When "Hair" came to Memphis

This post at Dangerous Minds about the documentary "When Hair Came to Memphis," on the longhair musical hitting the Bible Belt, is a great piece of internet writing by Marc Campbell. But whoah man, the video is really—you gotta watch. (Thanks, Richard Metzger)


  1. is it really 54 minutes? dunno if I can stand 54 minutes of artsy hippie vs christian redneck.

    gimme more to recommend somebody before I file it under TL;DW

  2. In 1969, Hair came to STL. Four of us snuck over to the American Theater using a carefully crafted alibi about where we were going. We were surprised when the two seats in front of ours contained my companions mother and father. They said they wouldn’t tell if we didn’t.

  3. Is there a YouTube (or other) version? Vimeo has been broken in Firefox for a long, long time.

    1. broken how? it took a second to start loading (I’m in Australia), but the player worked fine in FF5 on Win7.

      1. FF4 in XP pro, here. I haven’t been able to view anything from Vimeo since FF3.6. Searching both the FF forums & the Vimeo forums, it appears to be fairly common. Seems to be the fault of Vimeo, and they’re apparently giving the issue the silent treatment. The only fix I’ve seen suggested (using about:config) didn’t work for me.

        Sad really, because Vimeo is far superior to YouTube, which I can watch with no problems.

  4. TL:DW – Oh it’s so long and slow and intellectual and it’s about social history or culture…

    Someone please send me a link to the Michael Bay version so I can get back to looking at pictures of cats…

    I am sad. Okay, now I’m going to watch the whole thing!

  5. Okay, watched it. Some of those auditions were painful, and I don’t know about the closing comment that they ‘made love to 8000 people in a beautiful way’.

  6. Yeah Kaneda 54 minutes is totally too long to spend to witness a major cultural phenomenon (look it up).

  7. Xeni: “But whoah man, the video is really—”

    — containing parts of a not really good performance of “Hair”.

    FF2 of sorts

    1. I don’t doubt that, fxq. But I do share others’ resentment for the cultural impact the play had in reinforcing a separatist & extremest stereotypes portrayed in the piece (despite the performer’s, writer, producer’s, etc. best intentions). The best way to undermine a conscious movement is to parody it, which many in the movement feel that play (unintentionally or not) did.

  8. I think the creators of “Hair” were earnest in their attempt to capture the Aquarian vibe of the sixties…and cash in on it. Broadway never gets alternative culture or rock and roll right. It’s fucking Broadway.

  9. Eighteen comments and a fourth are about whether Vimeo works in FireFox?

    There was no “artsy hippie vs christian redneck” that I could see. Early on Kennedy, the teacher, acknowledges that putting the show on in Memphis is “ticklish,” and later in the documentary he asks his cast (and students) to sit down and talk about some latent bigotry.

    The most fascinating thing about the film was the way the students, one woman in particular, talked about her 35-ish and 40-ish parents not understanding her generation. I was in college about 10 years after this film was made, and I don’t think any of my peers felt as alienated from their parents as these kids do. The concerns that separated the generations then — freedom, clear air, and tolerance — are no longer generational.

    Nothing earth-shattering happens in the film. Only the typical magic that happens when a group of people work hard to create art.

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