Re: Human Be-In

05/31/15 - posted by Paul Judge

SI jacket or otherwise Kev, while you were makin' the scene at the Polo Fields your cuz Richard and I were hiking around the Marin Headlands. My dad had suggested the foray to us. It was a beautiful clear, warm winter day. We were curious about the amplified music we heard drifting over from the City. Afterwards I suspected that my dad knew about the gathering and didn't want us remaining in the 'hood to blunder into that original Day on the Grass, er, Green.

Last January the Richmond District Blog posted a link to color footage of the Human Be-In. Together with the B & W documentary that John Martini posted on this thread they make for a tedious double feature about a historic cultural event. One is struck by how 'straight' looking the crowd looked. But the trends of changing attitudes, music, appearances, etc. are set in motion. I agree with W.M. that that was a period of time quite unique and joyful to be young and to experience which set precedence for other events and attitude. Heck, even the Jesuits allowed the Jefferson Airplane to play a fund raiser for the new S.I. campus.

Notable as they were and for the most part remain, the speakers and artists at the gathering offer optimism, seek an alternative to the straight world, and proffer a frontier of new human expression & relationships. The camera work and sound recording is somewhat jumpy and crude but the sense of the event is captured. From nearly fifty years later the whole affair comes off rather tame. As John suggests, I spent much of my viewing time attempting to pick out people I recognized from school or the neighborhood.

There's a thread about the Human Be - In on the "I Grew Up in the Richmond District" Facebook site dated January 19, 2015 with interesting observations and comments. There's no warning to avoid the brown acid but there is one concerning the oft referenced poster advertising the Human Be - In being counterfeit and bogus. Richard's and my GWHS classmate Mike Dadaos posted a copy of the original.

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.