Backstory to the Experience of
While growing up in Lubbock, Texas in the 1950s, I longed to travel to San Francisco to experience of Beatnik Culture scene.
I never made it.
The, in 1968, I finally came west to teach at San Francisco State College.
I immediately joined a jazz/rock/pop fusion group called Thesis, which rehearsed on Cole Street in the Haight. I played an electric flute run through a bizarre variety of electronic enhancements (including a device that projected notes from the loudspeaker an octave below what I played). We never made the big time, but we had big fun. Some time I hope to recount tales of some of the more bizarre gigs we played.
As Theodore Roszak observed in his Satori to Silicon Valley, many of the folks committed to the Haight lifestyle fell into one of two categories:
The Reversionaries, who hated the military industrial complex, opposed the war in Vietnam, and yearned for the (supposedly) simpler life available in communes, both urban and rural
The Technophiles, who loved technologically enhanced music and drugs (like LSD), and so saw the way forward, in the words of one commentator, as the tool for “the moral and physical improvement of the human race.”