A hippie (sometimes spelled hippy) is a member of a
counterculture, originally a youth movement that began in the United
States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the
world. The word hippie came from hipster and used to describe beatniks
who moved into New York City's
Greenwich Village and San Francisco's
Haight-Ashbury district. The term hippie first found popularity in San
Francisco by Herb Caen, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.
The origins of the terms hip and hep are uncertain. By the 1940s, both
had become part of African American jive slang and meant
"sophisticated; currently fashionable; fully up-to-date". The
Beats adopted the term hip, and early hippies inherited the language
and countercultural values of the Beat Generation.
their own communities, listened to psychedelic music, embraced the
sexual revolution, and many used drugs such as marijuana, LSD, peyote
and psilocybin mushrooms to explore altered states of consciousness.
In 1967, the
Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco,
popularized hippie culture, leading to the
Summer of Love
Summer of Love on the West
Coast of the United States, and the 1969
Woodstock Festival on the
Hippies in Mexico, known as jipitecas, formed
La Onda and
gathered at Avándaro, while in New Zealand, nomadic housetruckers
practiced alternative lifestyles and promoted sustainable energy at
Nambassa. In the
United Kingdom in 1970, many gathered at the gigantic
Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight Festival with a crowd of around 400,000 people. In
later years, mobile "peace convoys" of
New Age travelers
New Age travelers made summer
pilgrimages to free music festivals at
Stonehenge and elsewhere. In
Australia, hippies gathered at Nimbin for the 1973 Aquarius Festival
and the annual
Cannabis Law Reform Rally or MardiGrass. "Piedra Roja
Festival", a major hippie event in Chile, was held in 1970. Hippie
and psychedelic culture influenced 1960s and early 1970s young culture
Iron Curtain countries in Eastern
Europe (see Mánička).
Hippie fashion and values had a major effect on culture, influencing
popular music, television, film, literature, and the arts. Since the
1960s, mainstream society has assimilated many aspects of hippie
culture. The religious and cultural diversity the hippies espoused has
gained widespread acceptance, and
Eastern philosophy and spiritual
concepts have reached a larger audience.
2.2 1958–1966: Early hippies
2.3 1967: Summer of Love
2.4 1967–1969: Revolution
2.5 1970–present: Aftershocks
3 Ethos and characteristics
3.1 Art and fashion
3.2 Love and sex
3.4 Spirituality and religion
5 See also
6.1 Works cited
7 Further reading
8 External links
Lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower, the principal American editor of the
Oxford English Dictionary, argues that the terms hipster and hippie
derive from the word hip, whose origins are unknown. The word hip
in the sense of "aware, in the know" is first attested in a 1902
cartoon by Tad Dorgan, and first appeared in prose in a 1904 novel
by George Vere Hobart (1867–1926), Jim Hickey: A Story of the
One-Night Stands, where an African-American character uses the slang
phrase "Are you hip?"
The term hipster was coined by
Harry Gibson in 1944. By the 1940s,
the terms hip, hep and hepcat were popular in
Harlem jazz slang,
although hep eventually came to denote an inferior status to hip.
Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, New York City, young
counterculture advocates were named hips because they were considered
"in the know" or "cool", as opposed to being square. In the April 27,
1961 issue of The Village Voice, "An open letter to JFK & Fidel
Castro", Norman Mailer utilizes the term hippies, in questioning JFK's
behavior. In a 1961 essay,
Kenneth Rexroth used both the terms hipster
and hippies to refer to young people participating in black American
Beatnik nightlife. According to Malcolm X's 1964 autobiography,
the word hippie in 1940s
Harlem had been used to describe a specific
type of white man who "acted more
Negro than Negroes". Andrew Loog
Oldham refers to "all the Chicago hippies," seemingly in reference to
black blues/R&B musicians, in his rear sleeve notes to the 1965 LP
The Rolling Stones, Now!
The word hippie was also used in reference to Philadelphia in at least
two popular songs in 1963: South Street by The Orlons, and You
Can't Sit Down by The Dovells. In both songs, the term is applied
to residents of Philadelphia's South Street.
Although the word hippies made other isolated appearances in print
during the early 1960s, the first use of the term on the West Coast
appeared in the article "A New Paradise for Beatniks" (in the San
Francisco Examiner, issue of September 5, 1965) by San Francisco
journalist Michael Fallon. In that article, Fallon wrote about the
Blue Unicorn Cafe (coffeehouse) (located at 1927 Hayes Street in the
Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco), using the term hippie to
refer to the new generation of beatniks who had moved from North Beach
New York Times
New York Times editor and
Theodore M. Bernstein said the paper changed the spelling
from hippy to hippie to avoid the ambiguous description of clothing as
hippy fashions.
Main article: History of the hippie movement
A hippie-painted Volkswagen Beetle
A July 1968 Time magazine study on hippie philosophy credited the
foundation of the hippie movement with historical precedent as far
back as the
Sadhu of India, the spiritual seekers who had renounced
the world by taking "Sannyas". Even the counterculture of the Ancient
Greeks, espoused by philosophers like
Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes of Sinope and the
Cynics were also early forms of hippie culture. It also named as
notable influences the religious and spiritual teachings of Henry
David Thoreau, Hillel the Elder, Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi,
Gandhi, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The first signs of modern "proto-hippies" emerged in fin de siècle
Europe. Between 1896 and 1908, a German youth movement arose as a
countercultural reaction to the organized social and cultural clubs
that centered around German folk music. Known as Der Wandervogel
("wandering bird"), the hippie movement opposed the formality of
traditional German clubs, instead emphasizing amateur music and
singing, creative dress, and communal outings involving hiking and
camping. Inspired by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Goethe,
Hermann Hesse, and Eduard Baltzer,
Wandervogel attracted thousands of
young Germans who rejected the rapid trend toward urbanization and
yearned for the pagan, back-to-nature spiritual life of their
ancestors. During the first several decades of the 20th century,
Germans settled around the United States, bringing the values of the
Wandervogel with them. Some opened the first health food stores, and
many moved to southern
California where they could practice an
alternative lifestyle in a warm climate. Over time, young Americans
adopted the beliefs and practices of the new immigrants. One group,
called the "Nature Boys", took to the
California desert and raised
organic food, espousing a back-to-nature lifestyle like the
Wandervogel. Songwriter eden ahbez wrote a hit song called Nature
Boy inspired by Robert Bootzin (Gypsy Boots), who helped popularize
health-consciousness, yoga, and organic food in the United States.
American tourists in Thailand, early 1970s
Like Wandervogel, the hippie movement in the
United States began as a
youth movement. Composed mostly of white teenagers and young adults
between 15 and 25 years old, hippies inherited a tradition of
cultural dissent from bohemians and beatniks of the
Beat Generation in
the late 1950s. Beats like
Allen Ginsberg crossed over from the
beat movement and became fixtures of the burgeoning hippie and
anti-war movements. By 1965, hippies had become an established social
group in the U.S., and the movement eventually expanded to other
countries, extending as far as the
United Kingdom and Europe,
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil. The
hippie ethos influenced
The Beatles and others in the United Kingdom
and other parts of Europe, and they in turn influenced their American
Hippie culture spread worldwide through a fusion of
rock music, folk, blues, and psychedelic rock; it also found
expression in literature, the dramatic arts, fashion, and the visual
arts, including film, posters advertising rock concerts, and album
covers. In 1968, self-described hippies represented just under
0.2% of the U.S. population and dwindled away by mid-1970s.
Along with the
New Left and the Civil Rights Movement, the hippie
movement was one of three dissenting groups of the 1960s
Hippies rejected established institutions,
criticized middle class values, opposed nuclear weapons and the
Vietnam War, embraced aspects of Eastern philosophy, championed
sexual liberation, were often vegetarian and eco-friendly, promoted
the use of psychedelic drugs which they believed expanded one's
consciousness, and created intentional communities or communes. They
used alternative arts, street theatre, folk music, and psychedelic
rock as a part of their lifestyle and as a way of expressing their
feelings, their protests and their vision of the world and life.
Hippies opposed political and social orthodoxy, choosing a gentle and
nondoctrinaire ideology that favored peace, love and personal
freedom, expressed for example in The Beatles' song "All You
Need is Love".
Hippies perceived the dominant culture as a
corrupt, monolithic entity that exercised undue power over their
lives, calling this culture "The Establishment", "Big Brother", or
"The Man". Noting that they were "seekers of meaning and
value", scholars like
Timothy Miller have described hippies as a new
1958–1966: Early hippies
Escapin' through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That's when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land
– Grateful Dead, lyrics from "That's It for the Other One"
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, novelist
Ken Kesey and the
Merry Pranksters lived communally in California. Members included Beat
Generation hero Neal Cassady, Ken Babbs, Carolyn Adams (aka Mountain
Girl/Carolyn Garcia), Stewart Brand, Del Close, Paul Foster, George
Walker, Sandy Lehmann-Haupt and others. Their early escapades were
documented in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. With
Cassady at the wheel of a school bus named Further, the Merry
Pranksters traveled across the
United States to celebrate the
publication of Kesey's novel Sometimes a Great Notion and to visit the
World's Fair in New York City. The
Merry Pranksters were known
for using cannabis, amphetamine, and LSD, and during their journey
they "turned on" many people to these drugs. The Merry Pranksters
filmed and audio taped their bus trips, creating an immersive
multimedia experience that would later be presented to the public in
the form of festivals and concerts. The
Grateful Dead wrote a song
about the Merry Pranksters' bus trips called "That's It for the Other
One". In 1961,
Vito Paulekas and his wife Szou established in
Hollywood a clothing boutique which was credited with being one of the
first to introduce "hippie" fashions.
During this period
Greenwich Village in
New York City
New York City and Berkeley,
California anchored the American folk music circuit. Berkeley's two
coffee houses, the Cabale Creamery and the Jabberwock, sponsored
performances by folk music artists in a beat setting. In April
1963, Chandler A. Laughlin III, co-founder of the Cabale Creamery,
established a kind of tribal, family identity among approximately
fifty people who attended a traditional, all-night Native American
peyote ceremony in a rural setting. This ceremony combined a
psychedelic experience with traditional Native American spiritual
values; these people went on to sponsor a unique genre of musical
expression and performance at the Red Dog Saloon in the isolated,
old-time mining town of Virginia City, Nevada.
During the summer of 1965, Laughlin recruited much of the original
talent that led to a unique amalgam of traditional folk music and the
developing psychedelic rock scene. He and his cohorts created what
became known as "The Red Dog Experience", featuring previously unknown
musical acts—Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the
Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Charlatans, and
others—who played in the completely refurbished, intimate setting of
Virginia City's Red Dog Saloon. There was no clear delineation between
"performers" and "audience" in "The Red Dog Experience", during which
music, psychedelic experimentation, a unique sense of personal style
and Bill Ham's first primitive light shows combined to create a new
sense of community. Laughlin and George Hunter of the Charlatans
were true "proto-hippies", with their long hair, boots and outrageous
clothing of 19th-century American (and Native American) heritage.
Owsley Stanley lived in Berkeley during 1965 and
provided much of the
LSD that became a seminal part of the "Red Dog
Experience", the early evolution of psychedelic rock and budding
hippie culture. At the Red Dog Saloon, The Charlatans were the first
psychedelic rock band to play live (albeit unintentionally) loaded on
When they returned to San Francisco, Red Dog participants Luria
Castell, Ellen Harman and
Alton Kelley created a collective called
"The Family Dog." Modeled on their Red Dog experiences, on October
16, 1965, the Family Dog hosted "A Tribute to Dr. Strange" at
Longshoreman's Hall. Attended by approximately 1,000 of the Bay
Area's original "hippies", this was San Francisco's first psychedelic
rock performance, costumed dance and light show, featuring Jefferson
Airplane, The Great Society and The Marbles. Two other events
followed before year's end, one at
California Hall and one at the
Matrix. After the first three Family Dog events, a much larger
psychedelic event occurred at San Francisco's Longshoreman's Hall.
Called "The Trips Festival", it took place on January 21 – 23, 1966,
and was organized by Stewart Brand, Ken Kesey,
Owsley Stanley and
others. Ten thousand people attended this sold-out event, with a
thousand more turned away each night. On Saturday January 22, the
Grateful Dead and
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Big Brother and the Holding Company came on stage,
and 6,000 people arrived to imbibe punch spiked with
LSD and to
witness one of the first fully developed light shows of the era.
It is nothing new. We have a private revolution going on. A revolution
of individuality and diversity that can only be private. Upon becoming
a group movement, such a revolution ends up with imitators rather than
participants...It is essentially a striving for realization of one's
relationship to life and other people...
Bob Stubbs, "Unicorn Philosophy"
By February 1966, the Family Dog became Family Dog Productions under
organizer Chet Helms, promoting happenings at the
Avalon Ballroom and
the Fillmore Auditorium in initial cooperation with Bill Graham. The
Avalon Ballroom, the Fillmore Auditorium and other venues provided
settings where participants could partake of the full psychedelic
music experience. Bill Ham, who had pioneered the original Red Dog
light shows, perfected his art of liquid light projection, which
combined light shows and film projection and became synonymous with
the San Francisco ballroom experience. The sense of style and
costume that began at the Red Dog Saloon flourished when San
Francisco's Fox Theater went out of business and hippies bought up its
costume stock, reveling in the freedom to dress up for weekly musical
performances at their favorite ballrooms. As San Francisco Chronicle
Ralph J. Gleason put it, "They danced all night long,
orgiastic, spontaneous and completely free form."
Some of the earliest San Francisco hippies were former students at San
Francisco State College who became intrigued by the developing
psychedelic hippie music scene. These students joined the bands
they loved, living communally in the large, inexpensive Victorian
apartments in the Haight-Ashbury. Young Americans around the
country began moving to San Francisco, and by June 1966, around 15,000
hippies had moved into the Haight. The Charlatans, Jefferson
Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and the Grateful Dead
all moved to San Francisco's
Haight-Ashbury neighborhood during this
period. Activity centered around the Diggers, a guerrilla street
theatre group that combined spontaneous street theatre, anarchistic
action, and art happenings in their agenda to create a "free city". By
late 1966, the
Diggers opened free stores which simply gave away their
stock, provided free food, distributed free drugs, gave away money,
organized free music concerts, and performed works of political
On October 6, 1966, the state of
LSD a controlled
substance, which made the drug illegal. In response to the
criminalization of psychedelics, San Francisco hippies staged a
gathering in the
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park panhandle, called the Love Pageant
Rally, attracting an estimated 700–800 people. As explained
by Allan Cohen, co-founder of the San Francisco Oracle, the purpose of
the rally was twofold: to draw attention to the fact that
LSD had just
been made illegal—and to demonstrate that people who used
not criminals, nor were they mentally ill. The
Grateful Dead played,
and some sources claim that
LSD was consumed at the rally. According
to Cohen, those who took
LSD "were not guilty of using illegal
substances...We were celebrating transcendental consciousness, the
beauty of the universe, the beauty of being."
Sunset Strip curfew riots, also known as the "hippie riots", were
a series of early counterculture-era clashes that took place between
police and young people on the
Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California,
in 1966 and continuing on and off through the early 1970s. In 1966,
annoyed residents and business owners in the district had encouraged
the passage of strict (10:00 p.m.) curfew and loitering laws to
reduce the traffic congestion resulting from crowds of young club
patrons. This was perceived by young, local rock music fans as an
infringement on their civil rights, and on Saturday, November 12,
1966, fliers were distributed along the Strip inviting people to
demonstrate later that day. Hours before the protest one of L.A's rock
'n' roll radio stations announced there would be a rally at Pandora's
Box, a club at the corner of
Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights,
and cautioned people to tread carefully. The Los Angeles Times
reported that as many as 1,000 youthful demonstrators, including such
Jack Nicholson and
Peter Fonda (who was afterward
handcuffed by police), erupted in protest against the perceived
repressive enforcement of these recently invoked curfew laws. This
incident provided the basis for the 1967 low-budget teen exploitation
film Riot on Sunset Strip, and inspired multiple songs including the
Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth".
1967: Summer of Love
Main article: Summer of Love
Junction of Haight and Ashbury Streets, San Francisco, celebrated as
the central location of the Summer of Love
On January 14, 1967, the outdoor
Human Be-In organized by Michael
Bowen helped to popularize hippie culture across the United
States, with 20,000 hippies gathering in San Francisco's Golden Gate
Park. On March 26, Lou Reed,
Edie Sedgwick and 10,000 hippies came
Manhattan for the
Central Park Be-In
Central Park Be-In on Easter Sunday.
Monterey Pop Festival
Monterey Pop Festival from June 16 to June 18 introduced the rock
music of the counterculture to a wide audience and marked the start of
the "Summer of Love". Scott McKenzie's rendition of John Phillips'
song, "San Francisco", became a hit in the
United States and Europe.
The lyrics, "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some
flowers in your hair", inspired thousands of young people from all
over the world to travel to San Francisco, sometimes wearing flowers
in their hair and distributing flowers to passersby, earning them the
name, "Flower Children". Bands like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and
the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), and
Jefferson Airplane lived
in the Haight.
In June 1967,
Herb Caen was approached by "a distinguished
magazine" to write about why hippies were attracted to San
Francisco. He declined the assignment but interviewed hippies in the
Haight for his own newspaper column in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Caen determined that, "Except in their music, they couldn't care less
about the approval of the straight world." Caen himself felt that
the city of San Francisco was so straight that it provided a visible
contrast with hippie culture. On July 7, Time magazine featured a
cover story entitled, "The Hippies: The
Philosophy of a Subculture."
The article described the guidelines of the hippie code: "Do your own
thing, wherever you have to do it and whenever you want. Drop out.
Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly. Blow the mind of
every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs,
then to beauty, love, honesty, fun." It is estimated that around
100,000 people traveled to San Francisco in the summer of 1967. The
media was right behind them, casting a spotlight on the Haight-Ashbury
district and popularizing the "hippie" label. With this increased
attention, hippies found support for their ideals of love and peace
but were also criticized for their anti-work, pro-drug, and permissive
According to the hippies,
LSD was the glue that held the Haight
together. It was the hippie sacrament, a mind detergent capable of
washing away years of social programming, a re-imprinting device, a
consciousness-expander, a tool that would push us up the evolutionary
At this point,
The Beatles had released their groundbreaking album
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which was quickly embraced by
the hippie movement with its colorful psychedelic sonic imagery.
By the end of the summer, the
Haight-Ashbury scene had deteriorated.
The incessant media coverage led the
Diggers to declare the "death" of
the hippie with a parade. According to poet Susan 'Stormi'
Chambless, the hippies buried an effigy of a hippie in the Panhandle
to demonstrate the end of his/her reign.
Haight-Ashbury could not
accommodate the influx of crowds (mostly naive youngsters) with no
place to live. Many took to living on the street, panhandling and
drug-dealing. There were problems with malnourishment, disease, and
drug addiction. Crime and violence skyrocketed. None of these trends
reflected what the hippies had envisioned. By the end of 1967,
many of the hippies and musicians who initiated the
Summer of Love
Summer of Love had
George Harrison had once visited
found it to be just a haven for dropouts, inspiring him to give up
LSD. Misgivings about the hippie culture, particularly with regard
to drug abuse and lenient morality, fueled the moral panics of the
Anti-war protesters in Lincoln Park, Chicago, attending a Yippie
organized event, approximately five miles north of the 1968 Democratic
National convention. The band
MC5 can be seen playing.
By 1968, hippie-influenced fashions were beginning to take off in the
mainstream, especially for youths and younger adults of the populous
"Baby Boomer" generation, many of whom may have aspired to emulate the
hardcore movements now living in tribalistic communes, but had no
overt connections to them. This was noticed not only in terms of
clothes and also longer hair for men, but also in music, film, art,
and literature, and not just in the US, but around the world. Eugene
McCarthy's brief presidential campaign successfully persuaded a
significant minority of young adults to "get clean for Gene" by
shaving their beards or wearing longer skirts; however the "Clean
Genes" had little impact on the popular image in the media spotlight,
of the hirsute hippy adorned in beads, feathers, flowers and bells.
Poster for the documentary Revolution from 1968 which was about the
hippie counterculture in the San Francisco Area around the time of the
Summer of Love
A sign of this was the visibility that the hippie subculture gained in
various mainstream and underground media.
Hippie exploitation films
are 1960s exploitation films about the hippie counterculture with
stereotypical situations associated with the movement such as cannabis
LSD use, sex and wild psychedelic parties. Examples include The
Love-ins, Psych-Out, The Trip, and Wild in the Streets. Other more
serious and more critically acclaimed films about the hippie
counterculture also appeared such as
Easy Rider and Alice's
Restaurant. (See also: List of films related to the hippie
subculture.) Documentaries and television programs have also been
produced until today as well as fiction and nonfiction books. The
popular Broadway musical Hair was presented in 1967.
People commonly label other cultural movements of that period as
hippie, however there are differences. For example, hippies were often
not directly engaged in politics, as contrasted with "Yippies" (Youth
International Party), an activist organization. The
Yippies came to
national attention during their celebration of the 1968 spring
equinox, when some 3,000 of them took over
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal in
New York—eventually resulting in 61 arrests. The Yippies, especially
Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, became notorious for
their theatrics, such as trying to levitate the Pentagon at the
October 1967 war protest, and such slogans as "Rise up and abandon the
creeping meatball!" Their stated intention to protest the 1968
Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August, including
nominating their own candidate, "Lyndon Pigasus Pig" (an actual pig),
was also widely publicized in the media at this time.
In Cambridge, hippies congregated each Sunday for a large "be-in" at
Cambridge Park with swarms of drummers and those beginning the Women's
Movement. In the US the
Hippie movement started to be seen as part of
the "New Left" which was associated with anti-war college campus
protest movements. The
New Left was a term used mainly in the
United Kingdom and
United States in reference to activists, educators,
agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a
broad range of reforms on issues such as gay rights, abortion, gender
roles and drugs in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist
movements that had taken a more vanguardist approach to social justice
and focused mostly on labor unionization and questions of social
In April 1969, the building of People's Park in Berkeley, California
received international attention. The University of California,
Berkeley had demolished all the buildings on a 2.8-acre
(11,000 m2) parcel near campus, intending to use the land to
build playing fields and a parking lot. After a long delay, during
which the site became a dangerous eyesore, thousands of ordinary
Berkeley citizens, merchants, students, and hippies took matters into
their own hands, planting trees, shrubs, flowers and grass to convert
the land into a park. A major confrontation ensued on May 15, 1969,
Ronald Reagan ordered the park destroyed, which led to a
two-week occupation of the city of Berkeley by the
Flower power came into its own during this occupation
as hippies engaged in acts of civil disobedience to plant flowers in
empty lots all over Berkeley under the slogan "Let a Thousand Parks
Swami Satchidananda giving the opening talk at the
In August 1969, the
Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place in Bethel,
New York, which for many, exemplified the best of hippie
counterculture. Over 500,000 people arrived to hear some of the
most notable musicians and bands of the era, among them Canned Heat,
Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Creedence
Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Carlos Santana,
Sly & The Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi
Hendrix. Wavy Gravy's
Hog Farm provided security and attended to
practical needs, and the hippie ideals of love and human fellowship
seemed to have gained real-world expression. Similar rock festivals
occurred in other parts of the country, which played a significant
role in spreading hippie ideals throughout America.
In December 1969, a rock festival took place in Altamont, California,
about 45 km (30 miles ) east of San Francisco. Initially billed
Woodstock West", its official name was The Altamont Free Concert.
About 300,000 people gathered to hear The Rolling Stones; Crosby,
Stills, Nash and Young;
Jefferson Airplane and other bands. The Hells
Angels provided security that proved far less benevolent than the
security provided at the
Woodstock event: 18-year-old Meredith Hunter
was stabbed and killed by one of the
Hells Angels during The Rolling
Stones' performance after he brandished a gun and waved it toward the
Contemporary hippie at the
Rainbow Gathering in Russia, 2005
By the 1970s, the 1960s zeitgeist that had spawned hippie culture
seemed to be on the wane. The events at Altamont Free
Concert shocked many Americans, including those who had
strongly identified with hippie culture. Another shock came in the
form of the
Sharon Tate and
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca murders
committed in August 1969 by
Charles Manson and his "family" of
followers. Nevertheless, the turbulent political atmosphere that
featured the bombing of
Cambodia and shootings by National Guardsmen
at Jackson State University and Kent State University still brought
people together. These shootings inspired the May 1970 song by
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service "What About Me?", where they sang, "You
keep adding to my numbers as you shoot my people down", as well as
Neil Young's "Ohio", a song that protested the US's expansion of the
Vietnam War into Cambodia, recorded by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Much of hippie style had been integrated into mainstream American
society by the early 1970s. Large rock concerts that
originated with the 1967 KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music
Monterey Pop Festival
Monterey Pop Festival and the British Isle of Wight
Festival in 1968 became the norm, evolving into stadium rock in the
process. The anti-war movement reached its peak at the 1971 May Day
Protests as over 12,000 protesters were arrested in Washington DC.
President Nixon himself actually ventured out of the White House and
chatted with a group of the 'hippie' protesters. The draft was ended
soon thereafter, in 1973. During the mid 1970s, with the end of the
draft and the Vietnam War, a renewal of patriotic sentiment associated
with the approach of the
United States Bicentennial and the emergence
of punk in London, Manchester, New York and Los Angeles, the
mainstream media lost interest in the hippie counterculture. At the
same time there was a revival of the Mod subculture, skinheads, teddy
boys and the emergence of new youth cultures, like the goths (an arty
offshoot of punk) and football casuals.
Acid rock gave way to prog
rock, heavy metal, disco, and punk rock.
Starting in the late 1960s, hippies began to come under attack by
Hippies were also vilified and sometimes
attacked by punks, revivalist mods, greasers, football casuals, Teddy
boys, metalheads, rockers, rednecks, rude boys, gangsters, and members
of other youth subcultures of the 1970s and 1980s in both North
America and Europe. The countercultural movement was also under covert
assault by J. Edgar Hoover's infamous "Counter Intelligence Program"
(COINTELPRO), but in some countries it was other youth groups that
were a threat.
Hippie ideals had a marked influence on anarcho-punk
and some post-punk youth subcultures, especially during the Second
Summer of Love.
Couple attending Snoqualmie Moondance Festival, August 1993
Hippie communes, where members tried to live the ideals of the hippie
movement, continued to flourish. On the west coast, Oregon had quite a
few. Some faded away. Some are still around.
While many hippies made a long-term commitment to the lifestyle, some
people argue that hippies "sold out" during the 1980s and became part
of the materialist, consumer culture. Although not as visible
as it once was, hippie culture has never died out completely: hippies
and neo-hippies can still be found on college campuses, on communes,
and at gatherings and festivals. Many embrace the hippie values of
peace, love, and community, and hippies may still be found in bohemian
enclaves around the world.
Towards the end of the 20th century, a trend of "cyber hippies"
emerged, that embraced some of the qualities of the 1960s psychedelic
counterculture. The hippie subculture is also linked to the
psychedelic trance or psytrance scene, born out of the
Goa scene in
Ethos and characteristics
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Tie-dyed clothes, associated with hippie culture
The bohemian predecessor of the hippie culture in San Francisco was
the "Beat Generation" style of coffee houses and bars, whose clientele
appreciated literature, a game of chess, music (in the forms of jazz
and folk style), modern dance, and traditional crafts and arts like
pottery and painting." The entire tone of the new subculture was
different. "Jon McIntire, manager of the
Grateful Dead from the late
sixties to the mid-eighties, points out that the great contribution of
the hippie culture was this projection of joy. The beatnik thing was
black, cynical, and cold."
Hippies sought to free themselves from
societal restrictions, choose their own way, and find new meaning in
life. One expression of hippie independence from societal norms was
found in their standard of dress and grooming, which made hippies
instantly recognizable to one another, and served as a visual symbol
of their respect for individual rights. Through their appearance,
hippies declared their willingness to question authority, and
distanced themselves from the "straight" and "square" (i.e.,
conformist) segments of society.
Personality traits and values
that hippies tend to be associated with are "altruism and mysticism,
honesty, joy and nonviolence".
At the same time, many thoughtful hippies distanced themselves from
the very idea that the way a person dresses could be a reliable signal
of who he or she was—especially after outright criminals such as
Charles Manson began to adopt superficial hippie characteristics, and
also after plainclothes policemen started to "dress like hippies" to
divide and conquer legitimate members of the counterculture. Frank
Zappa, known for lampooning hippie ethos, particularly with songs like
"Who Needs the
Peace Corps?" (1968), admonished his audience that "we
all wear a uniform". The San Francisco clown/hippie
Wavy Gravy said in
1987 that he could still see fellow-feeling in the eyes of Market
Street businessmen who had dressed conventionally to survive.[citation
Art and fashion
See also: Psychedelia
A 1967 VW Kombi bus decorated with hand-painting
Leading proponents of the 1960s Psychedelic Art movement were San
Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie
Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their
Rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau,
Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. Posters for concerts in the Fillmore
West, a concert auditorium in San Francisco, popular with Hippie
audiences, were among the most notable of the time. Richly saturated
colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly
symmetrical composition, collage elements, rubber-like distortions,
and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco
psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from roughly the
years 1966 to 1972. Their work was immediately influential to album
cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created
album covers. Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed
for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set
between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors, the lightshow
artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the
music. This was mixed with slide shows and film loops to create an
improvisational motion picture art form, and to give visual
representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and
create a completely "trippy" atmosphere for the audience.[citation
The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows
in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts. Out of the psychedelic
counterculture there also arose a new genre of comic books:
underground comix. Zap Comix was among the original underground
comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Victor
Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Robert Williams among others. Underground
comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness
for the sake of weirdness.
Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most
enduring of underground cartoon characters, "The Fabulous Furry Freak
Brothers", whose drugged-out exploits held a mirror up to the hippie
lifestyle of the 1960s.
Monument to the hippie era. Tamil Nadu, India
As in the beat movement preceding them, and the punk movement that
followed soon after, hippie symbols and iconography were purposely
borrowed from either "low" or "primitive" cultures, with hippie
fashion reflecting a disorderly, often vagrant style. As with
other adolescent, white middle-class movements, deviant behavior of
the hippies involved challenging the prevailing gender differences of
their time: both men and women in the hippie movement wore jeans and
maintained long hair, and both genders wore sandals, moccasins or
went barefoot. Men often wore beards, while women wore little
or no makeup, with many going braless.
Hippies often chose
brightly colored clothing and wore unusual styles, such as bell-bottom
pants, vests, tie-dyed garments, dashikis, peasant blouses, and long,
full skirts; non-Western inspired clothing with Native American,
Asian, African and Latin American motifs were also popular. Much
hippie clothing was self-made in defiance of corporate culture, and
hippies often purchased their clothes from flea markets and
second-hand shops. Favored accessories for both men and women
included Native American jewelry, head scarves, headbands and long
Hippie homes, vehicles and other possessions
were often decorated with psychedelic art. The bold colors, hand-made
clothing and loose fitting clothes opposed the tight and uniform
clothing of the 1940s and 1950s. It also rejected consumerism in that
the hand-production of clothing called for self-efficiency and
Love and sex
See also: Free love
Oz number 28, also known as the "Schoolkids issue of OZ", which was
the main cause of a 1971 high-profile obscenity case in the United
Kingdom. Oz was a
UK underground publication with a general hippie /
counter-cultural point of view.
The common stereotype on the issues of love and sex had it that the
hippies were "promiscuous, having wild sex orgies, seducing innocent
teenagers and every manner of sexual perversion." The hippie
movement appeared concurrently in the midst of a rising sexual
revolution, in which many views of the status quo on this subject were
The clinical study Human Sexual Response was published by Masters and
Johnson in 1966, and the topic suddenly became more commonplace in
America. The 1969 book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex
(But Were Afraid to Ask) by psychiatrist David Reuben was a more
popular attempt at answering the public's curiosity regarding such
matters. Then in 1972 appeared The
Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort,
reflecting an even more candid perception of love-making. By this
time, the recreational or 'fun' aspects of sexual behavior were being
discussed more openly than ever before, and this more 'enlightened'
outlook resulted not just from the publication of such new books as
these, but from a more pervasive sexual revolution that had already
been well underway for some time.
The hippies inherited various countercultural views and practices
regarding sex and love from the Beat Generation; "their writings
influenced the hippies to open up when it came to sex, and to
experiment without guilt or jealousy." One popular hippie slogan
that appeared was "If it feels good, do it!" which for many
"meant you were free to love whomever you pleased, whenever you
pleased, however you pleased". This encouraged spontaneous sexual
activity and experimentation. Group sex, public sex... homosexuality
under the influence of drugs, all the taboos went out the window. This
doesn't mean that straight sex... or monogamy were unknown, quite the
contrary. Nevertheless, the open relationship became an accepted part
of the hippy lifestyle. This meant that you might have a primary
relationship with one person, but if another attracted you, you could
explore that relationship without rancor or jealousy."
Hippies embraced the old slogan of free love of the radical social
reformers of other eras; it was accordingly observed that "Free love
made the whole love, marriage, sex, baby package obsolete. Love was no
longer limited to one person, you could love anyone you chose. In fact
love was something you shared with everyone, not just your sex
partners. Love exists to be shared freely. We also discovered the more
you share, the more you get! So why reserve your love for a select
few? This profound truth was one of the great hippie
revelations." Sexual experimentation alongside psychedelics also
occurred, due to the perception of their being uninhibitors.
Others explored the spiritual aspects of sex.
Hippie Truck, 1968
Hippies tended to travel light, and could pick up and go wherever the
action was at any time. Whether at a "love-in" on
Mount Tamalpais near
San Francisco, a demonstration against the
Vietnam War in Berkeley, or
one of Ken Kesey's "Acid Tests", if the "vibe" wasn't right and a
change of scene was desired, hippies were mobile at a moment's notice.
Planning was eschewed, as hippies were happy to put a few clothes in a
backpack, stick out their thumbs and hitchhike anywhere. Hippies
seldom worried whether they had money, hotel reservations or any of
the other standard accoutrements of travel.
Hippie households welcomed
overnight guests on an impromptu basis, and the reciprocal nature of
the lifestyle permitted greater freedom of movement. People generally
cooperated to meet each other's needs in ways that became less common
after the early 1970s. This way of life is still seen among
Rainbow Family groups, new age travellers and New Zealand's
Hippie Truck interior
A derivative of this free-flow style of travel were the hippie trucks
and buses, hand-crafted mobile houses built on a truck or bus chassis
to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle, as documented in the 1974 book Roll
Your Own. Some of these mobile gypsy houses were quite elaborate,
with beds, toilets, showers and cooking facilities.
On the West Coast, a unique lifestyle developed around the Renaissance
Faires that Phyllis and Ron Patterson first organized in 1963. During
the summer and fall months, entire families traveled together in their
trucks and buses, parked at Renaissance Pleasure Faire sites in
Southern and Northern California, worked their crafts during the week,
and donned Elizabethan costume for weekend performances, and attended
booths where handmade goods were sold to the public. The sheer number
of young people living at the time made for unprecedented travel
opportunities to special happenings. The peak experience of this type
Woodstock Festival near Bethel, New York, from August 15 to
18, 1969, which drew between 400,000 and 500,000 people.
One travel experience, undertaken by hundreds of thousands of hippies
between 1969 and 1971, was the
Hippie trail overland route to India.
Carrying little or no luggage, and with small amounts of cash, almost
all followed the same route, hitch-hiking across
on to Istanbul, then by train through central
Turkey via Erzurum,
continuing by bus into Iran, via
Tehran to Mashhad, across
the Afghan border into Herat, through southern
Kandahar to Kabul, over the
Khyber Pass into Pakistan, via Rawalpindi
Lahore to the Indian frontier. Once in India, hippies went to many
different destinations, but gathered in large numbers on the beaches
Trivandrum (Kerala), or crossed the border
Nepal to spend months in Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, most of the
hippies hung out in the tranquil surroundings of a place called Freak
Nepal Bhasa: Jhoo Chhen) which still exists near
Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Spirituality and religion
Many hippies rejected mainstream organized religion in favor of a more
personal spiritual experience. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism often
resonated with hippies, as they were seen as less rule-bound, and less
likely to be associated with existing baggage. Some hippies
embraced neo-paganism, especially Wicca. Others were involved with the
occult, with people like
Timothy Leary citing
Aleister Crowley as
influences. By the 1960s, western interest in Hindu spirituality and
yoga reached its peak, giving rise to a great number of Neo-Hindu
schools specifically advocated to a western public.
In his 1991 book, "
Hippies and American Values", Timothy Miller
described the hippie ethos as essentially a "religious movement" whose
goal was to transcend the limitations of mainstream religious
institutions. "Like many dissenting religions, the hippies were
enormously hostile to the religious institutions of the dominant
culture, and they tried to find new and adequate ways to do the tasks
the dominant religions failed to perform." In his seminal,
contemporaneous work, "The
Hippie Trip", author Lewis Yablonsky notes
that those who were most respected in hippie settings were the
spiritual leaders, the so-called "high priests" who emerged during
Timothy Leary, family and band on a lecture tour at State University
of New York at Buffalo in 1969
One such hippie "high priest" was San Francisco State University
Professor Stephen Gaskin. Beginning in 1966, Gaskin's "Monday Night
Class" eventually outgrew the lecture hall, and attracted 1,500 hippie
followers in an open discussion of spiritual values, drawing from
Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu teachings. In 1970 Gaskin founded a
Tennessee community called The Farm, and he still lists his religion
Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his
advocacy of psychedelic drugs. On September 19, 1966, Leary founded
the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion declaring
LSD as its
holy sacrament, in part as an unsuccessful attempt to maintain legal
status for the use of
LSD and other psychedelics for the religion's
adherents based on a "freedom of religion" argument. The Psychedelic
Experience was the inspiration for John Lennon's song "Tomorrow Never
Knows" in The Beatles' album Revolver. He published a pamphlet in
1967 called Start Your Own Religion to encourage just that and
was invited to attend the January 14, 1967
Human Be-In a gathering of
30,000 hippies in San Francisco's
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park In speaking to the
group, he coined the famous phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out".
The English magician
Aleister Crowley became an influential icon to
the new alternative spiritual movements of the decade as well as for
The Beatles included him as one of the many figures on
the cover sleeve of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band while Jimmy Page, the guitarist of
The Yardbirds and co-founder
of 1970s rock band
Led Zeppelin was fascinated by Crowley, and owned
some of his clothing, manuscripts and ritual objects, and during the
1970s bought Boleskine House, which also appears in the band's movie
The Song Remains the Same. On the back cover of the Doors compilation
album 13, Jim Morrison and the other members of the Doors are shown
posing with a bust of Aleister Crowley.
Timothy Leary also openly
acknowledged Crowley's inspiration.
After the hippie era, the Dudeist philosophy and lifestyle developed.
Inspired by "The Dude", the neo-hippie protagonist of the Coen
Brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski, Dudeism's stated primary
objective is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism, outlined in
Tao Te Ching
Tao Te Ching by
Laozi (6th century BC), blended with concepts by the
Ancient Greek philosopher
Epicurus (341-270 BC), and presented in a
style as personified by the character of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski,
a fictional hippie character portrayed by
Jeff Bridges in the
Dudeism has sometimes been regarded as a mock
religion, though its founder and many adherents regard it
Make love, not war and Turn on, tune in, drop out
An anti-war demonstrator offers a flower to a Military Police officer
during the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's
1967 March on the Pentagon
"The hippies were heirs to a long line of bohemians that includes
William Blake, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau,
Herman Hesse, Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Aldous Huxley, utopian
movements like the
Rosicrucians and the Theosophists, and most
directly the Beatniks.
Hippies emerged from a society that had
produced birth-control pills, a counterproductive war in Vietnam, the
liberation and idealism of the civil rights movement, feminism,
homosexual rights, FM radio, mass-produced LSD, a strong economy, and
a huge number of baby-boom teenagers. These elements allowed the
hippies to have a mainstream impact that dwarfed that of the Beats and
earlier avant-garde cultures."
In Defense of
Hippies by Danny Goldberg
For the historian of the anarchist movement Ronald Creagh, the hippie
movement could be considered as the last spectacular resurgence of
utopian socialism. For Creagh, a characteristic of this is the
desire for the transformation of society not through political
revolution, or through reformist action pushed forward by the state,
but through the creation of a counter-society of a socialist character
in the midst of the current system, which will be made up of ideal
communities of a more or less libertarian social form.
The peace symbol was developed in the UK as a logo for the Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament, and was embraced by U.S. anti-war protesters
during the 1960s.
Hippies were often pacifists, and participated in
non-violent political demonstrations, such as Civil Rights Movement,
the marches on Washington D.C., and anti–
Vietnam War demonstrations,
including draft-card burnings and the 1968 Democratic National
Convention protests. The degree of political involvement varied
widely among hippies, from those who were active in peace
demonstrations, to the more anti-authority street theater and
demonstrations of the Yippies, the most politically active hippie
Bobby Seale discussed the differences between Yippies
and hippies with Jerry Rubin, who told him that
Yippies were the
political wing of the hippie movement, as hippies have not
"necessarily become political yet". Regarding the political activity
of hippies, Rubin said, "They mostly prefer to be stoned, but most of
them want peace, and they want an end to this stuff."
In addition to non-violent political demonstrations, hippie opposition
Vietnam War included organizing political action groups to
oppose the war, refusal to serve in the military and conducting
"teach-ins" on college campuses that covered Vietnamese history and
the larger political context of the war.
Scott McKenzie's 1967 rendition of John Phillips' song "San Francisco
(Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)", which helped to inspire the
hippie Summer of Love, became a homecoming song for all Vietnam
veterans arriving in San Francisco from 1967 onward. McKenzie has
dedicated every American performance of "San Francisco" to Vietnam
veterans, and he sang in 2002 at the 20th anniversary of the
dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
expression often took the form of "dropping out" of society to
implement the changes they sought.
Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs, California, 1969, sharing a joint
Politically motivated movements aided by hippies include the back to
the land movement of the 1960s, cooperative business enterprises,
alternative energy, the free press movement, and organic
farming. The San Francisco group known as the Diggers
articulated an influential radical criticism of contemporary mass
consumer society, and so they opened free stores which simply gave
away their stock, provided free food, distributed free drugs, gave
away money, organized free music concerts, and performed works of
political art. The
Diggers took their name from the original
Diggers (1649–50) led by Gerrard Winstanley, and they
sought to create a mini-society free of money and capitalism.
Such activism was ideally carried through anti-authoritarian and
non-violent means; thus it was observed that "The way of the hippie is
antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since
they are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom...
Hippies don't impose their beliefs on others. Instead, hippies seek to
change the world through reason and by living what they believe."
The political ideals of hippies influenced other movements, such as
anarcho-punk, rave culture, green politics, stoner culture and the New
Penny Rimbaud of the English anarcho-punk band Crass
said in interviews, and in an essay called The Last Of The Hippies,
Crass was formed in memory of his friend, Wally Hope. Crass
had its roots in Dial House, which was established in 1967 as a
commune. Some punks were often critical of
Crass for their
involvement in the hippie movement. Like Crass,
Jello Biafra was
influenced by the hippie movement, and cited the yippies as a key
influence on his political activism and thinking, though he also wrote
songs critical of hippies.
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Spiritual use of cannabis and History of LSD
Following in the footsteps of the Beats, many hippies used cannabis
(marijuana), considering it pleasurable and benign. They enlarged
their spiritual pharmacopeia to include hallucinogens such as peyote,
LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and DMT, while often renouncing the use of
alcohol. On the East Coast of the United States, Harvard University
professors Timothy Leary,
Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass)
advocated psychotropic drugs for psychotherapy, self-exploration,
religious and spiritual use. Regarding LSD, Leary said, "Expand your
consciousness and find ecstasy and revelation within."
On the West Coast of the United States,
Ken Kesey was an important
figure in promoting the recreational use of psychotropic drugs,
especially LSD, also known as "acid." By holding what he called "Acid
Tests", and touring the country with his band of Merry Pranksters,
Kesey became a magnet for media attention that drew many young people
to the fledgling movement. The
Grateful Dead (originally billed as
"The Warlocks") played some of their first shows at the Acid Tests,
often as high on
LSD as their audiences. Kesey and the Pranksters had
a "vision of turning on the world." Harder drugs, such as
cocaine, amphetamines and heroin, were also sometimes used in hippie
settings; however, these drugs were often disdained, even among those
who used them, because they were recognized as harmful and
The stereotypical belief that in the 1960s, the hippies' heyday, drugs
were running rampant and little was done to enforce drug laws, is not
supported by the facts; by 1969 only 4% of Americans had tried
See also: List of books and publications related to the hippie
subculture and List of films related to the hippie subculture
Newcomers to the
Internet are often startled to discover themselves
not so much in some soulless colony of technocrats as in a kind of
cultural Brigadoon - a flowering remnant of the '60s, when hippie
communalism and libertarian politics formed the roots of the modern
Stewart Brand, "We Owe It All To The Hippies".
"The '60s were a leap in human consciousness. Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm
X, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, they led a revolution of
conscience. The Beatles, The Doors,
Jimi Hendrix created revolution
and evolution themes. The music was like Dalí, with many colors and
revolutionary ways. The youth of today must go there to find
— Carlos Santana
The legacy of the hippie movement continues to permeate Western
society. In general, unmarried couples of all ages feel free to
travel and live together without societal disapproval.
Frankness regarding sexual matters has become more common, and the
rights of homosexual, bisexual and transgender people, as well as
people who choose not to categorize themselves at all, have
expanded. Religious and cultural diversity has gained greater
acceptance. Co-operative business enterprises and creative
community living arrangements are more accepted than before. Some
of the little hippie health food stores of the 1960s and 1970s are now
large-scale, profitable businesses, due to greater interest in natural
foods, herbal remedies, vitamins and other nutritional
Stewart Brand and
John Markoff argue that
the development and popularization of personal computers and the
Internet find one of their primary roots in the anti-authoritarian
ethos promoted by hippie culture.
Distinct appearance and clothing was one of the immediate legacies of
hippies worldwide. During the 1960s and 1970s, mustaches,
beards and long hair became more commonplace and colorful, while
multi-ethnic clothing dominated the fashion world. Since that time, a
wide range of personal appearance options and clothing styles,
including nudity, have become more widely acceptable, all of which was
uncommon before the hippie era.
Hippies also inspired the
decline in popularity of the necktie and other business clothing,
which had been unavoidable for men during the 1950s and early 1960s.
Additionally, hippie fashion itself has been commonplace in the years
since the 1960s in clothing and accessories, particularly the peace
symbol. Astrology, including everything from serious study to
whimsical amusement regarding personal traits, was integral to hippie
culture. The generation of the 1970s became influenced by the
hippie and the 60s countercultural legacy. As such in New York City
musicians and audiences from the female, homosexual, black, and Latino
communities adopted several traits from the hippies and psychedelia.
They included overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, weird lighting,
colorful costumes, and hallucinogens. Psychedelic soul
groups like the
Chambers Brothers and especially Sly and The Family
Stone influenced proto-disco acts such as Isaac Hayes, Willie Hutch
and the Philadelphia Sound. In addition, the perceived
positivity, lack of irony, and earnestness of the hippies informed
proto-disco music like M.F.S.B.'s album Love Is the Message.
The hippie legacy in literature includes the lasting popularity of
books reflecting the hippie experience, such as The Electric Kool-Aid
Acid Test. In music, the folk rock and psychedelic rock popular
among hippies evolved into genres such as acid rock, world beat and
heavy metal music.
Psychedelic trance (also known as psytrance) is a
type of electronic music influenced by 1960s psychedelic rock. The
tradition of hippie music festivals began in the
United States in 1965
with Ken Kesey's Acid Tests, where the
Grateful Dead played tripping
LSD and initiated psychedelic jamming. For the next several
decades, many hippies and neo-hippies became part of the Deadhead
community, attending music and art festivals held around the country.
Grateful Dead toured continuously, with few interruptions between
1965 and 1995.
Phish and their fans (called
Phish Heads) operated in
the same manner, with the band touring continuously between 1983 and
2004. Many contemporary bands performing at hippie festivals and their
derivatives are called jam bands, since they play songs that contain
long instrumentals similar to the original hippie bands of the
With the demise of
Grateful Dead and Phish, nomadic touring hippies
attend a growing series of summer festivals, the largest of which is
called the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which premiered in
Oregon Country Fair
Oregon Country Fair is a three-day festival featuring
handmade crafts, educational displays and costumed entertainment. The
annual Starwood Festival, founded in 1981, is a seven-day event
indicative of the spiritual quest of hippies through an exploration of
non-mainstream religions and world-views, and has offered performances
and classes by a variety of hippie and counter-culture icons.
Burning Man festival began in 1986 at a San Francisco beach party
and is now held in the
Black Rock Desert
Black Rock Desert northeast of Reno, Nevada.
Although few participants would accept the hippie label, Burning Man
is a contemporary expression of alternative community in the same
spirit as early hippie events. The gathering becomes a temporary city
(36,500 occupants in 2005, 50,000+ in 2011), with elaborate
encampments, displays, and many art cars. Other events that enjoy a
large attendance include the
Rainbow Family Gatherings, The Gathering
of the Vibes, Community
Peace Festivals, and the
In the UK, there are many new age travellers who are known as hippies
to outsiders, but prefer to call themselves the
Peace Convoy. They
Stonehenge Free Festival in 1974, but English Heritage
later banned the festival in 1985, resulting in the Battle of the
Stonehenge banned as a festival site, new age
travellers gather at the annual
Glastonbury Festival. Today, hippies
in the UK can be found in parts of South West England, such as Bristol
(particularly the neighborhoods of Montpelier, Stokes Croft, St
Werburghs, Bishopston, Easton and Totterdown),
Totnes in Devon, and
Stroud in Gloucestershire, as well as
Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, and in areas of
Brighton. In the summer, many hippies and those of similar subcultures
gather at numerous outdoor festivals in the countryside.
New Zealand between 1976 and 1981 tens of thousands of hippies
gathered from around the world on large farms around
Waihi and Waikino
for music and alternatives festivals. Named Nambassa, the festivals
focused on peace, love, and a balanced lifestyle. The events featured
practical workshops and displays advocating alternative lifestyles,
self sufficiency, clean and sustainable energy and sustainable
In the UK and Europe, the years 1987 to 1989 were marked by a
large-scale revival of many characteristics of the hippie movement.
This later movement, composed mostly of people aged 18 to 25, adopted
much of the original hippie philosophy of love, peace and freedom. The
summer of 1988 became known as the Second Summer of Love. Although the
music favored by this movement was modern electronic music, especially
house music and acid house, one could often hear songs from the
original hippie era in the chill out rooms at raves. In the UK, many
of the well-known figures of this movement first lived communally in
Stroud Green, an area of north
London located in Finsbury Park. In
The Sekhmet Hypothesis
The Sekhmet Hypothesis attempted to link both hippie and rave
culture together in relation to transactional analysis, suggesting
that rave culture was a social archetype based on the mood of friendly
strength, compared to the gentle hippie archetype, based on friendly
weakness. The later electronic dance genres known as goa trance
and psychedelic trance and its related events and culture have
important hippie legacies and neo hippie elements. The popular DJ of
Goa Gil, like other hippies from the 1960s, decided to leave
the US and Western
Europe to travel on the hippie trail and later
developing psychedelic parties and music in the Indian island of Goa
in which the goa and psytrance genres were born and exported around
the world in the 1990s and 2000s.
Popular films depicting the hippie ethos and lifestyle include
Woodstock, Easy Rider, Hair, The Doors, Across the Universe, Taking
Woodstock, and Crumb.
In 2002, photojournalist John Bassett McCleary published a 650-page,
6,000-entry unabridged slang dictionary devoted to the language of the
hippies titled The
Hippie Dictionary: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the
1960s and 1970s. The book was revised and expanded to 700 pages in
2004. McCleary believes that the hippie counterculture added
a significant number of words to the English language by borrowing
from the lexicon of the Beat Generation, through the hippies'
shortening of beatnik words and then popularizing their usage.
As a hippie,
Ken Westerfield helped to popularize the alternative
Frisbee in the 1960s–70s, that has become today's disc
Hippies at the
Nambassa 1981 Festival in New Zealand
Goa Gil, original 1960s hippie who later became a pioneering
electronic dance music DJ and party organizer, here appearing in the
2001 film Last
Black Bear Ranch
Counterculture of the 1960s
Food Not Bombs
List of historic rock festivals
Summer of Love
^ Usually an adjective denoting "large hips." See: Hippy Definition
of Hippy by Merriam-Webster
^ "hippy - Definition of hippy in English by Oxford Dictionaries".
Oxford Dictionaries - English.
^ To say "I'm hip to the situation" means "I'm aware of the situation.
See: Sheidlower, Jesse (December 8, 2004), Crying Wolof: Does the word
hip really hail from a West African language?, Slate Magazine,
retrieved May 7, 2007
^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved February 3,
^ "Hep - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster
Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved February
^ "The attendance at the third Pop Festival at...Isle of Wight,
England on 30 Aug 1970 was claimed by its promoters, Fiery Creations,
to be 400,000." The Guinness book of Records - 1987, (p 91), Editor
Russell, Alan. Guinness Books, 1986 ISBN 0851124399
^ Purcell, Fernando; Alfredo Riquelme (2009). Ampliando miradas: Chile
y su historia en un tiempo global. RIL Editores. p. 21.
^ "(Un)Civil Societies: September 3, 2007".
^ Vitaljich-, Shaun (December 8, 2004), Crying Wolof, Slate Magazine,
^ Jonathan Lighter, Random House Dictionary of Historical Slang
^ George Vere Hobart (January 16, 1867 – January 31, 1926)
^ Harry "The Hipster" Gibson (1986), Everybody's Crazy But
Me646456456654151, The Hipster Story, Progressive Records
Harry Gibson wrote: "At that time musicians used jive talk among
themselves and many customers were picking up on it. One of these
words was hep which described someone in the know. When lots of people
started using hep, musicians changed to hip. I started calling people
hipsters and greeted customers who dug the kind of jazz we were
playing as 'all you hipsters.' Musicians at the club began calling me
Harry the Hipster; so I wrote a new tune called 'Handsome Harry the
Hipster.'" -- "Everybody's Crazy But Me" (1986).
^ Rexroth, Kenneth. (1961). "What's Wrong with the Clubs." Metronome.
Reprinted in Assays
^ Booth, Martin (2004), Cannabis: A History, St. Martin's Press, p.
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(audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
^ Use of the term "hippie" did not become widespread in the mass media
until early 1967, after
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen
began to use the term; See "Take a
Hippie to Lunch Today", S.F.
Chronicle, January 20, 1967, p. 37. San Francisco Chronicle, January
18, 1967 column, p. 27
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2006. Retrieved on 2006-10-12. "
Hippies were members of a youth
movement...from white middle-class families and ranged in age from 15
to 25 years old."
^ a b Dudley 2000, pp. 193–194.
^ a b Hirsch 1993, p. 419. Hirsch describes hippies as: "Members
of a cultural protest that began in the U.S. in the 1960s and affected
Europe before fading in the 1970s...fundamentally a cultural rather
than a political protest."
^ a b Pendergast & Pendergast 2005. Pendergast writes: "The
Hippies made up the...nonpolitical subgroup of a larger group known as
the counterculture...the counterculture included several distinct
groups...One group, called the New Left...Another broad group
called...the Civil Rights Movement...did not become a recognizable
social group until after 1965...according to John C. McWilliams,
author of The 1960s Cultural Revolution."
^ a b Stone 1999, Hippy Havens
^ August 28 - Bob Dylan turns
The Beatles on to cannabis for the
second time. See also: Brown, Peter; Gaines, Steven (2002), The Love
You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles, NAL Trade,
ISBN 0-451-20735-1 ;Moller, Karen (September 25, 2006), Tony
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Arts, Boston, 2006, archived from the original on August 15, 2007,
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^ Oldmeadow 2004, pp. 260, 264.
^ Stolley 1998, pp. 137.
Abbie Hoffman envisioned a different society: "...where
people share things, and we don't need money; where you have the
machines for the people. A free society, that's really what it amounts
to... a free society built on life; but life is not some Time
Magazine, hippie version of fagdom... we will attempt to build that
society..." See: Swatez, Gerald. Miller, Kaye. (1970). Conventions:
The Land Around Us Anagram Pictures. University of Illinois at Chicago
Circle. Social Sciences Research Film Unit. qtd at ~16:48. The speaker
is not explicitly identified, but it is thought to be Abbie Hoffman.
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^ Wiener, Jon (1991), Come Together:
John Lennon in His Time,
University of Illinois Press, p. 40,
ISBN 0-252-06131-4 : "Seven hundred million people heard it
in a worldwide TV satellite broadcast. It became the anthem of flower
power that summer...The song expressed the highest value of the
counterculture...For the hippies, however, it represented a call for
liberation from Protestant culture, with its repressive sexual taboos
and its insistence on emotional restraint...The song presented the
flower power critique of movement politics: there was nothing you
could do that couldn't be done by others; thus you didn't need to do
anything...John was arguing not only against bourgeois self-denial and
future-mindedness but also against the activists' sense of urgency and
their strong personal commitments to fighting injustice and
^ Yablonsky 1968, pp. 106–107.
^ Theme appears in contemporaneous interviews throughout Yablonsky
^ McCleary 2004, pp. 50, 166, 323.
^ Dudley 2000, pp. 203–206.
Timothy Miller notes that the
counterculture was a "movement of seekers of meaning and value...the
historic quest of any religion." Miller quotes Harvey Cox, William C.
Shepard, Jefferson Poland, and
Ralph J. Gleason in support of the view
of the hippie movement as a new religion. See also Wes Nisker's The
Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom: "At its core, however, hippie
was a spiritual phenomenon, a big, unfocused, revival meeting." Nisker
cites the San Francisco Oracle, which described the
Human Be-In as a
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the hippie era, the era was already in decline.
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^ "Again the Beat generation must be credited with living and writing
about sexual freedom. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs
and others lived unusually free, sexually expressive lives."Stone
1999, "Sex, Love and Hippies"
^ "But the biggest release of inhibitions came about through the use
of drugs, particularly marijuana and the psychedelics.
one of the best aphrodisiacs known to man. It enhances the senses,
unlike alcohol, which dulls them. As any hippie can tell you, sex is a
great high, but sex on pot is fuckin' far out![...] More importantly,
the use of psychedelic drugs, especially
LSD was directly responsible
for liberating hippies from their sexual hang-ups. The
LSD trip is an
intimate soul wrenching experience that shatters the ego's defenses,
leaving the tripper in a very poignant and sensitive state. At this
point, a sexual encounter is quite possible if conditions are right.
LSD trip, one is much more likely to explore one's own sexual
nature without inhibitions." Stone 1999, "Sex, Love and Hippies"
^ "Many hippies on the spiritual path found enlightenment through sex.
The Kama Sutra, the Tantric sexual manual from ancient
India is a way
to cosmic union through sex. Some gurus like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
(Osho) formed cults that focused on liberation through the release of
sexual inhibitions"Stone 1999, "Sex, Love and Hippies"
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^ "In 1969, Gilbert Levy left the Haigh Ashbury district of San
Francisco and took the overland trail through Afganistan and PAkistan,
first to Bombay and then to Goa...Throughout the 1970s, Gil organized
legendary parties at Anjuna- moonlight jams of non-stop music, dancing
and chemical experimentation that lasted from Christmas Eve to New
Year´s Day for a tribe of fellow overland travellers who called
Goa Freaks...In the 90s, Gil started to use snippets
from industrial music, etno techno, acid house and psychedelic rock to
Goa Trance, dance music with a heavy spiritual
Goa Trance is a logical continuation of what
hippies were doing back in the 60s and 70s. "The Psychedelic
Revolution never really stopped" he said, " it just had to go halfway
round the world to the end of a dirt road on a deserted beach, and
there it was allowed to evolve and mutate, without government or media
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hippies.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Hippie
Summer of Love. A film part of PBS´s
American Experience series.
Includes the film available to watch online and other information on
the San Francisco event known as the
Summer of Love
Summer of Love as well as other
material related to the hippie subculture
Hippie Society: The Youth Rebellion—A Canadian program by the CBC
public network on the hippie rebellion including videos to watch
UK Hippy—Long running British discussion forum covering all aspects
of the British Hippy Counter-Culture from the 1960s to present day.
Sixtiespix—An archive with photographs of hippie culture.
Hippie Movies & TV Shows—1960s and early 1970s hippie and youth
culture on film and TV.
History of the
Etymology of 'hippie'
Central Park be-in
Counterculture of the 1960s
Red Dog Experience
San Francisco Sound
Sunset Strip curfew riots
Love Pageant Rally
Summer of Love
Monterey Pop Festival
Newport Pop Festival
Sky River Rock Festival
Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro
People and groups
Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters
San Francisco Oracle
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics
Wavy Gravy and the
Hog Farm Collective
Brotherhood of Eternal Love
New Age travellers
Politics and ethics
Make love, not war
Turn on, tune in, drop out
Culture and fashion
Hippie exploitation films
List of jam band music festivals
List of historic rock festivals
and other drugs
List of films
List of books and other publications
New Age movement
Legend of the Rainbow Warriors
Free Speech Movement
Civil rights movement
Protests of 1968
New social movements
Second Summer of Love
War tax resistance
Religious and spiritual
Testimony of simplicity
Open Source Ecology
G. K. Chesterton
E. F. Schumacher
Henry David Thoreau
"Anekdote zur Senkung der Arbeitsmoral"
Escape from Affluenza
The Good Life
The Moon and the Sledgehammer
Mother Earth News
The Power of Half
Small Is Beautiful
The good life
List of heavy metal festivals
List of jam band music festivals
List of punk rock festivals
List of gothic festivals
List of industrial music festivals
(italics = ongoing)
Anger Management Tour
Big Day Out
Family Values Tour
Fuji Rock Festival
Hard Electric Tour
Magic Circle Festival
Monsters of Rock
Rock am Ring and Rock im Park
Rock in Rio
Rock in Roma
Rock Never Stops Tour
Nintendo Fusion Tour
Sounds of the Underground
Summer Sanitarium Tour
Taste of Chaos
The Unholy Alliance Tour
Sign of the horns
Summer of Love
Hip hop music festival
Summer of Love
Divorce law by country
Freedom of speech
Freedom of the press
Golden Age of Porn
Pornography in the United States
The Pill (1965)
United States v. One Book Called Ulysses
"Make love, not war"
"The personal is political"
Masters and Johnson Institute
Protests of 1968
Counterculture of the 1960s
Feminist views of pornography
LGBT culture in New York City
Andy Warhol Garrick Theatre
55th Street Playhouse
Make Love, Not War: The Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History (2001
Leaving the nest
Community youth development
Anarchistic free school
Democratic free school
Positive youth development
Fear of youth (ephebiphobia)
Fear of children (pediaphobia)
Counterculture of the 1960s
Defense of infancy
International Youth Year
Index of youth rights-related articles
Recreational drug use
nail polish remover
Psilocybin / Psilocin
Atropine and Scopolamine
Legal history of cannabis in the United States
Legality of cannabis
Marijuana Policy Project
Cannabis and religion
Counterculture of the 1960s
Party and play
Poly drug use
Religion and drugs
Sex and drugs
Coca production in Colombia
Opium production in Afghanistan
Rolling meth lab
Illegal drug trade
Date rape drug
Effects of cannabis
Opioid replacement therapy
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Long-term effects of cannabis
of tobacco or other substances
1961 Narcotic Drugs
1971 Psychotropic Substances
1988 Drug Trafficking
Council of the European Union decisions on designer drugs
Drug Policy Alliance
Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Just Say No
Office of National Drug Control Policy
School district drug policies
Arguments for and against drug prohibition
Capital punishment for drug trafficking
Politics of drug abuse
War on Drugs
Mexican Drug War
Philippine Drug War
Anabolic steroid legality
Psilocybin mushrooms legality
Peace movement/Anti-war movement
Central Park be-ins
List of peace activists
Peace and conflict studies
War tax resisters
Soviet influence on the peace movement
International Day of Non-Violence
International Day of Peace
Dialogue Among Civilizations
List of places named Peace
"Make love, not war"
Monuments and memorials
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aspects of war
American Civil War
Military action in Iran
Military intervention in Libya
Second Boer War
Sri Lankan Civil War
War of 1812
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