(8 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It’s gettin kinda long
I coulda said it wasn’t in my way
But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Cause I feel like I owe it to someone
Yeah (sing the song brother…)
Now if uh, six uh, huh, turned out to be nine
Oh I dont mind, I dont mind uh ( well all right… )
If all the hippies cut off all their hair
Oh I dont care, oh I dont care.
cause Ive got my own world to live through and uh, huh
And I aint gonna copy you.
White collar conservative flashin down the street
Pointin their plastic finger at me, ha !
Theyre hopin soon my kind will drop and die but uh
Im gonna wave my freak flag high, high !
For many of us, it started here and I’ll admit it, I was a victim of “Beatlemania”. Meet The Beatles was the first L.P. (Long Player, for you whippersnappers) I ever purchased and I can still vividly remember standing at the counter in the Record Store, money in hand and Indiana Beginner’s Driving Permit in pocket.
Mom was waiting outside in the passenger seat just as anxious to hear The Beatles as I was. Even though this was my first LP, my record buying history was long. As far back as when I was 8 years-old, my Mom would send me to the record store on my bike to score every new 45 release by Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Bill Halley, Gene Vincent, Fats Domino and others. I’d race home and stack them up on the spindle of our automatic record player and listen again and again. It’s no wonder that I eventually became an FM “Underground” Disc Jockey as I reflect on this now. I guess it was inevitable.
But little did I know the effect this band and this music would have on my life because of my …….
What started out as a simple teenage fad became something quite defining and shaped much of the rest of my life. The day I decided I wanted to be like John, Paul, George and Ringo was just the beginning of a new direction on my life’s journey and “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”.
I had no idea then that I would get kicked out of High School repeatedly, fail mandatory ROTC and be refused my High School diploma (until my Dad threatened suit which was the end of that program in Owensboro, Ky.) and be forced to teach so many Indiana and Kentucky rednecks that having long hair does not make one a pacifist that they can push around.
I also did not realize that I would eventually make so many cool friends. Our hair became an our way of immediately identifying kindred spirits. People that would have silently passed each other by were now inclined to interact having visually confirmed that there were certain beliefs we held in common; Peace, Love of music and fellow man, the propensity to engage in imbibing certain substances as well as our collective disdain for “The Establishment”.
Unfortunately, our hair also made us easy targets for “The Man”. Longhairs, Freaks, Hippies, Yippies, Heads or whatever were a new and very visible minority and were treated accordingly with harassment, beatings and incarceration down at Sherrif Bufford’s Local Inn.
I believe this gave us more empathy to the plight of our Black Brothers and Sisters. For those that weren’t actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement prior to the late-sixties, it was an eye opener. “Like, wow, I’m suddenly a second-class citizen, dig it.”
“Our” music reflected our new identity as well. Radio stations and concert lineups were no longer black or white. You could hear Hendrix and Johnny Cash segued in the same set on many Underground FM stations. Concert promoters (h/t Bill Graham) put together some great shows oblivious to race. Haight Street meets Beale Street.
Blues recordings that had been available before only on the colored labels in record shops on the other side of town, were now available everywhere.
Our hair has changed over time. Grey has replaced black, brown, red and blond. Some have little if any remaining. But what remains is the feeling inside of our heads.
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran
I want your hair
to cover me with maps
of new places,
so everywhere I go
will be as beautiful
as your hair.