Dave Hoffman writes-
(I’d love to hear from any of these friends from The Zoo. Found Topher!)
These pictures were received in E-mail to The Strip Project.
These are my simple photos from the era
I remember those days so very well. I’m now 54 years old. At that time I was an impressionable young 16/17 year old. I went to both pop festivals. I lived off 13th street in a drug rehab house…….named Renewal House. I met a guy there named Robert Straight, But everyone called him “Decent”. I married him in Piedmont Park in the gazebo June 21, 1970 or 71. A guy named Michael Spraidlin? or Spraitlin? married us. The Allman Brothers played in the park that day…….
Someone later told me the wedding was filmed by one of the local news channels and to this day I wish I had a picture to show my daughter. There are alot of memories of those days. I thank the Lord I made it through. I have scars from those days and the old saying goes–if you play you may end up paying. Wish I had a picture of that wedding………
Well, I was rather rebellious as a teenager to start with. Out of control sexually, hated to live at home, and I guess you could blame it all on the Beatles.HA HA My mom took me and my sister and a friend to see them August 18, 1965.. I was 12! They were at the Atlanta Stadium. From that time on I was hooked. I started smoking pot when I was 13/14 and started tripping on acid at 15.I was a wild child. Older friends took me to the strip and one experience led to another. My sister was a groupie to several bands at the time. I remember a club named Richard’s…. Lynyrd Skynyrd first played there.
How could I ever forget? Piedmont Park whose various bridges I slept under as a 14 year old runaway. On whose grass I lost my virginity one humid southern night to a big hippie girl who went by the name Wild Honey Sunburst. The park’s fountains became bathtubs for the homeless young freaks of the day.
This big blond was constantly in the company of small slim brunette named Canary- a self-professed “coal-burner” from Memphis. They had a room in a boarding house.
Hey do you remember that Fish and Chips on the Strip? It was open 24 hours I think and was shelter for many during bad weather and that movie theatre that showed that movie theatre that never took down those Funny Girl posters.
Then there was the live Drag Theatre on the corner (or maybe a bar)…. I stayed with a dope dealer for awhile who had an apartment in a cool brick building. There were French doors inside and he hid the dope in the ….. I remember it was a big place and the rent was something like $75.00 per month. He didn’t beat me up when he discovered that some of the MDA was missing. He was a much older man… about 27!
Who didn’t at one time or other sell “The Bird”. I used to sell somewhere on Roswell Rd. at the city limits I think. Some guys were turning tricks in the parks for $5.00 (bj only) and others were “rolling the queers” as they sought sex partners at night.
What was it all about? Freedom? For me think so. There was in those times a collective spirit of change and love and revolution which hasn’t been matched since. It was as if everyone was tuned in to the same psychedelic channel. The free concerts in the park… the headshops with hand-written signs “no-rip-offs”. There was that old victorian house that the Black Panthers used as their headquaters. Just so many memories.
Thank God for guys like Carter Tomassi whose black and white photographs let us step back in time for a moment to remember where we’ve been.
Oh, my; I am so sorrowfully out of touch. I did not know that John Cippolina had died. He in particular, as well as QuickSilver Messenger Service have been a part of my personal story (you know, the one that makes folks politely drift away when they hear it coming for the fourteenth time) since 1968.
Actually, it was with John’s mother I first spoke. He was in the shower. She relayed conversation back and forth, at the end of which I was very excited: John had invited me to the Avalon for their gig that night–guest list, see us in the dressing room (which was not “back” stage, but out front, back a ways, and adjacent to the dance floor). Reason being–I was under recent indictment (May ’68; this was maybe mid-late summer) for “refusal to submit to physical examination for the purposes of induction into the armed forces of the savior of the free world…lada,lada, lada). The purpose of the meeting at the Avalon was to see if there were some way that QSD could play for–my trial!
Well, that never happened, even though John thought it worth looking into. I always have remembered (obviously) the way they treated me. I think John said, in response to my gratitude for inviting me to meet with them, something about how they were only musicians–but I was really stepping out to fight against that war that truly exemplified the “Pride of Man.” (That, of course, was the song that gave me the idea.) So I miss him, I miss the easy confidence that somewhere, probably in Marin Co. he’s getting old (we were born the same year), regrouping with the old crew. But he’s not.
I offer this tribute so that others of his fans may know that he cared about the humanity of this planet, in those dangerous (but truly alive!) days. -greg gregory
Greg convinced the jury and got his CO at the same time as Joan Baez’s husband David Harris was denied his. Greg moved to Atlanta and wrote for The Bird and was an early mover and shaker in the Little Five Points B.O.N.D. neighborhoods organization that laid the groundwork for making the neighborhoods humanly liveable.
I worked at the The Twelfth Gate starting in the summer of 1969 untill 1972 I think, and lived on 14th street. I was also in Daryl Roades and the HaHavishnu Orchestra from 1975-1976. I went to The Atlanta College of Art, the guy who ran The Catacombs went to the school also. I think he was called Mother David. He had a run in with one of the teachers and scared the teacher to death. He aimed a gun at him, the teacher started trying to talk him down, he shot it and out came pink flowers.There was also another coffee house called The Grand Central Cafe(something like that)on 9th St. I saw The Hampton Grease Band there for the first time in 1968. I lived in a sort of commune on 14th and then on 15th with Robin Feld, she, Ursula and I worked together after the church pulled out of The Twelfth Gate. It was exciting to see all the jazz bands come through, Elvin Jones, The Weather Report, Larry Coryell, Oregon, Macoy Tyner as well as Little Feat, Radar and The Grease Band, etc. You might want to contact Tony Garstein. He was the drummer for Radar and I’m sure he would have some pictures for you.
I have been waiting for the Internet to provide this project for 12 years!
I was there in ’69. Tried the Orange Sunshine, stayed with (biker) johnny Reb, next door to the catacombs, up the street from white columns, Ate Thanksgiving dinner in Piedmont Park before being returned to my home.
Spent much time on the strip between 1970 and 1972.
“Worked” at the community with Gypsy (biker) Vick (hippie) and Crystal and many others.
Then the bikers had a meet and the charter changed and Gypsy was replaced with Chains
Remember Bongo and Steve (the guy with the big cross)
Sunshine (was that Bonnie Raitt?)
Spade Bob, Poet, Runaway Richard, Mary (The Bridge) Flower and the other folks who lived in the apartments under the Salvation Army Girls Lodge (127 or 1127 11th street)
Jd, chili dog charley, smokey, marvin gardens (how could I forget that name,ever)
Here are a few places I didn’t see mentioned
General store (down 10th st. next to the alley)
G.B.’s an awesome restaurant for us (corner of 11th and peachtree after the Drag club closed) owned by Golden Boy I finally figured
The Bridge (metro atlanta mediation canter)up 11th street
Salvation Army Girls Lodge (behind G.B.’s)
The Bowery (a club I wasn’t old enough to enter) next door to the community center
our place outside the strip area – SHOTWELL
a couple of bands I didn’t see mentioned
celestial voluptuous Banana
Eric Quincy Tate
I hope this project really takes off!
I was little Bob. Now my friends call me cat as in
cheshire T. cat.
What a great thing you are doing! I love it.
When did I first come to Atlanta? March 1970.
What brought me to Atlanta? My sister. I had run away
from boarding school. My sister came to DC and found
me, and I went to Atlanta to live with her.
When did I first visit the strip? March 1970. It was
such an experience. I remember very clearly the first
time I walked down the strip. I felt like I was home.
My best experience? The free concerts in the park. It
was always such a beautiful day when the bands played.
So many people. My best experience of all was an acid
trip in the park that I shared with my sister. We sat
by the water for hours…in the gazebo. My sister
died in an auto accident a few years ago. I felt
compelled to return to Atlanta and visit the park. I
sat in exactly the same place we had been during that
trip and remembered her.
Worst experience? When the police came down the strip
and started arresting people for “loitering.” They
beat people. I was arrested twice, once for loitering
and once for jay-walking. Then the police cleared out
Piedmont Park. It became a lonely, sad place.
What did I learn? I don’t know, really. It was a
defining time in my life. I thought it would go on
forever. I guess I learned that we can never really
have that time back again…though I would give
anything if we could. I sort of feel like a fish out of water now.
I don’t know if you are still collecting stories, etc., but on the off chance you are I thought I’d send mine along with the poster.
1. I first moved to Atlanta in the summer of 1968.
2. I moved to Atlanta to see what the whole Hippie movement was about and also to spread my wings and fly after two years of Jr. College in Bradenton, FL. Five of us drove to Atlanta from Bradenton. We got there in the early evening and started looking for a place to “crash.” We tried house after house on 14th St. Finally we went to the Catacombs, a blues bar on the corner of 14th St. and Peachtree St. We ran into a man called PaPa John. He invited us to dinner at his home way out somewhere. He had about 3 or 4 children and his wife made spaghetti for supper. We went back to the Catacombs after that and met a biker named Monkey who said we could crash at his apt. because he wasn’t going back there.
The next day I rented an efficiency apt. at 181 14th St. I met a lot of very nice people living there. While there I sold The Great Speckled Bird at various street corners. I also would spare change people for some cash. I remember meeting a guy named Beano who was somehow my cousin many times removed. He was from Mississippi. Two guys named Charlie and Stevie were acquaintances of mine then as well. I remember going to a 4th of July Parade and a bunch of us stopping the parade in a protest.
3. My best experience associated with the strip was the people. There was a community there that was caring and felt safe like a family.
4. My worse experience was moving out of the community to Peachtree Hills.
5. I learned from that time in my life that all people are family members waiting to be met.
6. Like I mentioned above, I lived at 181 14th St. for several months.
This is a link to a website of the era. http://www.bandhistory.com has the history, music and photos of many of the period bands and their history leading up to the hippie era. I was in one of those bands and lived on the Georgia Tech campus from 1966-1970. We played some of the free concerts at Piedmont Park, as well as at “The Headrest” and “Funchio’s House of Rock.”
Good luck on your project.
While I had spent most of my life in Atlanta, I left to go to school in Macon, GA. There I found a whole new world. I had always liked “different” music, but a lot of it was being made in Macon. I had gone to the Municipal Auditorium in Atlanta, sat in the “white only” balcony to see Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, and many others while in high school. But, I was introduced to The Magnolia Ballroom and Peacock Lounge during college. In Macon, we hung out at the gay bar, the biker’s bar, the black jazz club, the trucker’s lounge & really listened to R & B, and the beginnings of Southern Rock. I let my hair grow — and got rid of the bleached blond look. T-shirts and jeans, brighter colors and pierced ears entered my life, along with opposition to our involvement in Vietnam, and actively trying to integrate my college and Macon.
During a visit home — Atlanta— I discovered the Illien (sp?) Gallery and then, the Stein Club. After meeting a lot of people at the Stein, I decided to move back to Atlanta, and go to grad school at GA State. Living just off Piedmont, I could walk home at 2 AM from the Stein with no problems. I knew the folks at the A & P, the hardware store, the bakery and the deli. It was small town life, but, oh, so different !
Music was available all up and down the Strip. The Atlanta Pop Festivals, seeing Stevie Winwood and the “British Invasion” at the old Fulton Stadium, Little Feat on 10th St., shows at the Sports Arena, the Great Southeastern Music Hall—-such great music ! Then, there was soccer at the Stadium —- and those pre-game parties– and rugby games and parties ! The big Atlanta Snow left about 15-20 of us “trapped” in a house on Piedmont, across from the Park. Survival parties would set out for the liquor store at Ansley Mall, and come slipping and sliding back with cases of beer, etc.
During all of this, there was the Stein. My home away from home where I could always count on finding friends, something interesting to talk about, meeting people from all over the States and elsewhere, discovering new places to go, finishing a pitcher while my clothes were washing/drying at the Laundromat…….the place where, when some of us started having kids, getting married, etc., the management built a beer garden with swings and a sandbox ! Both my children learned to walk at the Stein, rolling around in their little yellow walker, and then being helped out of the walker and picked up a million times by all their friends there at the Stein. The Stein spawned other parties —- Orphan’s Thanksgiving, the Opera Party, 4th of July, the Halloween Costume Party, the Kentucky Derby Party — all fun and a little crazy. We would wander off to Rose’s Cantina, the Chinese place on the corner of 10th, down to the Fox to see The Grateful Dead, to “the Park” where I heard the Dead and the Allman Bros. playing together about 10 feet away from me, but always coming back to the Stein to start the evening, end the evening, or both ! Suzanne
Larry Ortega :When I was 15 years old, my dad, who worked at Emory University in Atlanta, gave my friend Cynthia and me two tickets to see this guy named Pete Seeger, a folk singer who I had never heard of. (I think that my dad thought that folk singers were wholesome!). Cynthia and I piled into a small auditorium on campus, and sat on the floor. As we sat there, a college student came to the microphone and told us that earlier that day, the National Guard had shot and killed four students at a little college in Ohio called Kent State, during a protest against the war in Vietnam. Then, Pete Seeger came out and sang his heart out, and we all sang with him. That night my life changed, and I have never been the same. I have been to his concerts since then, but I don’t think that anything will ever match the power, and the sadness, and the awe that we all felt that night. Pete Seeger and I share this stupid belief that children should be nurtured, and not shot down by their own government. The last couple of times that I have seen Mr. Seeger on television, he has mentioned that he was losing his voice in his advanced age. He isn’t losing his “voice,” at all. It’s right here.
I grew up in Atlanta, literally–from 66-67 I was playing Army wife, then came home and worked for Delta till 68 then off to Kansas to play army wife again–thats where I got the Bird in the mail. Back to Atlanta in 69, and stayed. My Bottom of the Barrel days interspersed that–I remember meeting my husband in SF in April 68, buying beads and a brass peace symbol in the Haight. The peace symbol still hangs in my car–Jeff Espina has/had the beads! We knew the owners and were there a lot–also==was it the Carousel, or something, that had a sliding board onto the dance floor? That was definitely 67/68.
I think it was pre-68 when the Bird did a class-action suit because the postal service tried to shut them down for running ads for abortion centers. I was one of the “class” with about 6 other women, but we never had to go to court, cause the PO just let it die.
And pre-67, before they tore down al lot of DT housing–dated a Tech guy who lived right on 75/85, and we would climb out on his roof, thru the kitchen window, smoke, and groove on the cars on the freeway.
My daughter was born in 1970, and I do remember taking her to a Jerry Rubin thing at Piedmont park–she couldn’t have been a year old, cause we dropped her out of her stroller, and she still brags she is the youngest person with her pix taken by the FBI.
This is the place to collect your memories about Atlanta’s hip community from about 1967 to about 1977 – “Something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear”. Whatta Decade! How was it for you?
Hipsters from an earlier period in Atlanta – that is undocumented. Help us change that by telling your story, and sharing photos.
We need other perspectives to get it right.
What was it like to be a gay man or woman in Atlanta before 1967?
What was it like to be a hip African American in Lester Maddox Georgia?
What was it like to be a biracial couple in Lester Maddox Georgia?
We don’t know, but you might be able to tell us.
Did the ch-ch-changes change your life?
Curious minds want to know.
Here is what we want to know to start- (digress freely)
1.When did you first come to Atlanta and what brought you here?
2. When did you first visit The Strip?
3. What was your best experience associated with The Strip and the hip community?
4. What was your worst experience associated with The Strip and the hip community?
5. Did your experiences at that time effect your life? If so, what did you learn or take away from it all?
6. It seems everyone around in that time and place has an Allman Brothers story. Share your Allman Brothers story if you have one please.
Tell us to what name you wish your story accredited. If you wish to use a “street name” or be anonymous, please give us a way to contact you for furthur information.
If you are in the Atlanta area, we can arrange to digitally tape your interview if you prefer.
Where are you now and whatcha doin?
growing up in East Point, graduating in ’64, I had gone to college in NY but spent the year in Manhattan, drawn by concerts at the Apollo and the civil rights marches – and exploring the new world of open sexuality, which was unheard of in high school – it was a way, we felt, of really getting to know someone, of touching soul to soul…a connection with ‘Others’ that had never been a possibility before…
when I came home I became pregnant, despite every effort not to, and married my high school sweetheart who was just back from Vietnam, went to south Georgia for his year of college and then tried to settle down in S. Fulton – it was 1967 and every fiber of my being was screaming to be free – causing a holocaust of heartache and karma that I’m still feeling the effects of – I tore away and rented a tiny apartment on 13th Street, where I smoked pot and sang along with Janis Joplin records constantly, while waiting for a scorpio boyfriend who rarely showed up…meantime, I sewed fringe on my jeans, and made a skirt out of another pair… I’d walk up to the Strip and just Be there, letting experiences happen…we’d sit with our backs up against the storefronts, sharing buzzes and watching the gawkers with their car doors locked streaming by – we’d smile, marveling how we’d once been in that world but were now in a new one…
the music had so much to do with altering our vibration, working with our DNA…we lived and breathed in it…..the acid trips seared it into us…a spaceship that emptied us into other worlds we’d never known existed that we were now free to explore…the warm, wasted Hampton/Allman Brothers concerts in the beautiful Park were the ultimate sense pleasure and profound experience of dissolved boundaries…for a period of years, even after I’d moved out of the area, I’d sit up in the big magnolia trees and groove on the Piedmont Park scene…
we loved the clothes at the Merry-Go-Round on the Strip, where as the producer’s executive assistant I bought some costumes for the motorcycle movie “J.C.” that we were filming locally – I still have the long fringed vest and some paisley flared Levi’s…
we felt so backwards and deprived, knowing the real ‘action’ was on the West Coast, and not being able to get to Woodstock…I heard about the real hip places in Atlanta, but never seemed to belong to the most ‘in’ crowd anymore than I had anywhere else – but there were Jimi Hendrix and others at the Municipal Auditorium, and I still have my program from the Pop Festival at Byron, where we were cooked in a hot stewing pot of bliss and misery and made One…we were wet, hot or hungry, or all three – we had money trouble, family trouble, car trouble, housing trouble, bad trips, exploitation, and people leaving us stranded in strange places, like the ever-weird Cobb County – we had a ‘mind-blowing’ time at the Grand Funk concert at Lake Spivey, but no way to get home – we had ‘crabs’ and depression and bewilderment – and we came into our realization that the visible world isn’t all there is, that we are one with everything, and we are incomprehensibly creative….
after all these years I remember the profound tenderness of a one-night stand with Bill Fibben, of the Great Speckled Bird – of so many other encounters – the cosmic love we experienced and expressed is still awakened and active deep in our cells – it formed deep commitment, and we went to work with it, rolling out in the civil rights movement, the feminist movement, in empowerments of every kind, in changes to every civic structure…this realized Love went into everything – in the 80’s numbing echo of the 50’s we’d hear people say the hippies were all gone, they’d sensibly sold out to better-paying jobs…but we hadn’t really – those who weren’t as radical did go corporate, but didn’t lose all their realizations, and now at retirement age they’re even visible again in the conscious, progressive activities of our time – some of us stayed high and even after we ‘cleaned-up’, never did go back to the ‘muggle’ world – we’ve continued with our ‘back-to-the-land’ simple living ways, we’ve become healers and artists, gardeners, musicians, helpers and teachers of various sorts….
I’m in the mountains now – my daughter survived both my neglect and my repentance and we’re very close, both committed to Peace…I’m deep into multi-faith spirituality, healing, singing, chanting and dancing, and finally learning to interface with matter better, to make an honest living sharing gifts of cosmic-conscious life with those who missed the days of revolution and transformation that changed the world in that seminal evolutionary moment experienced in Atlanta on the Strip………
Peace, ya’ll………………love Carol
The tent on the right has quite a history of it’s own. It came from a Sears’ store in Denton, TX. Renée & I rode with John Ivey to the Dallas Pop Festival, Labor Day of ’69. We arrived a week or so before it started and needed a place to stay. I’m an Eagle Scout and had no problem with tents, so off we go to the closest Sears’ store to buy the biggest tent they had in stock. The Hog Farm needed a few things, so this guy we called Beethoven, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with beads and a stovepipe hat went with us.
We were quite a sight at the neighborhood mall in Denton. Beethoven found the toy department and proceeds to buy handfuls of less than a dollar toys and gives them away to every child or adult that would take one. By the time he meets up with me in sporting goods he looks like the pied piper with all the people following him around. including security guards. We must have drawn every guard in the store. I was glad to get out of there.
Put the tent up back stage and enjoyed the privileges of shade and almost seclusion in the midst of chaos and the Texas sun. Maybe 75% of the performers shared the tent and refreshments with us, more than I can name or remember. Each musician is a separate story. Maybe more another day….
Brought that tent back to Atlanta, used it in one more Pop Festival, as shown in picture and managed to keep it and use it for 36 years. A lot of camping trips, lot of fishing, lot of family time. Renée and I have three children. All of them learned to play cards in that tent during rainy weather. Good memories.
Holy Crow where do I start? Just out of high school 1967… Band I was road manager for had a gig at “The Pink Pussy Cat” across from the Atlanta Cabana…didn’t this later become Funocio’s?
One of the waitresses asked us if we wanted to go to a coffee house that was open all night. Yep, took us to the infamous “Catacombs” where many a man and woman were able to find a life to suite their style, or a style to suit their life, whatever.
The town in North Carolina I am from, was, as you can guess, about as unhip as they came…beach music, Madras, Weejuns and princess collars. Pembroke University (a little south) had started attracting all these yankees who were I guess, doin’ good in the first 2 years of college in this podunk town so they could move on to glory in a “better” yankee college. It was a lucky thing, that one of their frats had their house about 2 blocks from my house in Lumberton because I became welcome there and found all this great subversive literature that would probably get me killed. It was great, I would spend days reading Eye Magazine, “The Realist”…it was like a library. So, when I got to the Catacombs that summer night, I knew Atlanta was going to be my home from now on. I basically took the crap i’d brought with me and moved it to the waitresses and her girlfriends apt. (the girlfriends name was Dale and please i’m sorry but i can’t remember the waitresses name for the life of me.) These 2 ladies were from Fla. and pretty much showed me the ropes. Another guy john landau, also from Fla. was there also and we begun to hang. This had to be in June ’cause I remember seeing Bob Hope in the Independence day parade.
My main form of transportation back then was walking, and walk I did. There was no free food or diggers back then, I learned to panhandle and there was always the girls who wanted to mother you a bit and would bring you a Zesto’s or something to take away that hunger headache…Right now, thank all of ya’ll for your kindness and friendship. I wish I could call you each by name but i can’t… There was no strip back then, there was a wall across the street from the 14th street art gallery (above the catacombs) where people would start to gather mostly in the early evening.
Hey ya’ll remember that near riot we had one night when this runaway chick named “Nicki” had this big to do in front of the hippies and the cops got called and the hippies were not gonna let Nicki be taken home against her will (she wasn’t ). It was wild everybody in the street and about 3 poor cops against about 150 kids.
Well since I got to the scene as a road manager for a band my nickname became Eddie The Road Manager (hey Darrel!! read yer thang) To clear up one thing, Jim Neiman was not “Nasty Lord John” that would be John Meeks who I shared an apt. and later a really cool house with. John also worked at the Scene, the hotspot, go daddy nightclub i couldn’t get into because i was only 17. John played live drums along with records the dejay would play…supposedly VEDDY English!!
Awrite, ’nuff history for now…I see shows on tv and shit that call that period of time turbulent and dangerous…and I guess it was BUT i had the most fun allowed a human being back then. I had some uncanniy ability to sense trouble brewin’ and remove myself from the said action….i really was and still am a pacifast…i spent the first piedmont park riot in a bare tree with a gram of hash watching these idiots fight with the police. My idea was to have as much fun, get as high, laid and help folks as much as possible. So I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be.
Here are some of the cooler things I Remember (not in particular order, will try to give at least year or corresponding event.
THE FIRST TIME I SAW THE ALLMAN BROS.
I was working in Mu records in Atlantis rising. My old friend Richard Galwin (sp) and I were walking in the park anticipating free music that week end when Richard asked me if i’d ever heard the Allman Bros. and for some goofy stoned reason I thought of the Wilburn Bros. I didn’t realize at the time the power that was lyin’ around and didn’t think the free music would be more than a few local bands and a small headliner. I used my “working at atlantis rising” vibe to get myself and a friend on the stage crew for that Sunday.
I remember a two-toned stage on wheels from Atlanta parks and recreation and a couple of rednecks there to watch it. We were kinda jerkin’ around when I saw Berry Oakly (who had lived next to me and john on 14th street about a year earlier). We talked and he told me about his band the ABB and i began to suspect I was in for more than just some fun. We began to stop jerkin’ around and become more fluid with instructions from various road managers and dicks in charge of the world when (i really think it was Schroder) one of the “Big Dealers” came by and laid a jar of orange juice on the stage crew. Yep you got it dose a rama….wa hoo! we were now past fluid now we were oozing, silent mind controlling cymbal stands to assemble themselves, brain waves communicating…we were baked, trippin’ stoned…we were the Stage Crew and had no fear.
Back then the Bros. would set their equipment up first, at the back of the stage, allowing room for the other bands to set up and play. and they would do Mtn. Jam to warm up…sound check…all of a sudden, Richard….remember Richard? boy i sure do, hope yer still around little buddy. Richard grabs me and (so excited ” the Allman Brothers are gonna play”) Richard grabs me and pulls me off the stage and there we sit 6 feet away from Duane and 8 feet from Greg…and they start Mtn. Jam…I would like to have a film of my face as they played that song, just to watch the changes I went through….changed my life…one thing I still remember thinking was how good it would be to be the wood in the body of Duane’s guitar.
After that came band after band of Excellent music…the Booger Band was killer…being on stage and feeling their music even through your feet was amazing. I remember my friend Steve Cooke, who had been into the orange juice too, offering the organ player a toke of a large joint right on stage between songs….freaked the poor guy out. Long day of movin’ equipment, smoking, watching beautiful Georgia peaches dancing and swinging from the trees, frisbee trails everywhere, like some miniature space port…did I say space port? Every where you looked, smiles, happiness, friends, allman brother talkin’ to old friend…dicky betts did not put his gold les paul down that I saw…good vibes, curious straights, students, winos, little children teaching big children how to play…ABB came back after dark and played until past time to quit. Everybody cleaned up the joint, we all went home and had sweet dreams………
to be cont. (I hope)
Eddie the road manager
Hello boys and girls, grampas and mee-maws. Its your ole fiend Eddie the Road Manager with some more rambleings ’bout when I had some of the best times of my life in the Hippie community in good ole Atlanta.
Ya’ll remember The Fruit Jungle? I spent many late nights food tripping in that place. One thing cool…for a while there was an older dude probably in his late 40’s working there late shift, and I had been told that if you were broke, slip the dude a joint and he wouldn’t charge you. I had to try this and with a little paranoia on my part slipped the man two joints to pay for soda, cake and cigs…WOW!!! the cat smiled at me wiggled his eyebrows and said have a nice nite. After this, I would always bring him a “present” even if I wuz paying…unfortunatly he didn’t last too long there.
This ones a hoot…I know there has to be folks who remember this happening. In the rear of Atlantis Rising was a large dirt parking lot where folks started hanging out doing what we did back then. My friend Jimmy Smith and I were walking down a side street going to the parking lot when all of a sudden! Man all the cops you ever wanted to see were screeching and motorcycling and sireening to the parking lot…scared us to death!! I mean we thought it was the inquisition-final last round up-death to the beholder and then some come at last. Being prudent and not half dumb hippies he and I found a nice little hidey hole and hid our stashes and went to investigate. Not 10 minutes after the big cop-o-rama drama cops began leaving the area…swear to god 2 different motorcycle dudes shot us the peace sign!! Others were waving and smiling as they left…strange mo-pocky…we found out latter there was a beat cop in the area and was in the parking lot being pretty friendly with everybody and a couple of guys hanging out thougth it might be fun to dose this cop. They got a very pretty lady to offer the cop an iced cold coke with a hit of acid in it. What caused the big cop infestation was the poor guy was having so much FUN he forgot to call in on his radio and let the big cop on the radio know all was well. As I remember, the tripping policeman stayed with us for a few hours…I guess the cops thought we could take care of him….wonder where he wound up…..
Another fond memory of mine was the Turkey Trip in the ballroom of that hotel across from the Fox. I saw the poster for it, but I only remember the ABB playing that night. I had a friend who was new to atlanta and had never seen the allmans…so I somehow arranged to get him on the stage crew and buy him a hit or orange barrel. the first time I saw the ABB i was tripping my a** off so this would be a good way for Acey to see them (see previous post)…it was fun watching every body bumping around and trying to maintain while moving various mysterious pieces of musical equipment….sometime during the show, the Brothers were in a particularly intense jam and this weird guy jumped out of the audience and started wailing on Duane’s microphone…he was doing some pretty good lead singer moves but the mike was turned off…what was cool was no one jumped on the guy or tried to bounce him off the stage, Kim Payne Allman Bros. road manager just reached up and turned the mike on. This scared the shit out of leadsinger man to hear himself at volume and he kinda slunk back in to the audience.
First real concert I saw was the Dave Clark 5 in the auditorium…went to Atlanta Cabana and oggled them for a while.
Place I stayed for quite a while was wonderful. An apartment in an old house about block and a half from Catacombs…pot-ment was one of 3 in this house and Berry Oakley and Mike Callahan lived there for a while…Berry had just come off a tour with Tommy Roe and was just hanging…he used to get me stoned and teach me progressions on the guitar so he could practice bass lines…I was awful but it was fun. Our ‘potment was close enough to the strip where alot of times I would just put on some tunes turn um up and sit on the front porch and meet bunches of people…so cool.
Almost every memory I have about those days are positive and truly fun. There were times when a friend would get busted or in trouble and that would be a drag. I was stopped once driving and didn’t have my wallet on me so I was guilty of driving without a license…withno ID the good ole DeKalb county po lice called a PADDY WAGON!! and hauled me down to the city jail…bummer…I actually met these great black dudes whome I played checkers with at a quarter a game. I didn’t have to try very hard to lose but I made sure to. So these guys could buy cigaretts & shit. One bummer was there was a thing with music in the park that day and my friends who could get me out did not know i was busted untill Jim Neiman was doing his set and dedicated a song to “Eddie the road manager in the clink”. Man!! do you think i was lucky or what? I think I was very lucky at that time in history to go to the Atlanta city jail and come out smiling…..whew!!
I’ll try to add to this as time goes on…shoot I’m 59 years old memory ain’t what it used to be. I do miss all the friends I made back then…some of the best friends i’ve ever had…having some of the best times WE ever had. Now a days when i see the news and all the crap thats happening in the world and around the town i live in, I realize how very lucky we were to grow up in such turbulent times (LOL).
peace and happiness, eddie
Oxford College was a step forward from Tift County’s time warp, but not by much. I stepped in to a world desperately clinging to antiquated rah-rah week starting with Freshman Hell Week, definitely another story. Luckily for me there were a few left over beatnik, proto-hippies among the entering freshman and among rising sophomores, the rulers of the insular world of Oxford isolated from the main campus and retaining some rules from another century. One being that the town literally closed about 7:30. Even the stoplight was turned to blink. A college student had nowhere to go on nights the snack bar wasn’t open. Women had to be signed in and out after 6. They had only recently won the right to sign themselves out for a weekend. Formerly a parent had to be responsible. Men were free to roam, but only sophomores could have a car and they were suppose to be kept in a controlled lot. Lucky people had an outside source of escape.
On weekends I was rescued by Pixie Ujhelyi or someone she had sent in the faithful turquoise dart, another story. During the week I was imprisoned, so I was very happy when Jan Jackson, quintessential daffy hippie chick, said her boyfriend Martin about whom I had heard so much, was actually coming tonight and we could all ride somewhere for food and hangout. Well that meant riding to the Huddle House in Conyers since it was all that was that was open on Monday nights except filling stations for about fifty miles.
I got money and was headed to the girl’s dorm when this wiry little guy came out of the shadow. “Hey hippie, where you goin’?” He had a wide, smug grin and looked like a brown haired greaser gnome moving with angular lope.
Spider sense tingling. I had lived this scenario, where are his buddies hiding? But he grinned and laughed then walked back in the shadows. I raced to find Jan and my friends.
When I told her what had happened, she got a twinkle in her eye and said, “Meet my boyfriend Martin!” and the wiry guy again stepped out of the shadows laughing to himself.
“You hippies ready to ride for some chow?” With that, six clambered into his VW bus to go for coffee and sandwiches and a jukebox.
This was my introduction to Martin who was to become my beatnik hippie guru.
Shortly after, on a weekend Pixie had come for me, but would be unavailable to give me a ride back from her apartment near Oglethorpe. Calling around Oxford students I knew to be in Atlanta, I got Jan at Harvey’s house on 14th. She said Martin was taking her back and they’d come get me.
Gabi and I were sitting around the living room, where we had begun sharing one sleeping bag, much to the stern displeasure of her mother who stayed upstairs with Pixie in the one bedroom, which featured an opening so you could overlook, and overhear, everything that happened down below in the living room in a single sleeping bag at night. The thought that her mother was just above us listening was almost enough to extinguish the lust of two eighteen year olds in love. Almost enough, Mrs. Ujhelyi wasn’t overly fond of this guy that came on weekends to extensively make love to her daughter.
There came a knock at the apartment door and in breezed Martin followed by Jan and two others talking and in a great mood. Martin sat at the table and pulled out a workmen’s lunchbox with a curved top. Jan had said he was always hungry. He was crumbling up some sort of relish and rolling cigarettes. Ohmigod, he’s got marijuana and Mrs. Ujhelyi is just up there and can see us! I realized with a shock.
Gabi saw my alarm and shrugged and smiled. Soon we were passing around the joints. Pixie acted shocked but made sure she got some good hits. My first time smoking and I was getting very high, but didn’t know it. Martin was a great guide to both of us about what was happening in my mind. He was a bridge to the lingo of the beatniks, which strangely was suddenly not strange.
Bidding Gabi and Pixie an altered goodbye. We piled into Martin’s blue VW bus Ol’ Baby and were off down the length of Peachtree to catch I-20 at the capitol. The lights of traffic were a phantasm to my newly stoned mind. The trip back to Oxford lasted a joyful eternity with Martin giving his own Casady style rap on life as he drove. Jan added comments both sardonic and hilarious. Oh what a ride.