“In Search of the Lost Chord”: Danny Goldberg’s new book on 1967 and the “Hippie Idea”

By on June 6, 2017

Danny Goldberg’s new book In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea is a subjective history of all that happened in 1967, the year he graduated from the Fieldston School in the Riverdale section of NYC’s Bronx borough. The book — which takes a close look at the year’s political causes, while also looking at the spiritual, musical and psychedelic movements that arose from the counterculture — is being released in North America today, June 6th, by Akashic Books.

Read Night Flight’s exclusive interview with Mr. Goldberg below, as well as an excerpt from the book’s Introduction.

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The legacy of 1967 lives on today. It is still recognized as the year when its “Summer of Love” changed our culture forever, a year filled with seminal moments in the psychedelic, spiritual, rock-and-roll, and political protest cultures.

It was the year that the counterculture tripped on acid, the year the word “hippie” lost its original meaning and died, and the year the Yippies were born; the year that hundreds of thousands of protesters vainly attempted to levitate the Pentagon, the year Baptist preacher and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. publicly opposed the Vietnam War, and the year that the Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali, was convicted of avoiding the draft; it was the year of the Black Power Movement, the year Israel won the Six-Day War, and the year Che Guevara was murdered.

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1967 was also a seminal year for music, one that is still defined by some of the great recordings that were released over its twelve months, including the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Big Brother & the Holding Company — which was Janis Joplin’s debut — and the year we saw the very first full-length albums released by the Doors, the Grateful Dead, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and many, many others.

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Danny Goldberg is the also the author of Dispatches from the Culture Wars, How the Left Lost Teen Spirit (And How They’re Getting It Back) and Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business.

Since 2007, Mr. Goldberg has been president of Gold Village Entertainment, whose clients include Steve Earle and Against Me. Previously, he was president of Gold Mountain Entertainment (Nirvana, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers), CEO of Air America Radio, chairman of Warner Bros. Records, president of Atlantic Records and vice president of Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records.

Goldberg’s In Search of the Lost Chord takes a refreshing new look at 1967, offering up a unique perspective and personal analysis of the counterculture era itself; after high school graduation, he headed west to San Francisco, where he experienced Haight-Ashbury’s countercultural blossoming first-hand.

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The book is exhaustively researched and features interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Tom Hayden, Cora Weiss, and Gil Scott-Heron (one of many of Goldberg’s high school classmates who entered the culture).

As Goldberg writes in his Introduction, “This is a subjective and highly selective history, an attempt at trying to remember the culture that mesmerized me, to visit the places and conversations I was not cool enough to have been a part of.”

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Night Flight asked Mr. Goldberg a couple of questions via e-mail:

Night Flight: We’ll start with an easy one (we think). You graduated from Fieldston in 1967… do you feel you were the right age to experience what was happening during that seminal year in the sixties?

Danny Goldberg: Being a teenager in the late sixties, graduating from high school in 1967 I was mesmerized by so many things that were going on in the public sphere. Every era has larger than life figures but Muhammad Ali, The Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, Martin Luther King, Timothy Leary, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and dozens of others have stood the test of time as unique archetypes and thought leaders. I hung on their every word and wanted, more than anything, to be cool enough to be part of the worlds I was reading and hearing about.

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NF: You write in the Introduction that the counterculture called everything they rejected “plastic,” which was, of course, also mentioned during a key scene Mike Nichols’s great 1967 film The Graduate, when Dustin Hoffman’s character Ben Braddock is taken aside by one of his father’s friends who gives him just one word of advice about his future (“Plastics.”).

Although the man is talking literally about plastics, we’re to understand that, to Ben, the word actually represents everything that the older generations values and that younger generations saw as prefabricated ugliness, something cheap and artificial, fake… a synthetic life without any real meaning.

Even though you weren’t talking about actual plastic in your Intro, fifty years later it seems that everything in our lives is made or molded from plastic now — the dashboards of our cars, our cell phones, and lots of things that used to be made from wood or metal.

So, here we are in 2017, and we’re wondering…in all aspects of the way the word is used, do you think the world is more “plastic” now? Did plastic “win” the future after all?

DG: Well, “plastic” the way I used it in the book, was a metaphor for fake, contrived, phony, etc. I don’t think it was ever realistic to expect that superficiality and insincerity would disappear from the human race, but for all of the disappointments of the last several decades in America, I think that in the mass culture writ large, authenticity is appreciated more today that it was in the nineteen fifties. Of course, there is still plenty of swaggering fakery, but there are many encouraging signs. The emergence of Pope Francis is huge.

As far as the physical plastic product that is derived from petrochemicals — there is far too much of it! It makes us more dependent on oil and it adds greatly to pollution. I am a supporter of the Plastic Pollution Coalition aimed at reducing use of plastic.

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NF: You write that you attended Fieldston in 1967 and then attended UC Berkeley briefly (“very briefly”). In Chapter Two (“Before the Deluge: 1954-1966), in the section under “Acid,” you write that — after you’d had an acid trip — you wrote a column for your high school paper, Fieldston News, in which you said that “external accomplishments such as good grades” shouldn’t define us.

We were wondering if you could drill down a bit on that and explain how taking acid in ’67 gave you a new perspective about getting a college education, and we wondered if you still feel that way?

We seem to be living at a time when a lot of the population seems to believe that being educated about any topic isn’t important at all, and college-educated people are even looked down upon, to some extent. Thoughts?

DG: I think that in high school I was what today would be called ADD and I had a very hard time competing academically and I was very fortunate that my fascination with the counter-culture led me in the rock and roll business, where I could make a living and have a relatively productive life. I always told my kids that the world they were growing up in was very different from the one in which I came of age and I’m very proud that my daughter graduated from RISD and my son from Northwestern.

However, I still believe that it is a spiritual mistake to over-identify with external accomplishments even if that point of view seems paradoxical for someone plugging a new book! One of the spiritual lessons of the counter-culture I continue to cherish is the idea of identifying ourselves, as Ram Dass often says, as “souls not roles.”

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Ram Dass

NF: You use the word “agape” quite a few times in the book. We first remember hearing the term when its usage was co-opted by the early 70s “Born Again” Christian movement, and we were told it was one of the three Greek words translated to English which means “love,” but specifically the love God has for mankind, and a reciprocal love mankind not only has for God, but for our fellow man, which you describe in your book as “universal love.”

You say in the book that the dozens of people from your generation that you talked to remember 1967 and the “hippie idea” as a period when there was a “communal sweetness” and “an instant sense of tribal intimacy,” even with a stranger. Fifty years later, it seems like we’re never going to “get ourselves back to the garden,” so to speak. Do you think that in our present day alt-right Trump-ruled world we’ll ever be able to experience “agape” again for our fellow man? Will there ever be another “Summer of Love”?

DG: First of all, the alt-right and Trump don’t “rule the world,” even if they control the executive branch of the American government at the moment. Each of us “controls” the space immediately in front of us.

Moreover, its a mistake to forget how awful aspects of the American government were in the late sixties. J. Edgar Hoover was far more destructive than any of his successors in the FBI, and the scale of death cause by the Vietnam War imposed on the country by the Johnson and Nixon administrations dwarfs anything we currently have to contend with. Twenty-five million young men were subject to the military draft. Urban racial disturbances (called riots by some, rebellion by others) resulted in far more deaths than anything since.

Agape or universal love is not dependent on a good government or mass media — it comes from within and as Dr, King showed it can then reverberate externally in powerful ways. I see many good examples today. The “garden” is inside every one of us. That doesn’t mean we can expect to solve all of the problems of humanity in our lifetime, but to the extent we can get into a consciousness of love, we and those around us are happier, and to the extent that vibration spreads, social structures can become more compassionate.

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NF: In the Epilogue, “Reflections in the Crystal Wind,” in the section “It Was 50 Years Ago Today,” you asked Ram Dass if he felt that the counterculture had created more light than darkness, and he answered, “I think that it added light, but I think what’s happening now is a direct reaction to the sixties. We were very naive to think that there would be instant world peace. In the sixties there was a reaction of the right that we did not predict which is still reverberating today in this situation.”

If we asked you the same question — whether the sixties counterculture had created more light than darkness — what would you say?

DG: I think to the extent “we” excluded, marginalized or condescended to others, indulged in anger or violence, or fought among ourselves about small tribal issues we undermined a mission of healing and light and we need to learn from those mistakes and try not to repeat them. However I still think that there was more light than darkness.

No moment of light in human history — not the enlightenment, nor the life of Jesus or other holy beings — eliminated darkness from humanity in the short term, but I still think that light shone more brightly, albeit briefly, in the mass consciousness in the late sixties in some corners of America and elsewhere in the world, continues to reverberate in some corners, and to the extent we can re-connect with that its a good thing

NF: What is relevant today and what role do you think counterculture entertainment like Night Flight should and can and will play?

DG: Media remains vital way of making individuals feel that they are not alone and Night Flight plays a role in reminding us of shared values.

Thanks, Mr. Goldberg!

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Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Danny Goldberg’s Introduction to In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea:

The hippie movement that swept through the Western world was like a galloping horse in the wild. A few dozen people were able to ride it for a while, some even steering it for a brief period, but no one — no philosopher, no spiritual figure, no dope dealer, no songwriter or artist, and certainly no political leader — ever controlled it. It was the original “open source.” From the influence of psychedelics to a widespread rebellious ethos that resisted any kind of authority within various countercultures, the era can only be understood through a collection of disparate, sometimes contradictory narratives.

David Crosby, Paul Kantner, and Robin Williams are among those who have been credited with the saying, “If you remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there.” The quote is usually deployed as a laugh line, as if anyone truly immersed in hippie culture would have been so stoned that they would have forgotten it all.

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On the other hand, perhaps some chose not to talk about certain nuances that seemed too fragile to survive in the public air. In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James suggests that one quality of a mystical experience is the impossibility of describing it. Yet hints can be found.

“The sixties” is a hybrid of the civil rights and antiwar movements combined with a mystical spirit that worked through some extremely fallible humans. Allen Cohen, a founder and editor of the San Francisco countercultural newspaper the Oracle, referred to hippies as “a prophetic community.” But they were not, for the most part, formally religious or even well behaved. There is no doctrine, just thousands of stories, and a lingering vibe.

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Michael Bowen and Allen Cohen, founders of the vital underground newspaper the San Francisco Oracle

I graduated from Fieldston High School in New York City in 1967, and the sixties had a lasting influence on me and many of my closest friends from that time. I attended the University of California, Berkeley, briefly (very briefly), and by the end of 1968 had begun my career in the rock-and-roll business, an industry that itself owes much of its success to sixties culture.

I refer to a “lost chord” in the title of this book because whatever “it” was in 1967 was the result of dozens of separate, sometimes contradictory “notes” from an assortment of political, spiritual, chemical, demographic, historical, and media influences that collectively created a unique energy. It should go without saying that no two people perceived the late sixties in the same way, and that the space limitations of a single volume and my own myopia require me to leave out far more than I include.

This is a subjective and highly selective history, an attempt at trying to remember the culture that mesmerized me, to visit the places and conversations I was not cool enough to have been a part of.

My perspective is that of a straight white male New Yorker from a mostly secular Jewish family. I did very little research on countercultural developments outside of London, California, and New York, the places that fired my imagination at the time. I had little awareness of many vibrant cultural spheres including art, literature, and fashion, limitations that are obvious in my narrative.

Political struggles both on the street and in the corridors of government were central to the era. However, I disagree with numerous left-wing historians who view the “hippie” phenomenon as a secondary sideshow revolving around escapism that did more harm than good to what they regard as the “serious” aspects of the sixties. This conventional lefty wisdom ignores the mystical aspects of the counterculture that were intertwined with protest and reform.

Yet, even though many of us were a lot more into LSD than SDS, the overwhelming shadow of the military draft affected tens of millions of young men and their families. There was a widespread loss of faith in authorities who advocated obedience to a Cold War foreign policy. The cauldron of social readjustments for both blacks and whites in the wake of a long overdue dismantling of racist Jim Crow laws was intense. (Needless to say, many Americans of other ethnicities, including Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians, had their own challenges and journeys, but in the cultures of 1967 that reached my teenage brain it was the black/white relationship that predominated.)

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The lost chord I am seeking had many other notes in it as well. After all, men in the United Kingdom were not called upon to fight in Vietnam; notwithstanding its colonial karma, the UK did not have racial tensions comparable to America’s. Yet there is no version of “the sixties” in which British rockers like the Beatles, Cream, and Donovan, radical therapists like R.D. Laing, writers like Bertrand Russell, and fashion icons like Mary Quant, were not integral figures. Millions of European, Australian, Canadian, and American teenagers felt they had more in common with each other than they did with anyone else.

In talking to dozens of people of my generation who were affected by the hippie idea, there is a near universal recollection of a period of communal sweetness. There was an instant sense of tribal intimacy one could have even with a stranger. The word that many used was “agape,” the Greek term that distinguishes universal love from interpersonal love.

One personal story I like to tell about the sixties took place in the San Francisco airport in 1967 when I was trying to get on a plane back to New York to see my family for Thanksgiving. I was barefoot and was told by an unpleasant airline employee that I could not board without shoes. With little time to spare, I scanned the airport and made a beeline toward a young guy with long hair who looked cool to me. I explained my predicament and asked if he would lend me his shoes for the flight, and gratefully accepted them when he agreed without a moment’s hesitation. I am still not sure what is more remarkable, the fact that he gave his shoes to a stranger or that I had the certainty that he would do so. I am equally certain that this would not have been possible a year later.

The word “hippie” morphed from a brief source of tribal pride to a cartoon almost immediately. Ronald Reagan, who began his first term as governor of California in 1967, said, “A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like Cheetah.”

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Most of the mainstream liberal establishment of the time was almost as dismissive. In August of 1967, Harry Reasoner delivered a report for the “CBS Evening News” in which he referred to the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco as “ground zero of the hippie movement.” After an interview with members of the Grateful Dead, Reasoner questioned the premise that hippies were doing anything to make the world a better place: “They, at their best, are trying for a kind of group sainthood, and saints running in groups are likely to be ludicrous. They depend on hallucination for their philosophy. This is not a new idea, and it has never worked. And finally, they offer a spurious attraction of the young, a corruption of the idea of innocence. Nothing in the world is as appealing as real innocence, but it is by definition a quality of childhood. People who can grow beards and make love are supposed to move from innocence to wisdom.”

A similar disdain was prevalent in most liberal circles in Washington. After Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg testified in front of the US Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Thomas Dodd, the Democratic committee chair, denounced them as “pseudo-intellectuals who advocate the use of drugs in search for some imaginary freedoms of the mind and in search of higher psychic experiences.”

Fifty years later, reading those sanctimonious put-downs reminds me of the revulsion I had for such “respectable” men. For many of us, the idea of breaking the addiction to climbing the ladder of officially sanctioned “success” was not an “imaginary freedom” but a reason to live. None of us felt, individually, that we were “saints,” but we did believe that there was a growing subculture that could come up with a better value system than the one we were born into. We didn’t see “innocence” and “wisdom” as mutually exclusive, and we bitterly resented it when unhappy authority figures insisted on this false choice.

There was indeed a danger from indiscriminately using hallucinogens, but we also knew that for most people they were nowhere near as dangerous as the corrosive effects of legal drugs like beer and gin and tonics, or tranquilizers like Librium, which were inexplicably accepted by many of the same people who were so down on pot and acid — the criminalization of which further eroded the credibility of their authority for many of us.

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As for Senator Dodd’s condescending use of the word “pseudo-intellectuals,” he was among the majority of Democrats who sided with the supposedly wise Ivy League “intellectuals” in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who were responsible for the escalation of the Vietnam War.

I first used the phrase “the hippie idea” after Gil Scott-Heron died. Gil was one of the great R&B/jazz poets of the seventies and eighties and considered one of the progenitors of hip-hop. But I first met him in 1964 when we were in the same tenth-grade English class. Gil’s mother was strict enough that he wasn’t taking acid with us in high school. A lot of his identity in those days revolved around being a jock — the center on the basketball team and a wide receiver on the football team.

But Gil also befriended “heads” like me and breathed the air of the hippie idea along with the rest of us. (A “head” was someone who smoked dope. “Straight” in the pre–gay liberation era meant someone who didn’t get high.) Gil joined several pickup rock bands and sang contemporary hits like “Wooly Bully” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” He was always up for a conversation about the meaning of life and already had the seeds of a leftist radical critique of racism and the ugly side of capitalism that would inform his extraordinary body of work. Shortly after we graduated, Gil released the classic song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” For decades the song was used in film montages of protests and riots. Yet a year before he died, Gil did an interview where he sardonically explained that the lyrics were often misunderstood: “It meant that the revolution is inside you.” (As this book was being written, the song was repurposed over the opening credits in the sixth season of the Showtime series “Homeland.”)

What I mean by “the hippie idea” is the internal essence of the tribal feeling separate and apart from the external symbols which soon became overused, distorted, co-opted, and thus, understandably, satirized. The conceit is that if you subtract long hair, hip language, tie-dyed clothing, beads, buttons, music, demonstrations, and even drugs, there was still a distinctive notion of what it meant to be a happy and good person, and a sense of connection to others was the invisible force behind those things. It included the moral imperative to fight for civil rights and against the war, and the spiritual notion that there were deeper values than fame and fortune. Peace and love.

The derisive term for what one didn’t like was “plastic.” At the same time, the hippie idea was also a joyous contrast to pessimistic postwar existentialists and Marxist intellectuals. They wore black. Hippies liked colors.

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To some, the counterculture offered an alternative to organized religions that too often seemed preoccupied with rules and conformity, especially on sexual matters. (One reason Eastern religious traditions resonated with many hippies was because they carried no American family baggage.) But for millions like me, it was a deeply felt rejection of the secular religion of fifties and early sixties America: “Mad Men” materialism, along with Ayn Rand’s social Darwinism and, to some extent, the Freudian doctrine that reinforced it. Much of the “established” world seemed removed from the deepest aspects of human consciousness.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s devotion to Christianity, Muhammad’s Ali commitment to Islam, Timothy Leary’s reverence for The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the connection to Buddhism and Hinduism that inspired Allen Ginsberg and many of the other beats, the fascination of the Beatles with meditation and the Hare Krishna movement, the metaphysical metaphors in many Bob Dylan songs, the guitar solos of Jimi Hendrix, the ripple effect of John Coltrane, and millions of individual psychedelic experiences framed the counterculture of the sixties with a level of mysticism far more intense and meaningful than had been prevalent in the previous postwar era.

(Atheists and agnostics fit right into the hippie idea as long as they were cool. As Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully said, the Dead had one cardinal rule: “Do not impose your trip on anyone else.”)

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Dennis Hopper as “Max” in Roger Corman’s The Trip (1967)

American bohemianism went back at least as far as Emerson and the transcendentalists and reemerged in the fifties in beatnik literature, a few anarchic comedians, and the folk and jazz scenes. But these were all marginalized subcultures, dwarfed in most of America by network TV, pop radio, sports, advertising, money, and mainstream religion.

The distinguishing characteristic of the sixties that emerged after the assassination of President Kennedy was that ideas which had previously been quarantined to a few avant-garde enclaves and ghettos now collided with a giant and prosperous “baby boomer” generation. Allen Ginsberg said that when he heard Bob Dylan’s song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” he wept, because the bohemian torch of illumination and self-empowerment had been passed on to a new generation.

In 1967, previously esoteric ideas burst briefly into the center of mass culture, influencing the thoughts of millions more people than any American counterculture before or since. Changes in the technology of stereo recordings (and a newly portable ability to hear them), FM radio, and the mimeograph machine fostered “underground” media at an unprecedented level. The sheer magnitude of the baby boomer generation, coupled with advertisers’ hunger for the young demographic, created a climate of mainstream media in which the counterculture made good copy and got high ratings.

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Allen Ginsberg, Lenore Kandel, Gary Snyder and Michael Bowen, who was the primary organizer of the Human Be-In: A Gathering of the Tribes, held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967

1967 was the year of Be-Ins and the Summer of Love, when tens of thousands of teenagers flocked to the small hippie neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. LSD had been made illegal in California in October 1966, with the rest of the country soon to follow. The antidrug laws, like other forms of prohibition, immediately increased the demand and use of acid, dwarfing the previous interest in and availability of it.

1967 was the year of the Monterey International Pop Festival, which introduced Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, and Janis Joplin to a big American rock audience. Hendrix, Joplin (as part of Big Brother and the Holding Company), Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Country Joe and the Fish, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and Sly & the Family Stone all released their debut albums that year.

Among the year’s classic singles were Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” the Turtles’ “Happy Together,” Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair),” and the Youngbloods’ hit version of “Get Together” with the chorus, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”

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It was also the year in which the Beatles released the singles “All You Need Is Love” (introduced via the world’s first global satellite TV transmission) and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” in addition to the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Rolling Stone began publishing in 1967 and “underground rock radio” started broadcasting.

Rhythm and blues (increasingly called “soul music”) was growing on a parallel track through the minds of geniuses like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin, while at the same time there was a cluster of jazz musicians who dove into the hippie ocean and greatly affected it, including Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, and Pharoah Sanders.

It was the year that Richard Alpert, who had helped popularize LSD, first went to India, met his guru, and was renamed Ram Dass. It was also the year that the Beatles met the Maharishi, putting the word “meditation” on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Many pivotal political moments took place in 1967. In the spring, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the army, and Martin Luther King Jr. parted company with mainstream civil rights leaders and publicly denounced the Vietnam War.

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In October there was an antiwar march in Washington in which some hippies fancifully insisted they would levitate the Pentagon. That same month, Huey P. Newton got arrested for murder in Oakland, elevating the Black Panther leader to international celebrity status. Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton published Black Power. The summer produced the worst race riots in American cities since the Civil War. (The word “riot” itself was, and remains, a source of controversy. Many activists prefer “revolt” or “rebellion.”)

1967 was to be the last full year of power for Lyndon B. Johnson. Allard K. Lowenstein searched for an antiwar Democrat to run against Johnson, and Senator Eugene McCarthy stepped into that role. Che Guevara was killed in Bolivia and overnight became a left-wing icon. Israel won the Six-Day War.

Yet, for all that happened in this pivotal year, my focus is on the feeling, not on the calendar, and there are moments integral to the story that occurred both before and after 1967. Nevertheless, 1968, taken as a whole, was much darker — Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy (who joined the presidential race early in the year) were both assassinated, and that year’s primary political legacy was the violent police reaction to protests outside of the Democratic National Convention, and the subsequent election of Richard Nixon.

From In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea, copyright 2017 by Danny Goldberg, used with permission of Akashic Books (akashicbooks.com)

Thanks to Holly Watson, Susannah Lawrence and Johanna Ingalls at Akashic Books (akashicbooks.com) for their kind permission to publish an excerpt from In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea, and to Danny Goldberg for answering a few questions for us. You can buy the book today at Amazon or wherever you buy your books.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.