Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Night Videos


One of the most popular music scenes of all time, it was during the 'Summer of Love' in 1967 that this unexceptional San Francisco intersection would emerge as a cultural landmark. More than a goldmine of terrific art and counter-culture, it defined an entire movement and became the permanent mecca for hippies, beatniks, bohemians, and all their imitators. Crazy politics aside, psychedelic rock still remains among the most sentimental and listened to genres of modern popular music.

Haight-Ashbury's prime messengers, the Grateful Dead, would for the next three decades unwittingly provide the template for everything hippy. Their tours were psychedelic carnivals that provided a religious rite of passage for those who would come to be known as Deadheads. It was Jerry Garcia's death in 1996 that finally laid rest to one of music's most unique followings.

Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" were the twin themes from the summer of 1967 and terrific samples of two different psychedelic styles. The adrenaline rush of "Somebody to Love" was the up tempo blues-rock sound that had become popular in America and the U.K., while "White Rabbit" was the ultimate acid trip, less a traditionally structured song and more of a hypnotic two minute trance.

Getting their start as the house band at the legendary Avalon Ballroom in 1966, Big Brother and the Holding Company would later that year team up with a young Janis Joplin, launching her into one of the 60's most memorable icons.

Two lesser known bands from the scene: Blue Cheer (named after a brand of LSD) with "Summertime Blues" and Moby Grape (named after a joke involving a purple whale) with "Hey Grandma."

Quicksilver Messenger Service with "Fresh Air," live at another seminal San Francisco concert hall, The Fillmore.


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