Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hippie by Barry Miles

What was a hippie? Would you have known one if you had seen one? Would the long hair and beads (stereotypical description) have tipped you off?

My first University of Texas roommate Brian had hair to his waist and wore little wire-rimmed glasses. Was he a hippie? He liked Jefferson Airplane and Bob Dylan. We ate ice cream at the psychedelic Nothing Strikes Back. I listened to his Hot Tuna album. Was I a hippie, too?

According to Barry Miles in his book Hippie, the definition of hippie was never really settled, so he includes almost anyone involved in the youth culture, drugs, and rock music during the years 1965-1971. They also needed to reside on the West Coast, East Coast, or London. The heart of our country is almost completely left out of the discussion. Chicago is only mentioned in the story about the riots at the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

Miles features many big names of the time in brief profiles. Timothy Leary, the beat poets, the Beatles, Wavy Gravy, civil rights demonstrators, Andy Warhol, the Grateful Dead, Charles Manson, and Ken Kesey are among the names. Students with assignments on 1960s fashions, pop culture, or record album art will appreciate the many full-page illustrations. Baby boomers will enjoy recalling their past.

In the SWAN catalog of the Metropolitan Library System, I see some of the copies of Hippie are "Lost and Paid" or "Missing," an indication that this is a good book. Others are on shelf waiting for readers. Place you request now.

Miles, Barry. Hippie. Sterling, 2004. ISBN 1402714424

3 comments:

Maggie said...

Thanks Rick! I ordered it and await the unpacking! :D

My Name is Raven said...

ilike your blog! they are great!

Shannon said...

What about us modern folk. Am I left out of the hippie mix? Am I a post decade hippie? Is it more about the viewpoint these days and less about the dress, etc?

I may have to dig up a vintage photo of me that may convince folks that the "hippie" was/is still alive and well.