Human Be-In. Attendance: 20,000. Performers: Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Dizzy Gillespie, Allen Ginsburg, other lesser known local bands, and spur-of-the-moment performers. Artists: Kelley Mouse, Michael Bowen. Photographer: Casey Sonnabend
the third eye at the gathering of the tribes my favorite bands and beat poets spreading transformation If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake
We drove up from Santa Clara, where I was going to college at the time, but (surprise!) it took longer to find a place to park than it did to drive up from Santa Clara, with the result that I cannot say I saw the Dead, as we got there really late. The main things I remember were local poet Lenore Kandel reading her latest opus The Love Book, which was quite the cause celebre because of its liberal use of the f-word (and actually pretty much grossed me out when I read it), and Allen Ginsberg in white robes doing some kind of chant as the sun went down. I've always been a bit ambivalent about Ginsberg (love Howl, recognize the dude's significance, think Kerouac treated him very badly, never really cared for him anyway) and was less than enthused with this apparition. Don't really recall getting to see ANY bands. Oh, and also, huge crowds. We went to a Manning's coffee shop afterwards. They don't exist any more, but they were all over SF at the time. I remember the gray dimness and orange neon vividly. It's funny what sticks with you.
I used to go to Manning's coffee shop for breakfast, instead of going to church. They had a $.50 breakfasts. such a deal!