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info pls: 60s music & spirituality

MojoBanjo 29 Dec 04 - 03:51 PM
Peace 29 Dec 04 - 03:03 PM
Metchosin 29 Dec 04 - 02:59 PM
sixtieschick 29 Dec 04 - 02:36 PM
Peace 29 Dec 04 - 02:31 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 04 - 02:27 PM
Peace 29 Dec 04 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 04 - 12:54 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 04 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,Sidewinder 29 Dec 04 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 04 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 08:31 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 07:43 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 07:29 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 07:28 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 06:20 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 05:36 PM
Belly 28 Dec 04 - 05:26 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 04:07 PM
sixtieschick 28 Dec 04 - 03:49 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 03:09 PM
sixtieschick 28 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 02:23 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 02:05 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 02:05 PM
Azizi 28 Dec 04 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM
Wesley S 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM
Azizi 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 12:56 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 10:30 AM
*daylia* 28 Dec 04 - 10:14 AM
GUEST 28 Dec 04 - 09:35 AM
PoppaGator 28 Dec 04 - 09:25 AM
*daylia* 28 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:16 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder 28 Dec 04 - 08:01 AM
Peace 28 Dec 04 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Dec 04 - 02:17 AM
Kaleea 28 Dec 04 - 01:59 AM
Peace 27 Dec 04 - 11:33 PM
sixtieschick 27 Dec 04 - 11:21 PM
Azizi 27 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM
sixtieschick 27 Dec 04 - 08:06 PM
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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: MojoBanjo
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 03:51 PM

Personally, I've had it up to hear with attitudes such as the ones expressed by the GUEST troll which appears earlier in this thread. It's commonplace now to slap the 60s and the culture of that time around, but it's usually done on a surprisingly superficial level. It's like standing in the valley and looking up and criticizing the mountain for being way to low.

The 60s and spirituality were one and the same to me. Period. I, like an earlier person posting, loved Ravi Shankar and saw him in or around 1968 in Houston at perhaps one of the most astonishing concerts I've ever been to. I knew of Tim Leary not as a relic reduced to an internet broadcast death as a gimmick. I was friends with Alan Watts, one very cool guy on his own, and launched off into eastern philosophy, an ocean I've swam in for the past thirty five years. Music, as with Shankar, was at its best when it was spiritual. The Incredible String Band as well as Van Morrison (and, hey, let's not be *too* critical, spiritual-lite was more than available in the Moody Blues) were among the voices. Others will have their own names to toss in.

The point is, there is a huge difference between the wide open nature of music in the 60s and the streams that flowed from it and the stagnant backwater eddy -- a footnote, I think -- of the music today, the stuff that's canned and processed like cheese in a spray can and labled with .... dare I even think it .. the likes of Britney Spears and what's her name, the one who did the nuclear meltdown/hoedown nonsense when her lip sync track attacked her on national television on Saturday Night Live.

No one with any range of vision can argue successfully that the cultural possibilities, the antiwar mindset that is so missing from today's world, the rage against the machine of the 60s, along with the era's spiritual watershed that arose then (beyond today's fundamentalist idiocy of making Christianity a true/false test with one question)is either silly or vapid when viewed from today's point of view.

MojoBanjo


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 03:03 PM

Used ta be wine, women and song.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Metchosin
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 02:59 PM

In the sixties there were those that "got it" and then there were the majority that were just there to be part of the scene for the sex, the drugs and the rock and roll. Same as it ever was today.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 02:36 PM

Before I asked the question, I was aware that the word "spirituality" really sets some people off. It's good to be reminded of that when discussing it in the context of music. The sixties in San Francisco was a time of experimentation and exploration. And experimentation is just that--sometimes it works and has meaning, and sometimes it doesn't. Just because someone explores certain avenues in search of insight that they later refute or regret doesn't invalidate their desire for insight. I agree with Bruce that the spiritual quest is personal and individual. I also remember that part of the sixties mentality was a desire to be part of a tribe: a vast, awakened collective consciousness that was going to transform the world. (The Human Be-In, with a Hindu Sadhu on the flyer advertising it, was subtitled, "A Gathering of the Tribes.") My branch of the tribe believed that music was the primary transformative weapon in our nonviolent arsenal.   

I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now.

Thank you for sharing so many ideas and albums and songs that touched your souls.

Miriam


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 02:31 PM

I find that difficult to believe, GUEST.

All kids in the sixties were not part of the sixties so-called counter culture. I think that statement is your opinion which you are surely welcome to, but if it is indeed fact, would you kindly post the US demographic studies of the flower children that you speak of?

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 02:27 PM

All studies of US demographics indicates the flower children of the 60s DID NOT remain anti-establishment or anti-status quo. The demographics of the country, in fact, show the exact opposite to be true.

The 60s hype by the scenesters from the 60s is just that, nothing more. There is no difference between 60s youth culture and 00s youth culture, except the music they listen to, and the fact that their disposable income has gone up.

There are more questing kids now than there ever was in the 60s, because of increased mobility and incomes.

Time for all the 60s flower children to wake up and smell the decaf.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 01:01 PM

It occurs to me that there is a misunderstanding taking place.

"And soon the situation there was all but straightened out,
For he was always known to lend a helping hand." (B Dylan)

People are gregarious by nature--most of 'em--and we seek the company of others for various reasons, not the least of which is company. All people need to feel accepted by others--not ALL others, but enough others to make us feel like we're a part of the whole, at least in our own circle of friends or 'little' universe. The kids in the sixties were not substantially different in this than kids from any other generation. But there was a difference that grew out of what came to be called 'the counter culture'--the breakaway from status quo group of people who were called hippies or yippies or, or, or. The very nature of the times caused those kids to view their world and political reality in a manner not like many other generations before or since. Many of those kids became alienated by the things they saw (in Vietnam; in the streets of America and other parts of the world; in their heads while poppin' acid, etc) and they STAYED alienated.

Spirituality (whatever that means to you) is a personal quest. Many kids in the sixties took that personal quest with lotsa other people.

PS Good writing GG.

BM


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 12:54 PM

Hi Sixties Chick.

Spirituality in the sixties was driven by acid, at least that's how it seemed to me. The music that really influenced me was Van Morrison, starting with Astral Weeks.

If I ventured in the slip stream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where mobile steel wheels crack
and the ditch in the back road stops.
Could you find me?
Would you kissa my eyes
And lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again?

From the far side of the ocean
If I set the wheels in motion
and I stand with my walls behind me
and I'm pushing on the door
Could you find me?
Would you kissa my eyes
And lay me down
In silence easy
to be born again?

Indian music was very spiritual to us at that time. Our flat resounded with rumbling tablas and ragas by Ravi Shankar, and Ali Akbar Khan. I remember one of our favorites was from an album called Morning and Evening Ragas by Akbar Khan on the saroad. It was called Mishura Mand.

We found Manitos De Plata very ecstatic. At times it was like his guitar notes were handfuls of colored beads he would cast in intricate cascades of tumbling forms. You could see and taste music in those days. Certain songs by the Grateful Dead stand out in my memory. Remember In the Attics of my Life?

When there were no words to speak
You spoke to me
When there were to songs to sing
You sang to me.

Also very spiritual was Van Williams The Lark Ascending.

We would never, ah, meditate, without playing the Butterfield Blues Band's East West. An incredible piece event to this day. I recently bought it on CD and I was amazed at the brilliance of the improvisation and the final East West jam with its driving ascendance pushing you higher and higher from melodic plateau to melodic platue, a moments rest and then upward again to reach an insestant, savage, throbbing crescendo of ecstasy. Too bad that word has become corrupted. It had quite a different meaning in the Golden Age.

G.G.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 12:31 PM

Hi 60s Chick.

I lived in the Height during the sixties. Perhaps we knew each other. I didn't come to San Francisco with flowers in my hair. My first wife and I moved into a sleepy little neighborhood next to Golden Gate Park, called the Height Ashburn. We had a wonderful upper flat on Fredric Street near Stanyon.

Time it was and what a time it was,
It was a time of innocence.
A time of confidences.

The Height Ashburry was mostly college students and elderly people. I was going to San Francisco State doing graduate work in theater arts. Suddenly everything changed and the incredible pageant of the social revolution of the sixties evolved all around us. You couldn't walk down the street without getting a contact high. All these new, young people moved in to the neighborhood and everyone was wearing costumes and dropping acid and getting Rolfed, practicing yoga and meditating and listening to Ravi Shankar. The Psychedelic Shop opened on Height Street and we were buying incense and spacy music. I was at the Acid Test, the Human Bein, and the Summer of Love. We went often to the Old Fillmore and Winter land to dance to the Grateful Dead, or the Jefferson Airplane. There were free rock concerts in the Panhandle played from the tailgate of trucks. The Diggers were handing out free food. Owsley was hard at work. Everyone was keeping on trucking, whatever that meant. Everyone was learning how to be a hippy by reading Zap comics. The Straight Theater opened and there was underground theater and command performances of Janis Joplin and the Dead. Ken Keasy and the Merry Pranksters were riding around in the Wonder Buss.

Nostalgically yours

G.G.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 12:22 PM

Hi everyone I'm back again. I have been reading your submissions and we are getting a little sidetracked and sniping at each other more than is necessary - from the point of view of an observer. I love a heated debate as much as the next man/woman but come on folks! we are not appointed spokespersons for our generations we are just innocent bystanders reflecting on the less than perfect fragments of memory and literary interpretations available to us. The Sixties was a time of change as were the Fifties and every other decade come to think of it.Just because some of the performing fleas were a little more flamboyant and in tune with a counter-culture does not make it any less of a performing flea than those that came before or after. I stated in my first statement that no pop song from the 60s could be justified as a spiritual song and I have yet to be challenged on that; and my assertion that only Sam Cookes "A Change is Gonna Come" comes close, nobody able to comment on this? Let's get back on track!

Happy New Year.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 04 - 01:24 AM

It also occurred to me we could just as easily discuss "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles as a song which strongly influenced Charles Manson. But because it influenced him doesn't mean one could extrapolate from that the Beatles were satanists or some such thing. That is how this whole silly premise strikes me.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM

If one writes poetry at 20, it means that you are 20.

If you write poetry at 60, it means you are a poet.

Substitute songwriter.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:31 PM

Can we talk about 60s spiritual sex to spiritual music yet? :)


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:43 PM

What on earth does Medgar Evers have to do with San Francisco hippies dropping acid and dancing to the light fantastic at the Fillmore? They had not a bloody thing to do with the civil rights movement! Most of them didn't even lift a finger to stop the war, for christ sake.

Every generation is borne with a huge amount of idealism. That wasn't anything special about our generation, PoppaGator, so why would you try and make it seem like we were so much more special than other generations because some people paid a heavy price for acting on their idealism, rather than tripping and smoking dope to escape the thought of all that nasty war amd racism stuff that was such a bummer to them?

Those were very different groups of people you are talking about. It makes me sick when I see former hippies and flower children claiming they were on the front lines of the civil rights movement by equating their adolescent excesses with sex, drugs, and rock and roll with the sacrifices people made who truly were trying to end American apartheid and the war in Vietnam.

How stupid do you think I am, PoppaGator?

I paid a hefty price for drug and alcohol abuse as a result of my 60s lifestyle choices, like a lot of people did. Sure, I had a great time partying my brains out through the 60s and the early 70s. But I also am realistic and honest enough with myself to see it for what it was. Which wasn't part of the Flower Power generation, thank you very much. And you don't have to take it all so personally. I have this very same argument with my other half, also a child of the 60s, and a connoisseur of much more moral and spiritual drug taking than I imbibed in. Just did Madeira, and my whole problem was I continued to drink whiskey and beer and chase wild women, in addition to my spiritual shroom and acid questing. And the speed and downers were very spiritual. You could see alot of far out shit with a handful of Black Beauties or reds with a tequila chaser.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:29 PM

Speak for yourself.

Civil rights workers got killed. Draft resisters went to jail. Maybe you were too young to have firsthand experience of any such idealism, but it happened.

If you were nothing more than a spoiled rich kid, and have no memories of the sixties that you don't feel guilty about, that's your trip.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 07:28 PM

And BTW, so you don't think I'm just pointing fingers, I do put myself squarely in the "very vocal, exhibitionist group of adolescents coming of age in a very embarrassing and pathetic way" camp. I didn't mean to say (and don't think I have) that people didn't claim to have grand, divine god trips and experiences while under the influence. But the key words in that last sentence aren't 'god trips' but 'under the influence'. While under the influence, I also believe I'm a great singer, and can dance freely without falling down.

Upon more sober reflection, I know neither to be true.

Such talk was very common, with that I would agree. I just never believed any one who was going for "the rush" was being genuine about taking drugs in an attempt to find Jesus, God, Siddhartha, or whatever fairie or deity sprang into their drug addled minds, despite the claims of many drug users in the 60s. I believe they used such claims as a justification to keep chasing the god trip thing by doing more and more drugs. It was superficial. Lip service. That sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 06:20 PM

Just as I find the contention that hippie musicians suffered from excess idealism to be a joke?

I suppose there are many veterans of the 60s drug culture who would now claim that their drug abuse was rooted in spiritual yearning, but I think it's a bullshit means of covering up bad decisions by a very vocal, exhibitionist group of adolescents coming of age in a very embarrassing and pathetic way.

Lest we forget, during that time we were first generation to have easy access to photography, film, and audio recording equipment. In other words, we not only recorded, but immortalized (in our own minds), and worshipped our own narcissistic excesses. And when that didn't get us enough attention, like les enfants terrible we were, we shoved our faces in front of the world's cameras on the nightly news to make sure we were "the stars" of our own delusional fantasies, and the terrors of our parents' dreams for us.

Compare that narcissistic adolescent music scene among the world's most privleged and pampered generation ever (whether in NY, San Francisco, or London) if you will, to Victor and Violetta in Chile, or the adolescents involved in Prague Spring, or Bloody Sunday, who were living through something much more "meaningful" in real life terms, than any American or British hippies of the 60s ever experienced in their lifestyle protests.

But hey, we were the empire then, and we're the empire now. So of course, we are the ones most deserving of all the worship, right?

I'm sorry, I just resent the hell out of someone trying to project their fantasies upon my own lived experience.

So you insist your acid fantasies were "spiritual" awakenings? Good for you. Yawn. Mine and my crowd's weren't anything more than weekend party time. Acid and mushrooms and pot to take the edge off. Sure, we remember the lot of you--claiming that your drugs were superior to ours because you didn't drink alcohol, except a little wine now and then, and champagne...and then it was the late 60s and speed kills and downers and beer and then the 70s champagne and cocaine...

Sure, it was all about our spirituality, and those spiritual Dead, those spiritual Beatles, that spiritual Dylan. It was all so spiritual. Nothing to do with sex and "free love" as we called it either, right?

Odd isn't it, that in this 60s music & spirituality thread how many posts long, no mention has even been made of that little thing we used to call "the sexual revolution"?

What happened to all that idealism about free love anyway?

It wasn't really about sex, drugs, rock and roll. It was all about idealism and spirituality and god fuck music and doing good things to change the world...

Sure.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:36 PM

GUEST is no more objective here than anyone else.

If it's true that none of his acquaintances ever ate a mushroom or took a toke in hopes of some kind of spiritual enlightenment, he just wasn't in the right place at the right time. He (or she?) is relating personal experience and trying to claim the authority of objective "truth," and it just doesn't wash.

I find the demand for additional "evidence" or "proof" that hippie musicians suffered from excess idealism to be absolutely laughable and not worthy of further comment.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Belly
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:26 PM

Architects of great social change ! and their musical influence's ....strange thought. Gandhi? Hitler, Stalin, Lincoln
It strike's me music has being used in all manor of ways to influence the masses in many different countries by many different regimes.Ie; Moral Boosting, propaganda, nationalistic alligence etc.
Music is a tool we are allowed to use by our various governments or dictatorships to varing degree's. If it alone was capable of gathering enough interest in creating social change, we would very quickly find our access to it would be reduced to small "resistance meetings" Macarthy wich hunt styley !!! be careful what you write the eye's are upon you.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 04:07 PM

OK sixtieschick, I'm not here to challenge you or your credentials, OK? Please don't misunderstand MY intentions!

If you are writing a memoir about your coming of age in the 60s San Francisco music scene, I think that's very cool. It was a great time to grow up for you, obviously, and a time that perhaps had a lot to do with the shaping of your views on life.

But I really have to disagree with statements like this one of yours being presented as "fact":

"But we can't rewrite history and say that there weren't musicians who were attempting to trip their way towards God, and that they weren't influential in that regard."

I have no idea if there were musicians taking LSD to "trip their way towards God". If you have interviews with specific musicians that said that to you (although it is hard to verify anything unless you have taped interviews), then I guess you do have that as a "fact" to support your opinion, which is how I read your statement I quote above.

Also, it seems silly to me to claim that even if there were musicians who were "tripping their way towards God" and using drugs in hopes of having a religious/spiritual experience, I don't know that they influenced others to do the same. Virtually everyone I knew in the 60s who was doing drugs, which was virtually everyone I knew, was doing drugs to be part of the "in crowd" (to cop a few more 60s cliches), and to party. I knew no one who claimed to be doing drugs in hopes of have a religious/spiritual experience, or to become spiritually enlightened. Not a soul.

So I guess I'm trying to get my head around who exactly it is you are claiming (ie which musicians) had this "spiritual" influence on the masses through LSD trance music they composed? I mean sure, the Grateful Dead and the Airplane did a lot of drugs, and wrote a lot of songs while under the influence of drugs. But to drag spirituality into it seems rather bizarre to me, unless you are claiming a new age sort of influence, which you seem rather reticent to discuss or get into here.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 03:49 PM

Hi there guest,

OK, one more clarification. You are jumping to conclusions about my motivations and approach. I am not writing a scholarly book on sixties music; I am writing about my own experience as a drop-dead fan and struggling adolescent who grew up in Berkeley and San Francisco during an exciting, magical and horrifying time. There are plenty of rock historians who have thoroughly documented the period, plus famous musicians, their good friends and relatives, and people who had sex with famous musicians, who have written insider accounts. I'm trying to give a feeling of what it was like to progress from child to woman at that time and place while listening to music morning, noon and way into the night every single day. I have asked willing Mudcatters to tell their experiences in order to get an idea of what was important to others at that time. Regarding drugs, I had friends who were murdered, committed suicide and freaked out on them. I do not advocate drugs. But we can't rewrite history and say that there weren't musicians who were attempting to trip their way towards God, and that they weren't influential in that regard.
FYI I interviewed George Harrison in 1991. I have interviewed many others, but don't feel it's necessary to state my credentials here. I just asked a simple question and am hoping for some simple, honest anecdotal answers. If you feel I am on the wrong track or don't like my approach, feel free not to answer the question.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 03:09 PM

Thanks sixtieschick, and I won't ask again for clarifiction!

But it seems to me you are jumping to many conclusions/making a lot of assumptions about people you didn't know, ie the musicians from the 60s, so I'm wondering where you are getting the information to make claims like Donovan and the Beatles took drugs for the reasons you are ascribing to them, ie your statement:

"There was a lot of music going down that reflected the spiritual experiences people felt they were having while on drugs: The Dead, the Sons of Champlin, Donovan, Beatles, etc. etc."

That just sounds crazy to me, and so I'm curious as to where you are getting your "facts". It looks to me like you are fishing for anecdotes here that will support your beliefs that there are proveable connections between 60s drug abuse, 60s music and musicians, and "spirituality".

Honestly, I'm not saying this to blast you. I'm not condemning you or anything for thinking like that. I just don't know that making those kinds of claims without some serious facts to back them up will make for a very believable, much less authoritative book on the era, is all.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:51 PM

This thread has taken off in some interesting directions, and I thank those who have given it some serious thought and attention. You have been very helpful! Guest, I'll try to answer your questions. By the way, I did give quite a few examples in earlier postings to help jump-start the discussion.
1. Drugs: I am not implying, nor am I advocating. I am reporting a historical fact: For a short time period, largely while LSD was still legal, many took acid and pot in search of religious experiences; to see God, to feel at one with the universe, etc. These folks frowned on people who took drugs simply to get wasted. There was a lot of music going down that reflected the spiritual experiences people felt they were having while on drugs: The Dead, the Sons of Champlin, Donovan, Beatles, etc. etc.
2. The examples of musicians who embraced spiritual groups, teachers, religions etc. and then expressed it through their music you gave are part of what I am contemplating. Many people who followed them, and some of the musicians themselves, later felt their enthusiasms were misguided. That is immaterial to me--I'm wondering what people were inspired by at the time, and what they were inspired to do, think etc. by music--and which music! (FYI, I believe that just because sometimes we feel we took a wrong turn or two doesn't invalidate the fact that we were searching, or denigrate what we were searching for.)
3. Spirituality is a deeply personal phenomenon and cuts a wide swatch through human experience. So does its music. The sixties saw everything from those Catholic guitar masses to make them more "relevant" to youth, to kids who took off for the Himalayas searching for enlightenment after listening to Beatles music, to The Church of John Coltrane, to those who were inspired to take social action in the name of God's love in the Civil Rights Movement. Music embodied, or at least accompanied, all of it. I am interested in what people interpreted as spiritual music in the sixties, and what it inspired them to do/think/explore. Okay, that's my last clarification and exposition. Thanks again to all who have weighed in so far. You've given me a lot to think about. Any more personal experiences are welcome.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:23 PM

OK, now that I've been wracking my brain all day for one single song from the 60s that spoke to me on a deep, meaningful level, I've finally hit upon three of them. Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On", Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth", and Richie Havens' cover of Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven". I always like the Havens versions of Dylan better than Dylan's versions of his own stuff.

Oh, and Felix Cavaliere's B3 sound was truly an inspiration, but not a godly one exactly...

OK, and


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:05 PM

"Did anyone become a pacifist because they heard "Masters of War" or "The Universal Soldier" ?"

Yes. At least one, anyway -- me.

Well, I might well have adopted such views anyway, but the songs were certainly *part* of the environment to which I was reacting -- and a very important part, indeed.

Songs certainly never converted anyone *suddenly and immediately* to a new political and/or spiritual point of view, and songs undoubtedly have more immediate impact by reinforcing the resolve of those already in agreement with their premises ("preaching to the choir," so to speak). However, songs can have a deeper impact than news reports or logical arguments, and can eventually persuade a person to reevaluate their most basic assumptions about life, politics, eternity, whatever.

Huge numbers of people (mostly, but not exclusively, young people) *did* experience radical changes to their belief systems during "The Sixties" (actually, about 1965-72). The impact of mass-distributed folk and pop music wasn't the sole agent of this phenomenon, but was certainly a major factor.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:05 PM

"Even" a song such as "Kumbayah" sung with a group's whole heart and soul can raise spiritual energy."

I agree Azizi. But that song takes a damn lot of spiritual energy to raise up any enthusiasm for it for me. ;-)

Besides, there are, IMNSHO, much better spirituals than "Kumbayah" or "We'll Overcome". Songs like "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" or "Wade in the Water" or "The Gospel Train" or even "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" when done in the traditional call and response chant style (again, my personal favorite style of gospel, along with shape note) are more powerful for me. But it's all a matter of taste, isn't it? I know what you mean about "Kumbayah". I feel the same way about "Danny Boy" which most folkies hate, for the same reason they hate "Kumbayah". But both are songs that in their time and in the context of the communities that gave birth to them, were sung very reverentially and had deep communal meaning. We've just lost that context today.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:52 PM

Brucie,

Thanks for you referral for the sermon about "We Shall Overcome". site.

Some posters may be interested in two excerpts from that site:

"We Shall Overcome" has been sung in Indonesia, North Korea, Beirut, Soweto, and Tiananmen Square. It has been sung throughout Latin American as "Nosotros Venceremos" and "Todos Venceremos." A dozen years ago, when I toured Japan as a folksinger, I was greeted at a train station by a dozen students who spoke scarcely better English than I spoke Japanese, all singing "We shall obah-com."...

"John Lewis, now a Georgia congressman, had joined the civil rights movement as a teenager. His skull was fractured in Selma on the day still remembered as Bloody Sunday. "It was one of the most powerful and at the same time sacred moments," Lewis reflects, "when we would sing 'We shall overcome.'; And especially if you have been beaten, arrested, and jailed, and thrown into a paddy wagon, thrown into some waiting area, and the group just stand there and sing together 'we shall overcome.' It gave you a sense of faith, a sense of strength, to continue to struggle, to continue to push on. And you would lose your sense of fear. You were prepared to march into hell's fire."
--

More at www.fculittle.org/sermons/overcome.html


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM

Do you think it's the Latin thing that makes the music attractive? It never seemed to be for me, but then I've always enjoyed listening to music sung in languages I couldn't speak or understand. I was a big fan of Edith Piaf (like my FAVE "Je Ne Regrette Rien") in the 60s too. I always thought my love of medieval music made me an odd guy out, rather than one of the flock...

I've always loved plainsong, chant, sean nos, all that sort of stuff. In fact, if there was any music I discovered as a child of the 60s that "transported" me to the spiritual side of life, it would be that very sort of music.

For some reason, gospel music never did it for me in the same way, despite my really being into the energy and verve of it. I grew up watching TV Gospel Time, etc. and loved it. But gospel music never did it for me the way that medieval music did.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:42 PM

I'm not so sure that music is responsible for changing anyone's views - rather that it supports and justify's the views we already have. Did anyone purge themselves of racist feelings because they heard "We Shall Overcome"? Did anyone become a pacifist because they heard "Masters of War" or "The Universal Soldier" ? I doubt it. I do belive that music is a powerful medium - and it can give us new ways to look at our world. But I doubt that any large amounts of people made any radical changes in their belief system because if it.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Azizi
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:25 PM

Guest 28 Dec. 9:35 AM wrote

"The songs people still associate with the civil rights movement were religious for the most part, like "We Shall Overcome" which always sounded to me like the flip side to "Onward Christian Soldiers". Not a song to my liking."

As I posted today in the African American Permathread, the history of the civil rights song "We Shall Overcome", is at least partly religious. I believe it's spiritual mother is the song "I'll Be Alright" and it's spiritual father is the song "We'll Overcome".

IMO, it's the context as much as the words that makes individuals consider a particular song to be spiritually moving. I'm not nearly as fond of the slower paced "We Shall Overcome" song as I am the spirituals that birthed it. But when I think of songs that have demonstrated the potential to bring diverse people together, "We Shall Overcome" sure comes to mind. "Even" a song such as "Kumbayah" sung with a group's whole heart and soul can raise spiritual energy. While that song is now relegated to campfire sings, and is largely considered a joke, I am moved when I think of the enslaved people who sang it. Given the current state of this nation and the world, particularly in light of the horrendous natural disaster that recently occurred in Asia, a song like "Come By Here, Lord" [a translation of the USA'Gullah phrase 'Kumbayah'] is as relevent today as it was way back then.

Also IMO, what the world needs now and has always needed is more music that helps raise our spirtual energy.

I'm not sure if it's from the 1960s or 1970s, and it probably may not be considered folk, but one record that works this way for me is John Coltrane's A Love Supreme.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 12:56 PM

Amen, brother -- that "folk" church music was the pits! Made me most reluctant to admit that I even *owned* an acoustic guitar back when I was a Catholic college student.

In theory, of course, changing the language of the Mass from Latin to the local vernacular was a good idea, making the words and their meanings accessible to all. In practice, however, the whole business just seemed to become more prosaic upon translation in to English. The loss of all those beautiful and time-honored Latin hymns was perhaps the worst aspect of the whole changeover.

Funny how something we don't understand (e.g., recitations and singing in Latin) seems more "spiritual" because of its aura of mystery. Making the ceremonies more understandable also made them less impressive, less elevating. Perhaps this shouldn't be so, and is symptomatic of a shortcoming on the part of the rank-and-file folks in the pews, but it seems to have been (and to still be) a very real problem.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 12:32 PM

And I have to admit to being appalled by the "folk music" services back in the 60s and 70s. That just isn't the music I found to be spiritual at all. I sang in church choirs a lot growing up, was very much a 60s wild child, but man did I detest that churchified "folk". Appallingly trendy and it, probably more than any other factor, drove me out of church for good.

Give me Gregorian chants and my girl Hildegard any day over that guitar mass/service crap!


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:30 AM

sixtieschick, upon closer reading of your "what I mean is..." explanation, I've got a few questions that would help clarify for me what exactly it is you are suggesting. I'll just quote, and ask, if you don't mind.

First, you started with:

"...in terms of spirituality as an inner exploration, many people initially took psychedelics and pot to gain insight and break perceptual boundaries. (Drugs were often called 'sacraments.') The music also reflected that."

Are you suggesting that drug takin, especially psychedelics, was a spiritual endeavor?

Then you said:

"Out of that culture, a number of musicians embraced a variety of formal spiritual practices, with or without drugs, and wrote music to express the meaning they found in their practices, or teachers, or religions."

Perhaps you could give us some examples of the musicians you are thinking of, and what spiritual practices you are referring to? This is a very big subject. For example, many children of the 60s "found religion" in the 1970s, especially in church run drug rehab centers that sprang up all over after the 60s drug culture came home from flying eight miles high. Sure a lot of Brit hippie musicians followed the Beatles to India, but how many of them were genuine rather than following the in crowd? How many of them are still actively involved in conventional religion (Buddhism is, after all, a very conventional religion) today as a result of their involvement with the music/musicians of that time?

Dylan had his Xtian phase. Cat Stevens converted to Islam and never looked back, but again, that was the 70s, and it was conventional religion that drew in Dylan and Cat Stevens, not the new age "spirituality" movement which was far less conventional. Is it that latter movement to which you are referring, or the trend among many 60s musicians to "find religion" (ie conventional religion, even if not the one they were raised in) in the 70s when their drug hangovers were taking a toll?

You also said:

"I was influenced by some sixties music to explore my place in the world, to look within, and to take action to try to make things better."

Again, it would help if you gave some examples if for no other reason than to help me get what you are talking about. If I knew you were talking about George Harrison and Ravi Shankar vs. Ray Charles or Aretha Franklin vs. Procol Harum vs Hendrix, it might be easier for me to understand where you are coming from.

I LOVED the Beatles. But I was pretty much embarrassed for them by the whole pilgrimmage to India & John and Yoko things.

I liked Dylan, but I like a lot of music and musicians much better than him. I grew up around traditional Irish music, so the whole 60s folk thing seemed very phony and inauthentic to me, especially the Dylan/Baez stuff. I was very into the Byrds, the Band, Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins (I loved her Leonard Cohen phase!), Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones, Traffic, Arlo Guthrie, Sly and the Family Stone, Ten Years After, and ESPECIALLY Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young! Their music influenced me and my thinking much more than Dylan's, to be honest. With Dylan, it was the occassional song that wowed me, but those songs never influenced me more than other equally as good songs by other very talented songwriters of the day, like Neil Young or Paul Simon.

I was never much of a fan of the Beats and hippies either, especially the way they interacted with women. And I had a few educated women friends in the 60s who did the San Fran/NY Beats scene, The Farm, Diggers, back to the landers, and Yippies sorts of stuff who were the first to abandon "the cause" because of the extreme sexism and exploitation of women among those groups. Not exactly my idea of "spiritually enlightened" people or music for that matter. For me, that came in the 70s, with the rise of the women's and environmental movement, not 60s folk rock and San Francisco psychedelia.

Finally you asked us:

"I am wondering what songs or musicians inspired YOU to undertake similar explorations, or that inspired you spiritually--in any way you wish to define your spirituality."

Well, I answered in my above 9:35 a.m. post that the music didn't influence me in a spiritual sense. For me, the influence of some 60s music was purely political, and in that sense I think music and musicians have some influence. But not very much. I mean, even album length "experiences" aren't all that meaningful. Especially because I believe most "spiritual" or "meaningful" memories of the time by people who were there are largely romanticized nostalgia trips back to their golden youth.

If you doubt that, look at your own kids views of their years with music. Music is the main glue that holds youth culture together. Nobody defined that youth culture in America better than our generation that came of age in the 1960s. But honestly, we haven't left much of a mark, even now. We are doing the very same things our parents did back then, right on down to waging another war against an invisible enemy of guerrilla warriors fighting off our imperial global reach.

Sorta makes you think that no matter how much things might change (as we thought they were in the 60s) the more they stay the same. I'd say that is as true of "spirituality" and religion as it is the music and politics.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 10:14 AM

And I do still believe that the 60s culture of social upheaval and "expanded consciousness," as spread via mass media including but not limited to popular music, had a tremendous and irreversible effect on society as a whole.

Yes it did - but I'm not sure it's irreversible. Ideas like "Peace and Love" just don't seem to arouse the enthusiasm of the young the way they used to.

In the mid-70's when I was 16, I'd quit my lifelong studies of classical piano and viola to teach myself guitar. I dreamed of becoming a rock star ... and one night I had an very interesting dream experience that seems to fit right in here.

I dreamed I was sleeping in the old bedroom I had when I was only about 4. All of a sudden Paul McCartney was leaning over me. In his outstretched hand was something that looked like a tiny little round microphone. I thought he was offering me a chance to sing with him, and I took it all excited -- but as I looked at it more closely I realized it wasn't a microphone at all. It was a hit of acid. My disappointment and surprise woke me up. And I've never forgotten that dream (obviously!).

Now I'd never been one of those "Beatlemaniacs", so I was surprised that Mr. McCartney had figured in my dream at all. And an interpretation? Well ... first, I was less than 4 when the Beatles first hit the charts, so it's quite interesting that the dream took place in that 'time frame'. They'd influenced me more than I realized at the time, even though as a little kid I didn't like them much. Their stupid Yeah Yeah Yeah love songs were so sappy and irritating to me at the time...

But by the 70's I recognized and appreciated them for the powerful social/musical influence that they were. And now I think that dream was warning me about what was truly "spiritual" about music and musicians back then, and what wasn't.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:35 AM

I disagree with the idea that music opens doors to the higher realms (with the exception of the chemically induced kicking in the doors as has already been mentioned).

When it comes to spirituality, for me at least, I find music to be perhaps the most superficial aspect of spiritual questing and/or having authentic spiritual experiences.

60s music hasn't been particularly long lived, and was pretty superficial for the most part. The songs people still associate with the civil rights movement were religious for the most part, like "We Shall Overcome" which always sounded to me like the flip side to "Onward Christian Soldiers". Not a song to my liking.

The great power of some 60s music, though not much of it, was the revolution in pop music, some of which is still with us today and/or has stood the test of time as truly great pop music. And there was some great anti-establishment music you would never hear in today's pro-establishment times.

None of my deeply spiritual experiences have human music as a soundtrack, but the sounds of nature are definitely part of them. Silence is a large part of spiritual experience to me, because contemplation or meditation or prayer (pick yer poison) is the essence of spirituality in my mind, along with living through tragic circumstances that tests us. Like the Asian tsunami, which reminds us all again that the force and power of nature is in charge here, regardless of our illusions to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:25 AM

OK, Sidewinder et. al., much of what you're saying is persuasive; we probably shouldn't have (and still shouldn't) take all of that pop music too-too seriously. And, of course, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. But:

~ Why did Dylan and Lennon and (presumably) others find it so necessary to disparage the importance of their own work? I'd say it was because so very many listeners took it so very seriously that the artists in question found it downright scary. Their songs *did* reach people on a very deep level, so much so that the effect was evident throughout society, even on the evening news.

I think those guys were rightfully abashed to be given credit for "causing" the sudden social change that was happening; they were only acting as messengers, giving voice to insights and experiences that they shared with millions of their peers (and thereby passing the message along to many millions more). I think that they themselves must have understood this, but the quickest and easiest way for them to deal with badgering reporters and their stuipd questions whould naturally have been to respond "Who, me? I wasn't serious about that at all."

~ To those who say that all that business in the sixties had nothing to do with spirituality because it denied many aspects of established organized religion, I'd just say we differ on our definitions of the word "spirituality." There is a long tradition of Beatnik Buddhism dating back to the late '40s that rejects the trappings of the conventional churches while promoting serious spiritual awareness, and this school of thought grew exponentially during the 60s, quickly spreading from a few tiny bohemian ghettos to college campuses and suburban homes everywhere. Yeah, sure, not everyone "got" the entire message, and many failed to pick up on the subtlest aspects -- certainly including anything remotely spiritual. But many listeners did hear something that prompted them to look into previously unfamiliar expressions of spirituality such as meditation, yoga, Sufi dancing, etc. etc.

In the end, should we take all that stuff with a grin of salt? Yeah, maybe so. The world didn't change overnight, not nearly so radically as many imagined that it would. In retrospect, it was foolish to expect the kind of cataclysmic social change that many were looking for, and I would contend that the so-called counterculture *did* have a profound and lasting effect on ensuing events.

I would argue that people today -- in the industrialized English-speaking part of the world, anyway -- *do* have a more subtle and highly-realized sense of spirituality than they did a generation or two earlier, whether they are committed churchgoers or adamant opponents of religion as it had been taught to them as children. And I do still believe that the 60s culture of social upheaval and "expanded consciousness," as spread via mass media including but not limited to popular music, had a tremendous and irreversible effect on society as a whole.

The fact that we're even *having* this debate must mean something. These ideas would not have meant anything to anyone in, say, 1957. I realize that the mergence of Dylan and Lennon, Hunter and Garcia, et. al., isn't the only thing to have happened between now and then, but it's gotta count for something!

But hey, if you're not buying into any of this, Happy New Year anyway. ;^)


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: *daylia*
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 09:11 AM

Music is among the fastest and most effective mediums for triggering and supporting "evolutionary" changes in individuals and groups, even nations! The music of the 60's was no exception. Avant-garde "classical" composers like John Cage were creating "music" that expressed the post-WWII global fear and hopelessness in the face of the Cold War and constant threat of nuclear holocaust (ie the "Art of Nothing"). On the other hand, the music of the hippies and folkies raised awareness and heralded massive change in the "departments" of ecology and civil rights. I consider this kind of music spiritual, because it supports life and is aligned with truth, peace and love.

I think the "revolutionary" music of the 60's was much healthier and more positive than the "revolutionary" music of today, though. The brutal gangsta rap, the satanic heavy metal etc are much more powerful, insidious influence than "classic rock" ever was, because of today's added visual stimulus (music videos). The combination poisons the innocent minds/psyches of the young and naive with hatred, despair, bigotry and violence.

Together with the ever-more-vicious video games (ever watched "Grand Theft Auto" where you win the game by killing cops and mowing down pedestrians?), this so-called "music" desensitizes and robs the young of a conscience. It's the very opposite of what I consider spiritual because it idealizes destruction, sickness, violence, hatred and death.

THe sounds, words, ideas and images that would have repulsed and horrified me at age 12 (and still do!) - well, unfortunately many of the today's youth don't even blink an eye at it. In other words, what sickens me turns them on. That's how "their" music influences them.

So, what's this kind of music doing to the "collective human psyche" of the 21st Century? Perish the thought   :-(

daylia


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:34 AM

I will post to this later. I have to get some sleep. Thanks, Sidewinder. I too am sure we'll find common ground. And a Happy New Year to you, also.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:30 AM

Brucie - I would be interested to pursue your perspective on how Ruben & Hoffman equate with music and spirituality. I am sure you are a fascinating individual with much more to offer this forum than little asides and quips and I look forward to your honest thoughts and feelings regarding the the issue raised.I am sure we can agree on something within this subject matter.

Happy New Year.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:16 AM

Some fascinating insights into a time of upheaval and radical change - thank you for sharing your respective experiences. I do feel that the music of the 60s was not really that important to those great individuals and groups bringing about the changes. Sixtieschick do you think the work of the singer/songwriter becomes something more meaningful when he/she has released it and the public have analysed every last detail and turned it into prophecy, then several years down the line the artist says "I was stoned when I wrote it I haven't got a clue what it's about, it's just a piece of crap I wrote". Do you think people try and preserve their own self importance within a group by maintaining the myth that a single song is mana from heaven when in fact it is merely a pop record aimed at the charts rather than the consciousness of a nation? My opinion is that great people change things by their deeds and selfless acts rather than 3 chords and a catchy chorus. I would be interested to hear (see) your thoughts on these views.

Happy New Year.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:12 AM

Sidewinder.

I am very interested in your views. I found them to be very different--and very radical. I agree that the music didn't do much to shape the policy of the movers and shakers--but that comes with a caveat: Hoffman and Ruben were influenced by music, very much. Ochs' writing/songs had an impact on them, and that I know for fact. To what degree? Your guess is as good as mine.

I don't know who you are, but I enjoyed your views, Thank you. (Of course, I don't agree with you, but I enjoyed them.)

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Sidewinder
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 08:01 AM

Some fascinating insights into a time of upheaval and radical change - thank you for sharing your respective experiences. I do feel that the music of the 60s was not really that important to those great individuals and groups bringing about the changes. Sixties


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 05:48 AM

I agree with Art concerning the 'spirituality' statementThe quest for meaning was philosophical. To be sure, the 'age' of 'spirituality' was ushered in in the 1970s. The sixties came to a head and 'died' in Chicago in 1968. After that, many 'radicals' packed it in. The trial of "The Chicago Seven" was a sham, IMO, and although I hadn't agreed with the Yippie Party's 'platform' or the choice of candidate, I understood it. The war in South-east Asia was not going well and the body bags were being sent home to small-town America. The mood of the country was changing, and it was changing fast. And many of the people who had fueled the anti-war movement were dropping out. Recall that a schism occurred between the Black Panthers and the white liberals who had helped 'legitimize' the Civil Rights Movement. Prior to white involvement, middle-class America thought things were just fine, thank you. I am not mocking that or belittling the involvement of white liberals. It is hard to stop being racist and to throw out racial stereotypes. Many of the people who helped black people were Jewish. The view seemed to be that injustice was injustice. Starting in late 1966, many people in Greenwich Village 'took the last train to the coast', and supplemented the numbers of kids who were turning on, tuning in and dropping out. Music itself in the US was getting specialized, Boston had its scene; NYC its scene. The same for Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, San Francisco, LA, Seattle--and other places I am forgetting--poor memory, not lack of a wish to include them all. The age of anti-war protest was ending. Maybe it wa sthe absurdity of arguing over the shape required of the Paris Paece Talks table; maybe it was that people gave up on politics when Nixon won. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Also, electric was coming in, and single singers with only a guitar were beginning to be ignored.

Just putting some thoughts on paper here. I expect your view to be different. We none of us see the same picture, especially when the picture is filtered through memory.

BM


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:45 AM

This reminds me that I heard Martin Luther King give a speech at Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was the most meaningful and spiritual "preaching" I'd ever heard there. It was a reformed temple and there was a chorus with a wondeful black contralto we loved to listen to there. (There was no cantor---just the choral director who had a fine voice. He'd fathered an illegitimate child---and one day he just wan't there any more.)

One day I asked the rabbi where God was. He told me that God resided in an everlasting light above the pulpit. The next week I saw them change God's bulb. (It only took one person to do that---on a very tall ladder.) That was possibly and probably my first lesson in atheism. I'd been trying to resolve my father's death when I was 5 years old--although the conversation was at least 6 years after that. I'd been told, "God needs him more than we do; that is why He took him."

In that light, I submit "Plastic Jesus" as my suggested spiritual song from that era. Of course, I'm being facetous and truthful at the same time. But there wasn't much spiritual about the 60s that I ever noticed---except possibly my old and dear friends George and Gerry Armstrong singing "Simple Gifts"!

Art


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 02:17 AM

Spirituality was not a generally known or used word in the '60s. If one was religious it was from going to an established religion's big building where your parents, both of them, insisted you go. There were the songs you learned to sing phonetically in Hebrew or Latin. The sixties, themselves, led to philosophical searching and delving that produced what we think of today as spiritual songs. Many of the most spiritual songs of that time were secular and they reflected more of a search for philosophical meaning than anything else.

That's how I saw it anyhow.

Today the spirituality dialogue is an attempt to bring some secular leaning thinking people back to the established old-time religions.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Dec 04 - 01:59 AM

The cover of the "Sgt. Pepper" Beatles album intrigued me. I used to sit for hours as a young teen listening to the album & looking at the pictures. There were 5 specific faces which I could not stop looking at. Finally, after I returned from Korea in '77, I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda & found out exactly who those faces belonged to.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Peace
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:33 PM

www.fculittle.org/sermons/overcome.html

Another site to look at.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 11:21 PM

Thank you Azizi, for your special experiences and some terrific information. You were very blessed to have hosted Dr. King and I enjoyed reading about it. Also thank you for the information on "We Shall Overcome." The gospel version must be very powerful. Some gospel groups must have recorded it. Info, anyone?


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: Azizi
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 09:19 PM

I had the honor of hearing Dr. Martin Luther King preach at my home church in Atlantic City,New Jersey in the 1960s. This may have been immediately prior to or during the Democratic Convention and the protest efforts of Fanny Lou Hammer and the Freedom Democratic Party. Or it may have been before the 1963 March on Washington.

My church, Union Baptist Temple, was a center of the both efforts in Atlantic City, and I distinctly remember an African American choir from the South singing the gospel version of "We Shall Overcome" there. Their rendition of "We'll Overcome" was much faster than the civil rights vesion, but had similar words. No one held hands to sing that song. Instead the song was sung with handclap {and piano/organ} accompaniment. This precluded the holding hands with those next to you in the criss crossed fashion that is symbolic of the civil rights version of "We Shall Overcome". I mean no disparagement of the unifying symbolism of such hand holding and moving side to side while singing that Civil Rights song. It works, at least on an ephemeral level to show people that we are linked together...

But the spirit that I felt from the Gospel singing of "We'll Overcome" was so much more.

As I wrote in another thread, that Southern church choir reminded us so-called "Middle class" African Americans from the North of the difficult life threatening conditions that they constantly face and that our ancestors faced in the South. They exhorted us to put our souls in our singing and not worry about form and fashion.

That singing was a real spiritual experience for me.

I also had the honor of attending the 1963 March On Washington. However, there were so many thousands of people there and I was so very far away from the stage, that I was not aware that Joan Baez or anyone else sang "We Shall Overcome" at event.

The atmosphere at the March On Washington was carnival-like in the best sense of that word. There was a feeling of disregard for those things that normally separate people from each other such as race, age, and economic class. You could feel the energy of so many people united in a positive cause. It felt good.That also was a spiritual experience for me, and I dare say for most of the others there as well.
---

The Encarta.com website says that "'We Shall Overcome' is one of many songs written during the sit-ins, prayer vigils, and poster walks during the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s" and that it is "loosely based on gospels and spirituals. However, see http://www.pipeline.com/~rgibson/overcomehistory.html, for this historical overview:

"The song [We Shall Overcome] was born in slavery.

It began as a field song, a work refrain that helped men and
women in bondage endure from sunup to sundown. They would
sing: "I'll be all right."

Like many songs that began in slavery, it had no one author
and no standard version. It spread and changed with the
seasons and generations and as slaves were sold from one
place to another in the American South.

In time there was a war, and the slaves won their freedom,
but only in a legal sense. The song survived in a new time
of lynching and Jim Crow. In 1901, as laws decreeing
separation between the races were being erected, a Methodist
minister named Charles Albert Tindley published a kindred
version: "I'll Overcome Someday."

It was a song of hope, a hymn for a better tomorrow. It
spread through black churches in the South and in the North,
and then through the Southern labor movement.

And in the year that the second World War ended, a faction
of black women were on strike, picketing the owners of a
tobacco plant in Charleston, S.C., at a time when mill
owners controlled almost everything and everyone, white and
black, and at a time when standing up for your rights could
mean a one-way trip in the back of a police car.

The strike dragged on and the women grew disheartened, and
as the rain came down, many dropped off the picket line.

One of the holdouts began to sing the song, vowing to
overcome the odds. Soon they all were singing. In the spirit
of union, they sang "we" instead of "I." And they invented a
new verse:

We will win our rights.

And when the strike was over, they had won their rights, or
at least a contract, and in that time and place that meant
something.

Two of the women visited a union and civil rights training
school far from home, in the Tennessee countryside. It was
at the Highlander Center that they taught the song and its
new verse to a new generation.

Along the way, the "will" became "shall," an old word, one
that had the sound of the Bible in it, and people sang

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome someday.

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe

We shall overcome someday."
end of quote

---
Those interested can go to that site for more information on the event that is said to have sparked the creation of the "We are not afraid" verse etc.

Sorry, I STILL can't figure out how to make those blue clickies, but I've not given up.


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Subject: RE: info pls: 60s music & spirituality
From: sixtieschick
Date: 27 Dec 04 - 08:06 PM

Extensive research reveals that there were no victrolas or CD players during Descarte's time, so who can say whether or not he might have cut a "best hits" album if given half a chance? I have always found Dylan's remarks about his work and the public's reaction to it to be so much smokescreen. He seems to need to put down everyone around him, to what end I can hardly guess. Also, many artists disparage their own work; we tend to be a perfectionistic lot. The artist often sees only the gap between what he envisioned in his mind's eye and how it actually came out on paper or vinyl or whatever. Also, people like Lennon and Dylan knew that they were going through phases and trying to work things out for themselves--their songs expressed their work in progress on their psyches and didn't represent the illumination of a finished, enlightened soul. That doesn't cancel out the importance the work takes in the eyes or ears of the beholder. Sixties music introduced me to a world of possibilities. I probably would never have even read Tibetan and Vedic scriptures and Western philosophers had I not been introduced to them by rock, folk and protest music.


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