Clad in clothing that ranged from hippie chic to California casual the LOVE-IN 2015 was perhaps the most fun that I’ve had in quite awhile and am glad to have friends in LOVE-IN hosts Georgiana Steele-Waller and the band LOVE’s co-founder Johnny Echols.
Lots of guitars being played and good vibes abounded in this stellar reunion of the “tribes” with lots of love to go around and a few peace signs thrown in for good measure.
This event took me back to the first LOVE-IN reunion that was the brain child of Waller back on August 11, 2011 at Griffith Park by the Merry-Go-Round. Waller got OD’ed on mine and LA Free Press writer Aron Kay always remembering the good old days of the early LOVE-INs at Griffith Park and how much we missed the vibes, the music and many other (insert happy face) aspects of the original LOVE-INs back in the Sixties.
A lot of the same faithful “lovers” come each year that Waller has staged this event, and more have been added over these last 5 years. Just as former BEATLE Ringo’s first birthday “Peace & Love” event at Capital Records began with a few people in 2005, it has now grown to a few hundred.
Usually no one asks me what a LOVE-IN is when they politely ask me how I spent my weekend, but this time several did. I am totally surprised that there are people out there that have never heard of a LOVE-IN before. Every year there is celebrating over the anniversary of WOODSTOCK which is in my mind the biggest and longest LOVE-IN ever in the history of hippies. Yes that’s right, I was and still am a hippie. In fact I played a hippie in Edward James Olmos’ “AMERICAN ME” several years ago…a well cast role in my opinion. In fact, the East Indian embrodiered velvet bolero jacket that I wore in “AMERICAN ME” is a vintage piece which had been worn to LOVE-IN 2014 as well as a few LOVE-INs back in the Sixties.
Due to the fact that no one seems to understand what a LOVE-IN is let alone have a point of reference to this important part of Los Angeles history, I feel compelled to a give a brief accounting of my time at these events.
The first LOVE-IN was staged at Griffith Park by the Merry-Go-Round on Easter Sunday 1967. I had heard about it at a local, valley head shop and I am not certain whose idea it was, but it was a groovy one for sure. I hitch hiked there to attend in my hippie finery; holey jeans, love beads, boots and a black crocheted poncho over a see through black mesh blouse. Oh yes, must not forget that I was stinking of patchouli oil. To this day most fragrances that I put on end up smelling like patchouli oil since I wore so much of it back in the day…it kept my mother and brother away from me and off my back. Little surprise that I preferred to be with “smelly” hippies then with my own disapproving family on this fine Easter Sunday.
My time frame is a bit fuzzy, they say if you can remember you weren’t there, but I do remember the Conga and Djembe drums beating and because I was a Go Go Dancer the drums were always the first thing that beckened to me. There were God’s Eyes, incense, lots of dancing and lots of tripping.
Everyone came together to hang out peacefully and enjoy the music and the sharing of the groovy vibes. There was lots and lots of dancing and music being played over the course of the day. Crazy as it may seem there were a couple of skydivers that parachuted into the scene and it seems that they were a tad bit off of the mark.
I’m pretty sure that it was another time that the cast of “HAIR” came to peform for the LOVE-IN participants and Green Peace fed us. I still have a few buttons left from trading them at LOVE-INs.
The main theme that has stayed with me over the decades is that people were smiling and laughing. I don’t remember anyone not getting along or fighting, but do remember lots of hugging and giggling. I think that is what Kay and I miss so much…the LOVE. The vibe was chill and mellow to the point that it was possible to meditate in the midst of the celebration of LOVE.
And so dear friends that is a LOVE-IN as I remember it. I am eteranally grateful to Waller and Echols for gifting their friends with these yearly tribal LOVE-IN reunions. There may no longer be God’s Eyes or skydivers, but the vibe is still love and peace.
I have found out that there is a video on YouTube about the first Love-In in 1967 which was filmed by documentary film director Les Blank…happy hunting.
Recently went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Joshua Bell perform with and conduct the LA Philharmonic.
In all of the decades that I’ve been enjoying classical music concerts, I’ve never heard an instrument being played by the conductor. The instrument was a $4 million dollar Stradivarius violin which I’ve also never heard played before at a classical concert. The sounds that Bell coaxed out of that violin were ear candy to be sure.
This concert made me ask myself a question that needs to be answered: I’ve been told that there was a time in the music industry that record companies produced and recorded rock n’ roll music in order to support classical music recordings.
If so, is this still true today?