How Art Nouveau influenced the psychedelic art of the '60s

The Art Nouveau movement was started in response to a rapidly-changing -- and in the eyes of artists, ugly -- world. So it makes sense that the San Francisco artists designing rock posters, album covers, and the like in the 1960s would crib Art Nouveau's distinct style. They were responding to their own rapidly-changing, and ugly, world. While these free-spirited designers took heavy inspiration from Art Nouveau, they made their art their own by popping the colors to be vibrant and high-contrast, according to this Vox video.

(Nag on the Lake) Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Applying for a Permit to Exorcise the Pentagon of Evil Spirits, Levitating It Ten Feet Off the Ground

Abbie Hoffman and Martin Carey arrive at The Pentagon to do a literal hand-count on how many protestors will be needed to encircle the building for a protest. On the way out they apply for, and receive, a permit to initiate an Exorcism to rid the base of its evil demons.

Part one of "LEVITATION OF THE PENTAGON" — Continued Next Week

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

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JOHN WILCOCK: An Encounter with Hunter S. Thompson During His HELL'S ANGELS Book Tour

A spirited conversation between Hunter S. Thompson and John Wilcock. From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

Look for a holiday follow-up to this story in December, detailing "How the Freaks Almost Took the Town".

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John Wilcock's Wonderful Underground Masterpiece: "OTHER SCENES"

Shown at top of fold: Cover to OTHER SCENES, Volume 1, Number 6, September 1968 — Additional items on the history of OTHER SCENES will be included in the comments section over the week.

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

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JOHN WILCOCK: Establishing The Underground Press Syndicate (1966)

A relieving of tensions between John and the East Village Other leads to the development of the UPS.

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

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JOHN WILCOCK: Visiting Japan on Five Dollars a Day

From John Wilcock, New York Years, by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall.

Greetings, Wilcock readers! The series will complete here on Boing Boing, in weekly installments, through the end of the year.

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Take a trip with the Family Acid

I'm thrilled to report the release of The Family Acid: California, the book I published with Timothy Daly, my Ozma Records partner and co-producer of the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. Limited to just 1,500 clothbound copies, it's a far-out photo album from a very unconventional family.

For more than 50 years, photographer Roger Steffens has explored the electric arteries of the counterculture, embracing mind-expanding experiences, deep social connection, and unadulterated fun at every turn. After serving in Vietnam at the end of the 1960s, Steffens immersed himself in California’s vibrant bohemia. Since then, with his wife Mary and children Kate and Devon, he has sought out the eccentric, the outlandish, and the transcendent. Just as often, it finds him, grinning, a camera in one hand and a joint in the other. Steffens took the spectacular snapshots in this new collection between 1968 and 2015 during his family's freewheeling adventures throughout the visionary state they call home.

Steffens is an intrepid explorer of the fringe but he’s also a family man. He met his wife Mary under a lunar eclipse in a pygmy forest in Mendocino, California while on LSD. Soon after, they conjured up a daughter, Kate, and son, Devon. Family vacations took the foursome up and down the West Coast, from the gritty glam of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip to reggae festivals in Humboldt, fiery protests in Berkeley to the ancient redwoods of Big Sur and the wilds of Death Valley. Along the way, they’d rendezvous with likeminded freaks, artists, musicians, and writers, from Bob Marley and Timothy Leary to actor John Ritter and war photographer Tim Page, the inspiration for Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now. Read the rest

Watch Walter Cronkite and CBS News report from Woodstock (1969)

"The sponsors said it was going to be three days of peace and music. It was that alright, and much more." Read the rest

Magnificent photos from a psychedelic family's California trip

For more than 50 years, Roger Steffens has traveled the electric arteries of the counterculture embracing mind-expanding experiences, deep social connection, and unadulterated fun at every turn. And he’s captured it all on film. After serving in Vietnam during the final 26 months of the ‘60s, where he won a Bronze Star for founding a refugee campaign that raised over 100 tons of food and clothing, he spent a year lecturing against the war before settling in Marrakech. Finally returning Stateside in 1972, he immersed himself in the vibrant bohemias of Berkeley, Los Angeles, and beyond, touring his highly-acclaimed one-man show, “Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry.” A psychedelic polymath, Steffens worked as an actor, poet, editor, archivist, lecturer, author, NPR radio DJ and interviewer and, yes, photographer. Driven by his own insatiable curiosity and passion, he was on a perpetual quest for the eccentric, the outlandish, the transcendent. Just as often, it found him, smiling, a camera in one hand and a joint in the other.

Roger Steffens is an intrepid explorer of the fringe but he’s also a family man. He met his wife Mary under a lunar eclipse in a pygmy forest in Mendocino, California while on LSD. Soon after, they conjured up a daughter, Kate, and son, Devon. Family vacations took the foursome up and down the West Coast, from the gritty glam of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip to reggae festivals in Humboldt, fiery protests in Berkeley to the ancient redwoods of Big Sur and the wilds of Death Valley. Read the rest

Far-out 1960s rock 'n' roll beatnik TV commercial for Hot Shots candy

Dig that, ya squares!

(via Weird Universe)

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The Family Acid: California, a far-out photo album from a very unconventional family

For more than 50 years, photographer Roger Steffens has explored the electric arteries of the counterculture, embracing mind-expanding experiences, deep social connection, and unadulterated fun at every turn. After serving in Vietnam at the end of the 1960s, Steffens immersed himself in California’s vibrant bohemia. With his wife Mary and children Kate and Devon, he sought out the eccentric, the outlandish, and the transcendent. Just as often, it found him, grinning, a camera in one hand and a joint in the other.  

My Ozma Records partner Tim Daly and I are honored to share with you this new collection of Steffens’ spectacular snapshots taken between 1968 and 2015 during the foursome’s freewheeling adventures throughout the visionary state they call home. Think of it as a family album belonging to a very unconventional family. 

This is The Family Acid: California.

Based in Los Angeles, the Steffens family traveled up and down the West Coast, from the wilds of Death Valley and reggae festivals in Humboldt to fiery protests in Berkeley and the ancient redwoods of Big Sur. Along the way, they’d rendezvous with friends like Bob Marley, Timothy Leary, and war photographer Tim Page, the inspiration for Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now. They’d take in the wonders of nature and, of course, the adults would occasionally lose their minds in psychoactive celebrations of creativity, freedom, and hope.   

The Family Acid: California is a 192-page, large format book manufactured with the finest materials and attention to design as you've come to expect from Ozma Records, producers of the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition. Read the rest

Archive of the incredible mid-1960s magazine, "fact:"

In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy prosecuted Eros magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg for violating federal obscenity laws when Eros ran 8-pages of photos of a naked black man and naked white woman embracing each other (see page 72 of the fourth and final issue of Eros). After a long trial, which went to the Supreme Court, Ginzburg was found guilty and in 1972 was sent to federal prison. He was released on parole eight months later. (Arthur Miller said of the conviction, a man is going to prison for publishing and advertising stuff a few years ago that today would hardly raise an eyebrow in your dentist's office.")

In 1964, during his legal battles, Ginzburg launched a quarterly social commentary journal called fact:, and it was a masterpiece of design and content. Bringing to mind the best of Esquire, Rolling Stone, Spy, and The Realist, fact: was "dedicated to the proposition that a great magazine, in its quest for truth, will dare to defy not only Convention, not only Big Business, not only the Church and the State, but also — if necessary — its readers." (From the introduction to 1967's The Best of Fact, by Warren Boroson). The first issue had a delicious takedown of Time magazine, the titan of news magazines in 1964, with quotes from dozens of intellectual luminaries attesting to Time's treacherousness, propensity to lie, and prejudices (P.G. Wodehouse: "Time is about the most inaccurate magazine in existence."). The first issue also ran an Madison avenue advertising executive's "sojourns in heaven and hell while experimenting with peyote, belladonna, and marijuana," a profile of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell (titled "The Man Who Thinks Goldwater is a Communist"), a piece examining "The Sexual Symbolism of Christmas," and an essay by Bertrand Russell on the inadequacy of the nuclear test ban treaty. Read the rest

A delightful and insightful look at the beach party film genre of the 1960s

The Royal Ocean Film Society examines and contextualizes the beach party movie genre formula perfected and then milked dry by the genius marketers at schlock house American International Pictures. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Editing the Los Angeles Free Press

After quitting The East Village Other, John takes Art Kunkin up on an offer to manage editorial at the LA Free Press. Featuring Frank Zappa, Eve Babitz, Marcel Duchamp, and a phone cameo with Charles Bukowski. From John Wilcock, New York Years.

JOHN WILCOCK: The East Village Other's Nasty Review of Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls

John Wilcock describes the circumstances behind his quitting The East Village Other over their review of Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls.

JOHN WILCOCK: Andy Warhol's issue of ASPEN MAGAZINE and "Loop," the first pressed Velvet Underground single.

In 1966, John Wilcock contributed to ASPEN MAGAZINE, an arts project dubbed "The Magazine in a Box" for its unconventional format. This same issue featured design throughout by Andy Warhol and the first single to ever be released for the Velvet Underground, entitled "Loop".

Charles Manson "on deathbed"

Charles Manson, the mass murderer and musician, is reportedly close to death at a California hospital. USA Today:

The 83-year-old inmate, serving multiple life sentences at a prison in Corcoran, Calif., has struggled with gastrointestinal problems and been shuttled back and forth to hospitals in recent years. TMZ reports that he was brought to a Bakersfield hospital three days ago and is facing life-threatening ailments.

Manson was denied parole in 2012, at his twelfth hearing, and is not scheduled for another until 2027. Here's his most recent mugshot, from August. Read the rest

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