The Strip was named as self-deprecating Southern humor.
 “Let’s go to the  Strip” 
of four stores.

First There Is a Mountain

by John Odgen 

Sunday, May 11, 1969. Around noon. A group of us, just on the heavy side of 20 years, is walking south along the "Strip," the loosely demarcated Midtown section of Peachtree Street that lies somewhere between 14th and 5th Streets in Atlanta. We pass the day-glo colored Catacombs nightclub at 14th - past the Peachtree Art Theatre and the Ol' King Cole Bakery - heading, by a circuitous route, for Piedmont Park and some live music at the weekly "be-in."
       Bell-bottomed jeans, zippered boots, tie-dyed shirts. Dressed in the times. The conversation floats and convects like smoke in the air. Vietnam, local rock and roll bands, police harassment of hippies, Nixon. Teddy Kennedy is in town for the weekend, looking like a solid bet for a presidential bid in the coming decade.
       But the topic seems to flow consistently back to music, the "poetry of this generation." Radar, the Hampton Grease Band, Jeff Espina, Eric Quincy Tate, Chakra, the Sweet Younguns. These are the solid local acts that we catch at such venues as the Bowery, the Bottom of the Barrel, the Golden Horn, Twelfth Gate, the Bistro, the Catacombs and, best of all, for free at Piedmont Park.
       Near the A&P at 12th, a street merchant hassles us for speed and downers. One of us has just seen Hendrix last Friday over in Birmingham - and, hey, it would be nice, we all agree, to have us a true southern guitar hero, somebody from Georgia. Somebody with an authentic interpretation of the great black blues players like Robert Johnson, Elmore James, or B.B. King!
       A quick bite at the Roxy Delicatessen and we ramble out the back door to take a short cut down 11th Street, dropping 100 feet off the Peachtree Street ridge into the Park. The Great Speckled Bird, Atlanta's underground newspaper, has negotiated with the City to allow rock bands to play the Park on the weekends. Last Saturday there had been six decent bands here at the Atlantis Rising Festival.
Courtesy of “Hittin’ The Note”
Read the entire piece at their website here.

From The Great Speckled Bird Vol. 2 Issue 36 Nov. 17, 1969 page 2.

14th Street
 Straights often see the 14th Street – 10th Street area as Atlanta’s “hippie ghetto“. For the people who live there, crash there, deal there, sell Birds there, it’s the Community.

The Community first came into existence because the area offered the Park, cheap rent or open crash – pads, and a relatively open climate that created by a art students, survivors of the “beat “movement, and the gay crowd. After the first “Summer of Love, “ 1967, Atlanta waited for the fad to blow over. In 1968, with the community growing instead of fading away, the city tried harassment and repression. But the Community lived.

Memories hang onto remnants, flashes. Those circus openings at the Mandala. And the Catacombs, that was a trip by itself. And 14th Street, the colorful kaleidoscope of costumes, the traffic jams, walking out to cars and sharing a joint until the light changed.

Those other memories, too. Like {“Mother David”} Braden, and the conspiracy that trapped him. And paranoia, distrust, days so uptight that nothing could get to you.

But even when the 14 Street area was the greatest magnet, we knew that the best of what was happening, is happening, has little would do with geography. It’s being young. It’s refusing to be programmed toward success, money, and war. It’s daring to seek a new identity.

In March 1966 The Bird was born. Its creators were an entirely unlikely crew of varied motivations, determined to speak to and through this search for identity, and at the same time possibly provide a radical alternative news source.

From the beginning, The Bird’s relationship to the community was strange complex. Without the community people, The Bird could never have survived. Heat, cold, rain, harassment, through it all Street people appeared weekly to sell, to survive.

But despite the mutual need between sellers and staffers, we have often had separate purposes. Involvement in the street scene is rare among Bird staffers. We’re older, we’re into politics, or music, or art. And we sense resentment, contempt from hip people who see us as “too political, “. There is particular resentment of our call for militant struggle, or other organizing rhetoric. The Bird got specific criticism from street people for its “politics“ in one article, which exposed the backers of the Atlanta Pop Festival, and even the article on Our Park (September 22nd), which called for unity in the community, was attacked by street people for its militancy. Ironically, the week after the park article, the community did indeed band together to struggle against repression in the park.

Now the dollar barons of Atlanta have seen more profitable uses for the community area. For a while it was profitable to rent to hippies since they demanded no upkeep on property. But the hassles with dope were getting a little heavy. So the word is now “smash the hippies“. For the Atlanta establishment, “hippie “is a catchall phrase to be applied to The Bird, street people, anyone with beads, or hair below their ear lobes.

With street people, it’s been drug busts, hundreds in a month’s time. For Bird staffers it’s busts for “inciting to riot, “or “obscenity, “ or “contributing to the delinquency of minors.” There was the Piedmont Park police riot, and harassment continues.

We know this sweep was encouraged by the kingpins of Cushman Corporation, who now get their rocks off by at my admiring the towering concrete prick at the corner of 14th and Peachtree. And to make room for their carefully planned metropolis. The crash pads are being cleared, as well as “to the old Birdhouse. “

The Birdhouse is gone, at our deadline, nothing left but the shell of that grand old House, with a gaping wound in it’s side. The Warehouse, the new Bird office, sits on the border of Buttermilk Bottoms, a black community. Like any new clothes, we know our new location will change us, change how Atlanta sees us.

The Community, still hanging on to the 14th Street area, may be forced out in six months, one year or two. Perhaps for us to, it’s good riddance. Perhaps with it will go those trying to exploit youth culture for private gain. We’ve all been screwed by the hippie capitalists. The destructive bent of competition threatens Atlantis Rising, which tried to bring to the Community a promise from more than profit. And perhaps as the Community is crowded out by Colony Square, it can leave behind those manipulators trying to hook kids on hard drugs for profit.

We know the lifestyle revolution is happening. No ghetto can contain the community of spirit.
- maude
What part of Peachtree was called The Strip? A place for cars and the hip crowd to be seen
The area unofficially known as The Strip on Peachtree.

The Strip started around 8th Street with the Krystal and Middle Earth Head Shop. By 10th Street it was in full bloom to about 12th street then scaled down up to 14th Street, the Freaky people’s main street to Piedmont Park.

My Friends 
I love them all

Our Music
Free download -
Grateful Dead Live in Piedmont Park 7/7/69 

San Franciscan Psychedelic Ballroom Nights 8 CDs of great music 

It Crawled out of the Vault at KSAN

Little Feat
live @ Richards 1/1/1973

The Strip on Peachtree was the commercial area of the Hip community. It had shops for members of the hip community to buy and sell the items unique to the community’s needs, such as papers, pipes, sandals, literature. It also had stores for expensive “hippie” clothes, many made by community craftspeople for well-off suburban followers and fashion plates. It also was the marketplace for drugs both benign and harmful. The Strip was where the straight and hip worlds joined together in commerce.

As you can see in the painting above there were many cars and people driving and walking up and down the strip all day. The bright colors on clothes as well as auto parts on brightly painted 1960's vehicles were much more vibrant than almost anything you'd see today. The classic cars on the strip were also a lot louder driving since the auto parts to silence the vehicles didn't come around until later decades. If you were lucky enough to have a car at that time to play AM and FM stations you might also hear some of the popular music playing through car windows while walking the strip.


Dr. Richard Hooker giving this painting of The Strip to Patti Kakes was the impetus to begin this whole project.

At opposite ends of Atlanta's Peachtree Street, the white youth of the South stare across a gap within a generation. Airline stewardesses and young businessmen by the hundreds push into a converted warehouse called Uncle Sam's six nights a week for beer and music. They are the city's singles, decked out in bell-bottoms and hot pants, in from the fancy apartment complexes surrounding Atlanta. At midnight Friday and Saturday, they don Uncle Sam paper hats passed out by the management to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Dixie. When Lieut. William Calley was released from the Fort Benning stockade, Owner Don Davis dedicated the night's festivities "to Richard Nixon and Rusty Calley." Says Davis: "This is where the Silent Majority can make noise."

Farther downtown on Peachtree, another youth community holds sway. Boutiques and head shops, long hair and beards, communal living and radical politics set the residents of the counterculture's Southern headquarters off from their contemporaries at Uncle Sam's. Although resistance to the hippies has resulted in periodic crackdowns along "The Strip," the community has emerged with its own self-help alliance to provide social and medical services to the permanent and transient members of the neighborhood. The hip community is now so firmly established on the city's scene that Mayor Massell dropped in on a recent "People's Fair" in nearby Piedmont Park. Massell's ingenuous explanation: "I'm people, aren't I?",8816,944407,00.html

The corner of 10th and Peachtree, the pit catty-cornered to “The Dump”, became a People’s Square for a while. 

(See Richard Power’s photos)

Centaur Club on the Strip featuring Diamond Lil




Mike Flores had a really unique Strip experience.  
Read his blog here.
The Strip was an eye opening education for many small town kids.
Made on a Mac
Charlie Brown drew this map to locate the stores on The Strip.
Made on a Mac

By Donnie McCormick

Chili Dog Charlie’s,

10th StreetArt

Tom ‘The Birdman’ Millican at his perpetual post across from the Mitchell House at 10th Street.

Dealing and socializing at Peachtree at 8th across from Middle Earth. (Middle Earth pic)

Finally a picture of Middle Earth Head Shop

from Arlo Forbes