Famous Hippies, Friends and Enemies
by Skip Stone
Famous Hippies, Friends and Enemies.
The following list of people includes those who influenced or were part
of the hippy movement as well as those who sought to repress it. Some of
these outstanding individuals have devoted much of their lives to causes
that benefit everyone. Many have suffered as a result of their beliefs
and actions. We list some musicians here, but for more music go to the
Hippy Music with a Message chapter!
Agnew, Spiro: Vice President during Nixon’s reign, he antagonized
almost everyone, but especially liberals with his pompous verbal ranting.
He claimed the antiwar movement was the work of an effete corps of impudent
snobs. He survived a bribery scandal but was convicted of income tax evasion.
He was forced to resign much to everyone’s delight. Recently declassified
FBI files show Agnew did receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks
as Governor and Vice President.
Baez, Joan: Singer, songwriter, antiwar activist, called the
Queen of Folk. Joan was arrested for her participation in antiwar rallies,
and her ex-husband David Harris spent several years in jail for draft resistance.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Also know as OSHO. Controversial Indian
guru who had a large American following. In his ashrams (communes) in Poona,
India and Oregon he taught liberation through the release of personal inhibitions.
His methods included gestalt therapy and sexual freedom. Cult members showered
wealth upon Rajneesh and he had dozens of Rolls Royces.
Brand, Stewart: A hard working, future looking hippie who blends
philosophy with activism. Brand produced the Whole Earth Catalog, The Trips
Festival, founded The WELL, the Point Foundation, Global Business Network,
the Long Now Foundation, the Co-Evolution Quarterly. He’s on the board
of directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Browne, Jackson: Songwriter, singer, record producer, activist.
Browne is a prolific songwriter and has written tunes for The Eagles, The
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as well as several very successful solo albums like
The Pretender, Running on Empty, and Lives in the Balance. He also was
involved in organizing rock concert fundraisers for the anti-nuclear movement.
Bruce, Lenny: As a standup comedian in the ’50s, Lenny felt
nothing was sacred. So he joked about racism, drugs, homophobia,
nuclear testing, and abortion. What made him famous was his unmitigated
use of profanity. He was arrested many times, for obscenity and narcotics.
He paved the way for others to exercise free speech, and inspired just
about every comic since.
Burroughs, William S.: Beat author wrote autobiographical books
like Junky and Queer about his life as a drug addict, murderer and
homosexual. His controversial, cut-up style Naked Lunch is his most famous
work. Burroughs’ thing was personal freedom. To him this meant breaking
all the rules, which he did whenever he could. Burroughs’ talent is undeniable.
Despite (or because of?) being a junkie, he was able to convey what it’s
like to be living on the dark edge of reality. His intake of all sorts
of drugs obviously inspired some people to experiment. Many beats and hippies
can relate to Burroughs’ life situation as a social outcast from mainstream
American society (remember much of this happened in the 50’s). Burroughs
wrote about those things that no other writer of his time (except Allen
Ginsberg) would consider suitable subjects. Indeed the publishing and subsequent
banning of Naked Lunch turned into a landmark case for free speech in America.
Burroughs influenced many around him including other authors and musicians.
Captain Beefheart: Singer, songwriter, sculptor and painter.
Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), has had an unusual musical career making very
strange music. His extraordinary vocal range includes a deep raspy voice
as shown on Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats.
Carlin, George: Comedian. George Carlin turned us on with his
Let’s Get Small routine. He pushed the envelope with his Seven Dirty
Words and ended up in court on obscenity charges. He’s still doing his
shtick, and stirring up controversy.
Cassady, Neal: The inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s
On The Road and The Dharma Bums, Neal linked the beat generation with the
hippies by joining Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their Bus trip
across the U.S. (as the driver!) in 1964. He was part of the famous Acid
Tests. Neal sought the freedom of the open road and could rap endlessly
in stream of consciousness style about everything.
Castaneda, Carlos: An Anthropologist at UCLA, Carlos wrote a
series of books about the shamanic tradition of the indigenous people of
Mexico. His apparently first hand accounts of life as a sorcerer’s apprentice
ignited decades of controversy as to their reality. His portrayal of himself
as a bumbling student of Don Juan, the powerful brujo, are now literary
classics. The journeys he took on the path of the warrior through the world
of spirits inspired many to seek out what lies beyond our perceptions.
His books include: A Separate Reality, Tales of Power and The Eagle’s Gift.
Chavez, Caesar: Chavez was the charismatic leader and founder
of the United Farmworkers Union. He championed the underpaid, underrepresented
migrant farm worker. Chavez organized the five-year grape boycott. Chavez
helped to inspire Chicano activism of the 1960s and 1970s, combining the
lessons of the civil rights movement and nonviolent protest with Mexican-American
traditions and values.
Cheech & Chong: Cheech Marin & Tommy Chong hit it big
with their comedy act on several recordings and movies. Their stoner humor
made us laugh hysterically, particularly when we too, were stoned. By laughing
at them, we laughed at ourselves and for awhile life seemed less serious.
Cleaver, Eldridge: Author of Soul on Ice, written during his
nine years in prison. After his release he joined the Black Panthers and
became their Minister of Information. Involvement in a gun battle forced
him into a seven-year exile.
Coyote, Peter: Actor, author, member of the San Francisco Mime
Troupe, one of the original Diggers. His new book Sleeping Where I Fall,
tells of his days in S.F.
Cronkite, Walter: Uncle Walt was considered the most believable
broadcaster in U.S. history. In 1968, he broke the code of neutrality among
major newscasters, by opposing the Vietnam War in a national television
broadcast. His integrity is still unquestioned.
Crumb, Robert: Famous cartoonist of the ’60s and ’70s, Crumb
introduced the world to his somewhat depraved, yet humorous visions via
Zap Comics, Mr. Natural, and Fritz the Cat. His inspired and unique style
captured the essence of the times. Always the social critic, Crumb used
his art to convey the anti-establishment sentiment that swept the country.
Dass, Ram: also known as Dr. Richard Alpert. Author of Be Here
Now and Grist for the Mill. Worked with Timothy Leary at Harvard on LSD
studies. Alpert was so changed by the ingestion of LSD, he left his post
and wandered through India, where he met his Guru and changed his name.
Finding enlightenment he returned to write several books and do the lecture
Davis, Angela: Radical black teacher at UCLA. She was dismissed
from UCLA in 1969 due to her radical politics. She was a Black Panther
and made the FBI’s most wanted list in 1970 on false charges. She became
an icon as an intelligent, outspoken radical young black woman.
Donovan: aka Donovan Leitch. With his song Mellow Yellow,
Donovan made the music scene in the ’60s. His sensitive voice, spacey lyrics,
and unusual arrangements evoke a very hippie feeling. Other hits include
Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Wear Your Love Like Heaven.
Dylan, Bob: Dylan exploded on the
music scene in Greenwich Village in the early ’60s. His blend of rock and
folk ballads took everyone by storm, and in turn inspired just about every
rock musician who was to follow in his footsteps. His early songs Blowin’
in the Wind and The Times They are A-Changin’ took the protest song
and gave it an edge.
Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers: Gilbert Shelton’s popular comic
about the adventures of three stoned out hippies.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence: Poet, publisher and owner of the City
Lights Bookstore in North Beach, San Francisco. Part of the beat scene
in San Francisco, Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s controversial
poem Howl in 1957, which landed him in jail, but lead to a landmark decision
upholding free speech.
Fonda, Jane: Actress daughter of Henry Fonda, Jane made a name
for herself as a political activist when she married Tom Hayden, one of
the Chicago Seven. Jane was also outspoken and made a controversial trip
to Hanoi, North Vietnam during the war. Now married to CNN creator Ted
Gandhi, Mahatma: Once a lawyer in South Africa, Gandhi came
to India and fought British oppression through the pioneering use of non-violent
protest. His methods were adopted in the ’60s by the civil rights and antiwar
movements. The confrontative, yet passive techniques are now the standard
for peaceful protest.
Garcia, Jerry: Musician, songwriter, artist. Jerry was a founding
member of the Warlocks and Grateful Dead. His varied musical influences
including Blue Grass, Rock, and Jazz enabled him to establish his own genre
of music. With the Dead, the ultimate hippie band from San Francisco, he
became a cult figure and was worshipped by fans. His laid back attitude
and lifestyle was a sharp contrast to the lives of many egotistical rock
stars. For thirty years Jerry Garcia and his faithful band brought hallucinatory
music to their legions of fans.
Gaskin, Stephen: Stephen gained famed for his Monday night classes
at San Francisco State where he talked about hippy values. When he took
to the road his students followed and soon there was a caravan of wandering
gypsies, 400 people in 60 vehicles. He eventually settled down with them
and started The Farm, an ongoing Tennessee commune which pioneered organic
and alternative methods of agriculture, education and social interaction.
Ginsberg, Allen: Controversial Beat poet from the ’50s who wrote
about following your instincts and free love. Howl (1956), is one of
Ginsberg’s most famous poems. Along with his friends Jack Kerouac and William
S. Burroughs, he helped define and document the activities of the Beat
Generation. Ginsberg was active in the anti-war movement appearing at rallies
and also the Human Be-In. Ginsberg is credited with coining the term Flower
Graham, Bill: Rock impresario whose Fillmore Auditorium in San
Francisco, and Fillmore East in New York highlighted the best rock acts
of the sixties including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson
Airplane and more.
Gregory, Dick: Comedian, author, black activist survived more
than 100 hunger strikes to protest discrimination, the Vietnam War, and
drug addiction. His autobiography Nigger sold a million copies. Lately
he is involved in promoting nutritional solutions to world hunger.
Grimshaw, Gary: Very prominent graphic artist well known for
his posters and flyers of rock bands that passed thru Michigan in the late
60’s-early 70’s. His body of work reads like a who’s who in the 60’s music/counter-culture
Guthrie, Arlo: Son of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, Arlo
made a name for himself with his record Alice’s Restaurant. Arlo’s folk
rock style combines protest and storytelling.
Harrison, George: Beatle, musician, activist. George was responsible
for bringing the eastern influence into the Beatles. He got them to meditate
with the Marharishi, use sitar in their recordings, and gave the group
a more spiritual focus. George has been active in many causes including
the Concert for Bangladesh which tried to raise funds for the flood victims.
Hayden, Tom: Political activist, one of the Chicago Seven, ex-husband
of Jane Fonda. Now he’s a congressman from California.
Havens, Richie: A unique style of rhythm guitar combined with
his passionate vocals makes for an unforgettable experience. At Woodstock
he sang ‘Handsome Johnny’ and ‘Freedom’ to open the event.
Hendrix, Jimi: The greatest guitar player ever. Jimi could coax
sounds from his axe that no one had ever heard before. His guitar mastery
has impressed every great musician since. His on stage persona and charisma
is unmatched. Jimi gave legendary performances at Monterey Pop, Woodstock,
and the Fillmore. He died at the peak of his career. Jimi was a great soul
who soared so high he was able to take us along for the ride of our lives.
Hoffman, Abbie: Co-founder of the Yippies. Author of Steal
This Book. One of the Chicago Seven. Outspoken advocate of anarchy, Abbie
challenged authority every chance he could. By his outrageous actions he
tried to highlight the hypocrisies inherent in the system.
Hoffman, Albert: Sandoz company scientist who inadvertently
discovered the mind transporting properties of LSD.
Hoover, J. Edgar: Infamous Director of the FBI who kept an enemies
list in the ’60s. Included just about everyone active in the counterculture,
even politicians and musicians. If your name was on that list, the FBI
was spying on your activities. Hoover ordered many illegal acts to fight
the antiwar, black power, and other movements that sought change and a
redistribution of power.
Huxley, Aldous: Author of the famous science fiction novel,
Brave New World, and the ground breaking Doors of Perception, Huxley explored
the inner realms of the mind. His thirst for the insightful psychedelic
experience led him to LSD, which he ingested as he lay on his deathbed.
Joplin, Janis: Blues singer extraordinaire. Janis could belt
out the blues like no one else. Her performances at The Monterey Pop Festival
and Woodstock were legendary. With Big Brother and the Holding Company
they blew everyone away with their psychedelic blues. Cheap Thrills, their
debut album featured a classic cover by Robert Crumb and the hits Summertime
and Ball and Chain. Janis’ grief stricken life came to an end with a drug
overdose in 1970.
Kerouac, Jack: Beat author wrote On the Road and ‘The Dharma
Bums’, about the freedom of living each day as it comes. He inspired a
whole generation to get backpacks and take to the road. His beat friends
Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady appear in his works. Kerouac coined the
term Beat Generation to describe his friends and the phenomenon.
Kesey, Ken: Famous author, Merry Prankster, Ken wrote: Sometimes
a Great Notion and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His famous Acid
Tests were the first LSD parties with music and light shows. His legendary
1964 psychedelic cross-country trip in a brightly painted bus inspired
many hippies to do the same.
King, Martin Luther: Leader of the Civil Rights movement, Dr.
King was a firm believer in non-violent protest to achieve the goals of
integration and economic, political and social equality for all people.
Krassner, Paul: Humorist, founding member of the Yippies, and
publisher of the Realist newspaper, he’s been called the founder of the
LBJ – Lyndon Baines Johnson: He became President of the United
States upon the death of John F. Kennedy. Was elected in 1964 and served
another four years. This Texas democrat was responsible for the buildup
of forces in Vietnam and was in office during the bloodiest fighting. Along
with the next president, republican Richard Nixon were considered the epitome
of the government run by the military-industrial complex that prospered
during the Vietnam war. These two presidents highlighted the generation
gap as they found it impossible to see the world from a youthful perspective.
Leary, Timothy: The psychedelic guru, acid impresario, prolific
author, unchallenged hero of the free your mind movement. Turn-on, tune-in,
and drop-out. Those words inspired a generation to experience the mind-expanding
capabilities of LSD. Leary’s determination to experiment and turn on people
got him kicked out of Harvard and Nixon called him The most dangerous
man in America.
Lennon, John: Beatle, poet, artist, activist, singer, musician.
One of the great figures of the 60s. Controversial, he once said the Beatles
were more popular than Jesus (he was right at the time). He sang about
love and peace and his music inspired millions. He was murdered outside
his apartment building in 1980.
Leopold, Aldo: Naturalist, conservationist, author of The Sand
County Almanac, a classic in ecology. He helped found the Wilderness society
and wrote about preserving the ‘balance of nature’.
Maharaj-ji: Also know as Neem Karoli Baba. Famous Indian guru
who established over 100 temples in India. Thanks to Ram Dass, his disciple,
many westerners made the pilgrimage to visit this holy man.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Famous guru to the Beatles, Beach Boys,
and other famous personalities. First everyone went to visit him in India,
then he bought his teachings to the U.S. Emphasizing the power of meditation,
he drew a huge following among the hippie generation.
Manson, Charles: Convicted along with his followers of the 1969
murders of Sharon Tate and the La Biancas. Manson had created his own cult
out in the California desert. In his warped mind, he believed that John
Lennon’s song Helter Skelter was a call to war and mayhem. He used mind
control to get his followers to do whatever he wanted. He is still serving
his life sentence.
Marley, Bob: Rastaman supreme. The charismatic Bob Marley and
his band the Wailers burst onto the music scene in the early 70’s bringing
Reggae into the world. His music about love, Jah (God), freedom and equality
touched so many people and inspired many hippies to become rastas.
Max, Peter: Hippie artist famous for album covers, movies, paintings,
advertising. His colorful, flowing style graphics had a great influence
on art in the 60s.
McGovern, George: Democratic candidate for president in the
1972 elections. He lost out to Richard Nixon. McGovern was supported by
liberals and hippies. We can only wonder, what might have been…
McKenna, Terence: Ethnobotanist and author of the book Food
of the Gods, about organic psychedelics. Terence is a popular speaker and
visionary who likes to focus on discovering our place in the universe,
our reason for being here, and the future of mankind.
Mitchell, Joni: Famous Canadian singer, composer and songwriter.
Joni’s excellent vocal range is evident in music that varies from folk
to blues to rock to jazz. One of the great songwriters, her constantly
evolving style has resulted in varied success on such albums as Blue,
The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Mingus. Most famous for writing the
song Woodstock which CSN made into a hit.
Morrison, Jim: Poet, anarchist and debaucher, Morrison was a
passionate, if somewhat psychotic visionary. See the psychedelic shaman
section for more about Jim.
Mountain Girl: Aka Carolyn Adams. One of the Merry Pranksters.
She lived with Ken Kesey, and had his child, then married Jerry Garcia.
Nixon, Richard M.: Republican President of the United States
from 1968 until his resignation in 1973, after the Watergate scandal led
to an impeachment vote. Nixon provoked the anger of hippies with his dirty
tricks, refusal to deal with protesters peacefully, ordering the spying
upon leaders of the antiwar, black power and other counter cultural movements,
as well as the deeds of his cronies.
Owsley: Owsley Stanley, also known as Bear, manufactured
LSD for the first acid tests in San Francisco in the 60’s. Colorful Owsley acid is legendary for its purity. Bear was also the original soundman for the Grateful Dead.
Pryor, Richard: Considered the black Lenny Bruce, Pryor was
famous for his standup comedy and movies replete with four-letter words.
His humor attacked racial stereotypes. His crack cocaine addiction nearly
Rubin, Jerry: Co-founder of the Yippies, one of the Chicago
Seven. He and Abbie Hoffman pulled outrageous stunts to poke fun and make
serious statements about our society. One such stunt was throwing dollar
bills onto the floor of the NY Stock Exchange, disrupting trading as brokers
got down on the floor to pick up the money.
Russell, Bertrand: British philosopher, anti-nuclear and antiwar
activist, logician, essayist, and social critic. In 1954 he condemned the
Bikini H-bomb tests. A year later, he and Albert Einstein, published the
Russell-Einstein Manifesto demanding the curtailment of nuclear weapons.
He was the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in
1958 and designed the Nuclear Disarmament Symbol, now called the peace
Shankar, Ravi: Famous sitar player from India. He wooed the
crowd with his mastery at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival and got a very
long standing ovation and thus became a legend. He taught George Harrison
how to play the sitar in 1966.
Simon, Carly: Singer and songwriter once married to James Taylor.
Carly had hits with You’re So Vain, Anticipation and ‘That’s The Way
I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.
Smothers Brothers: Famous comedians and musicians of the 60s,
Tom and Dick Smothers had a top rated TV variety show until it became too
controversial and was canceled by CBS. Seems they spoke their minds too
often, usually protesting the Vietnam War, police brutality and racism.
Sinclair, John: A dude from Michigan who got put in prison for
ten years for selling two joints to an undercover cop. His conviction was
overturned thanks mainly in part to John Lennon and seven others who organized
a movement to set him free. Lennon even wrote about him in a song: It
ain’t fair, John Sinclair…
Snyder, Gary: Beat Poet, Buddhist, professor. Snyder is perhaps
most famous for influencing Jack Kerouac and the Beats and turning them
on to Buddhism.
Spock, Dr. Benjamin: His baby book was The Bible to mothers
of the hippy generation. He was against spanking children, and his non-violent
stance carried over when those same children were sent to war. He spoke
and marched at many peace rallies and counseled draft evaders. For this
he was sentenced to two years in jail.
Steinhem, Gloria: Feminist author, founder of Ms. Magazine.
St. Marie, Buffy: Singer, songwriter, activist. Since the early
’60s, Buffy has been writing protest songs about war (Universal Soldier),
Indian Rights and the Environment. Her song Up Where We Belong, sung
by Joe Cocker, won an Academy Award.
Taylor, James: Singer, songwriter. Taylor’s Sweet Baby James
album was a big hit. He was married to Carly Simon.
Tiny Tim: Famous for his one hit record, Tiptoe Through the
Tulips. With his shrill falsetto he became a cultural icon of the hippy
movement. Popular but unattractive, the mini-ukelele playing Tim eventually
found love, Miss Vicki, and got married.
Twiggy: English model who made being anorexic popular in the
’60s. Twiggy modeled the latest colorful, psychedelic fashions on her extremely
thin boy like frame. Her slender build, big sad eyes and short haircut
set her apart from other models of the day. Today she is an actress and
has filled out a bit.
Warhol, Andy: Pop artist supreme, Andy was a scene himself.
He took the icons of popular culture and turned it into art. Some of his
most famous works feature Campbell’s Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe. Andy
filmed several low budget films of questionable quality including: Trash
and Frankenstein (in 3D).
Wavy Gravy: aka Hugh Romney, Merry Prankster, Hog Farm leader,
clown, Acid Test Graduate, and so much more. A person who embodies the
hippy spirit especially helping his fellow man. Now a flavor of Ben and
Jerry’s ice cream. At Woodstock ’69, the Hog Farm helped feed the assembled
multitude. Wavy Gravy announced from the stage, What we have in mind is
breakfast in bed for 400,000.
Winwood, Steve: Talented songwriter, singer, keyboardist, Steve
played with Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith before going on
to a successful solo career. Steve was also a session man and sat in with
Hendrix and B.B. King
Yogananda, Pramahansa: Founder of Self-Realization Fellowship,
guru, author. Yogananda taught Bhakti (devotional) Yoga and has quite a
following. His book Autobiography of a Yogi is very inspirational.
Young, Neil: Canadian musician got his big break writing and
singing with Buffalo Springfield. His popularity soared when he teamed
up with Crosby, Stills & Nash. Neil went on to produce his own great
solo recordings including After the Gold Rush and Harvest. Neil’s style
ranges from hard rock, blues, folk ballads to country. His heavy rock is
credited with inspiring grunge music. Some call him the grandfather of
grunge. His slightly off key vocals don’t appeal to everyone, but when
he’s singing with CS&N, he fits right in!
Zappa, Frank: Famous musician from the 60’s and 70’s. His group
The Mother’s of Invention’s first album, entitled Freak Out was very
popular and way out, even for it’s time. Zappa’s music was a very wild,
creative, but dissonant satire on society. Zappa coined many expressions
and became a icon of the lack of respect for the establishment. A popular
college poster from the 60’s showed Zappa with his long, wild and stringy
hair sitting naked on a toilet. The title was Phi Zappa Crappa. Frank’s
children Dweezil (son) and Moon Unit (daughter) have dabbled with music
too. Despite Zappa’s outward persona, his real personality was far different
and at one point he became a vocal opponent against drugs.
Posted by: skip