Saturday, March 09, 2019

Once Again, If I Dare, On The Summer Of Love, 1967 -To Be Young Was Very Heaven-Out Of The Blue- Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”-NPR’s “American Anthem” series

Once Again, If I Dare, On The Summer Of  Love, 1967 -To Be Young Was Very Heaven-Out Of The Blue- Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”-NPR’s “American Anthem” series

By Seth Garth

This is a link to an American Anthem segment on the famous Buffalo Springfield song For What It’s Worth which became, well, an anti-Vietnam War anthem although it did not start out that way:  

A couple of years ago back in 2017 Growing Up Absurd In The 1950s and its’ sister and associated publications commemorated what seemed like a 24/7/365 non-stop 50th anniversary tribute to the Summer of Love, 1967. Although it would in the end cost the prime mover of that commemoration Allan Jackson his job as site manager (he has since come back as a contributing editor) that extensive coverage made sense to a lot of the older writers at this publication. Under the guidance of the late then free spirit and still missed Pete Markin a number of us from the old working-class Acre section of North Adamsville south of Boston out to San Francisco that year. That town, and especially Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Ashbury section, was the epicenter of what was something like the beginning of a cultural revolution among certain segments of the young.

Those events in San Francisco (and Big Sur and Todos el Mundo south of that town) were written about extensively by those still standing from those days. There is therefore no reason to drag those writings out of storage here. What is important to note is that San Francisco was by no means the only place on the West Coast (and eventually in certain clots across the country) where the young alienated or just looking for something different congregated to form youth nation. Los Angeles, as the link above details, was also a hotbed of such activities. It was there that the legendary group Buffalo Springfield learned to fly and where Steven Sills wrote what would become a youth and anti-war anthem For What It Is Worth. To parse a line from the English poet Wordsworth-“to be young was very heaven.”   

(The younger writers here who has either no clue or no interest in the Summer of Love, 1967 had to check with parents or grandparents about what they remembered if anything of those times. They would wind up rebelling against having to write about those times. That led to the show-down that sent Jackson into exile.)    

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