Summer of Love and Haight

The prelude to the Summer of Love was the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967, which was produced and organized by artist Michael Bowen as a “gathering of tribes”.  The event was announced by the Haight-Ashbury’s own psychedelic newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle:

“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”

The year is 1967, the place is the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, and the summer is one of love and hate.  Hippies (flower children) arrive by tens of thousands in the Haight, bringing with them a revolution, a new culture promoting free love, communal living, drugs, and anti-war politics Vietnam).   The keynote song is ‘San Francisco,’ written by John Phillips and performed by Scott McKenzie: 

If you’re going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you’re going to San Francisco,
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there.

The Haight, which has essentially been left to it’s own resources, is overwhelmed with the influx of so many people, and, as in many such situations, homelessness and crime abound, and the neighborhood deteriorates. 

Eventually many people will leave the Haight, but the anti-war and sexual freedom counterculture they brought with them will remain and spread throughout the US and Europe where much of it remains in place today.

‘Haight Ashbury’ pictured above is a photo taken in 2008, one year after the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.  We’re very proud to announce that this photo was recently purchased as a poster by NBC’s show, Parenthood, as part of its decorations.  We don’t know if they will actually use the poster on the set, or if it may have been purchased for backup, but we are honored that they chose it.  Many thanks to NBC and Parenthood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s