Friday, March 02, 2012

OK, this is a "boomer" blog; here are the inevitable reminiscences of the late '60s.

My friend Michael Simmons wrote this piece for the New York Times "Local" blog about Tuli Kupferberg, the East Village Other, and those special late '60s years when he was in middle school and I was in law school.

I wasn't in the East Village, or Haight-Ashbury during that time, but I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was a scene of sorts. I'll never forget going to J.Press on Mount Auburn Street to buy a suit in the spring of 1970 (still very much part of the '60s in my opinion) the day after a big antiwar riot. When I got there, the windows had all been smashed and replaced by plywood, but a sign taped to the door said "We're open." As I was trying on a jacket, I said to the middle-aged man who was helping me, "It looks like you bore the brunt of the attack yesterday." "Oh, yes sir, " he said. "I was here through the whole thing. These people were the very scum of the earth. You could tell by the way they were dressed."

I also remember balmy spring weekend afternoons on Cambridge Common (see photo, taken in 2010; the place never changes), listening to long forgotten bands like Walk on Water, Clear Light (all the way from L.A., and with an album on Elektra!), and The Ill Wind. Perhaps my quintessential memory from that time was the Sunday morning on the Common when I saw five or six girls of about age nine or ten, probably Harvard faculty brats, dancing in a circle and chanting, "Christ ya know it ain't easy, ya know how hard it can be; the way things are going, they're gonna CRUCIFY me!" (all fall down).