50 years ago today, in 1967, the Summer Of Love began. It was the rise of the hippie counterculture and a time for love to win. People flocked to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco (dubbed ‘Hashbury’ by Hunter S Thompson) to become part of the movement.
Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick was part of it all. She spoke of her time during the Summer Of Love in an article for The Guardian. “The Summer of Love was basically a question.” She said, “Do you want to hang out and experience the boredom of the 1950s, or do you want to turn everything on its head and live like they did in Paris at the end of the 19th century? Paris sounded like a lot more fun. So that’s what we did: turned things upside down.
“It was also an extension of the understanding that to whom much is given, much is expected. We get paid very well as rock ’n’ roll musicians. So you give it back. You play free. And we played free in the park a lot that summer. It was a party.”
“The ideas we had in the ’60s, leading up to the Summer of Love, are self-sustaining. Most people want to enjoy themselves. Most people want integration. Most people want to live a sustainable existence. With eight billion people in the world, you have to care about each other. We were like a tank; we were going to keep ploughing through this thing until we effected change. It seemed inevitable.”
Watch the video above for our tribute to that time comprised of archive footage.