sensuality throughout history. With these connections and events we can analyze past patterns of human traditions and see reasons for our fate.
RP 1999: The boom in birthrates in the wake of World War II produced in the 1950s a population of teens that was bursting at the seams. This first generation weaned on rock 'n' roll ripened into a culture connected with antiquity. Like Paleolithic shamans who talked to the animals, Western youths were tuned-in to an underground lineage of poets, seers, singers, healers, witches and sorcerers. In the '60s these boomer teens ingested hallucinogens and fixated on the beat. Dormant instincts, suppressed through the Dark Ages, suddenly turned on. Festivities kicked off in the ballrooms of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. Since Gold Rush days in the 1840s, the Barbary Coast of California maintained a permissive history. Tolerance for alternative lifestyles drew westward the refugees from a repressive biblical culture. San Francisco - home to the beatniks in the 1950s and neighbor to Berkeley's Free Speech Movement in the 1960s - reigned as the cradle of American counterculture. Conditions in the Bay Area were ideal for people to come together in acts of theatrical protest. Rallying around music-magic, dropouts from Western ways explored Hindu, Voodoo and Zen Buddhist beliefs. Back-to-the-land animism of Native Americans was received like fresh air in a mausoleum. This first generation of white rockers found common ground with cultures of color. Kids who had boogied to the beat all of their young lives were ripe to transfer allegiance to non-Western ways; they felt betrayed by their parents' legacy of befouling nature. As their ranks came of age, a majority abhorred war, especially Vietnam selective service - a racially lopsided draft had black men shooting yellow men to enrich white men on land looted from red men. The establishment traveled in patterns of fear and greed. It was up to the young to lead lost elders back to the healing ways of Nature.
RP 1999: An energetic burst triggered by rock sparked environmental concerns among the young. In a short span of years, the new counterculture understood that it was up to them to save the Earth from the ravages of industry. Everything seemed possible within the virtual reality of an expanded mind. In a teeth-gnashing sea of globe-trashing self-interest, San Francisco's Haight oasis was formed for the flowering of humanity. By 1966, this culture which countered competitive Puritanism had coalesced in perpetual Festival. The term made a New Year debut with the Trips Festival at Longshoreman Hall. Rock 'n' roll bands laid down the beat as flashing strobes danced on writhing freaks. Possessed trippers rode Loas and saw God. This winter '66 Trips Festival marks ten years of Elvis. At the end of that decade, in the wake of original mainstream rock, a generation's inner transformation boiled to a head. The spell of rhythm 'n' blues produced a new breed of teen. Their underground subculture mushroomed and mutated. They believed in people sharing everything for free, so they called themselves freeks.
RP 1999: "Rock 'n' roll is the healing music," said Little Richard, "the music that makes the blind see; it makes the lame, deaf, and dumb - hear, walk, and talk." Songs encoded with Africa's rhythmic metaphysic act as subliminal relief for sexually uptight Westerners. It's as if in a drumbeat our original sin is forgiven. Sons and daughters of Victorian rigidity couldn't get enough. In the decade following their first dose of Elvis, a rock 'n' roll tidal wave climaxed in communal orgies that recalled the long lost pagan practice of sabbats and witchcraft. They shared with pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe the conviction that religious worship is a bodily celebration, a dance of entire community, or as it was called in Europe when such belief had been driven underground, a 'sabbat'…In Cromwell's time sabbats are well documented throughout the continent. By the 1960s, after centuries of biblical taboos, pagans again danced en masse.