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‘Psylodelic’ Museum Unearths Hippie Artifacts From Woodstock Era

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‘Psylodelic’ Museum Unearths Hippie Artifacts From Woodstock Era

Ex-Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen opens trippy destination at his Ohio ranch

Jorma Kaukonen
Scotty Hall
APRIL 9, 2013 1:15 PM ET

A Haight-Ashbury Museum of Psychedelic Art and History is in development in San Francisco, but former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen has beaten them to the idea. In June, Kaukonen will officially open the Psylodelic Museum, a collection of Haight-connected artifacts, at his Fur Peace Ranch in southeast Ohio.

“It’s a window of the time,” Kaukonen says. “To use a mixed-metaphor song title, it’s about the way we were.”

Housed in an old silo on the grounds of the ranch (hence the punny name), the museum currently includes donations from Kaukonen and longtime San Francisco-related friends. From his own personal collection, Kaukonen contributed concert posters from the Fillmore and Winterland (featuring LoveMuddy Waters and Moby Grape) as well as a rug from the famed Jefferson Airplane house. His old friend Wavy Gravy donated the sleeping bag he used at Woodstock. Jack Casady, Kaukonen’s former Airplane bandmate and ongoing partner in Hot Tuna, donated a custom-made tunic he wore at Woodstock and some of his old eyeglasses.

Amazing Apps: Woodstock Lives Again on Your Tablet PC

“You look at this stuff and think, ‘What were we thinking?'” Kaukonen says with a chuckle. “Jack had some of these unbelievably large glasses – like Elton John’s but without the jewelry.”

 

guitarneck side walk, Jorma
Scotty Hall

 

Casady credits his late wife, Diana, who recently passed away from cancer, with helping him salvage his vintage wardrobe. “I would say to her, ‘I’ll just rid of these clothes,’ and she would say, ‘No, we’ll find a place for them,'” he says. “So years ago I had them all dry-cleaned and hung and stuck in a closet. The clothes went along with the whole scene back then. It wasn’t about your image. It was just a hoot getting involved in designing your own clothes and guitar straps.”

In a sign of how far the musicians pushed the fashion envelope at the time, Casady remembers once trying to wear an outfit made from furniture upholstery: “The material was fantastic, but it was too hot to play in, so it was almost unusable.”

Although the posters and milieu bring to mind the heyday of the Airplane and theGrateful Dead, Kaukonen says tie-dye will be in short supply at the museum (which has so far raised just over $25,000 on Kickstarter); “A lot of people think of hippies as tie-dyed, but my memory of what I consider to be hippies is the people who dressed in Edwardian clothes or things from the American West,” he says. In that vein, Kaukonen donated some of the Native American-based jewelry he bought at the time, including a necklace that unintentionally resembled the Nazi symbol. “I wore it for a number of years,” he says. “Obviously, many people saw the Hakenkreuz [the Nazi party symbol], not the spiritual item I saw.”

 

Psychodelic Gallery design by Kevin Morgan | Wavy Gravey Woodstock Sleeping Bag

 

Many items from the era didn’t survive those heady times. Kaukonen says his own patch-covered bell bottoms are long gone (“mercifully,” he says), as are Casady’s legendary headbands. The bassist’s own set of Fillmore concert posters also bit the dust.  “When I shared a flat with Marty Balin in the Panhandle in San Francisco, I had every poster pinned to the wall,” Casady recalls. “So when it was time for me to get a house of my own, I just left them all on the wall. And there you have it.”

For future exhibits, Kaukonen is hoping to reach out to old musical friends like David Crosby and Paul Kantner, as well as Grace Slick, who retired from music years ago and now concentrates on painting. “She doesn’t do email,” he says, “so when I called her last year and got her answering machine, her outgoing message is her blowing a huge raspberry. Grace is still so funny.”

Founded in 1989, Fur Peace Ranch hosts guitar workshops and concerts (Steve Earlerecently played there), and Kaukonen admits that pulling in additional tourist revenue is another goal of the museum. “Even though we’re non-profit, we’re only non-profit by accident,” he says with another laugh. “My wife, Vanessa, thought we should have something of interest, like roadside America. All I know is that it’s going to be more interesting than the world’s largest ball of twine in Kansas.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/psylodelic-museum-unearths-hippie-artifacts-from-woodstock-era-20130409#ixzz363c36tNx
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HIWAY AMERICA ROUTE 66 The Oatman Burros Oatman Arizona

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HIWAY AMERICA ROUTE 66 The Oatman Burros Oatman Arizona

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The Oatman Burros
Should you decide to take a leisurely drive along Historic Route 66 and down through Oatman, don’t be surprised if your journey comes to a sudden halt thanks to some stubborn jackass in the middle of the road. The town is full of them.

I’m not talking about the people, of course. I’m talking about burros. And they’re the reason most visitors stop in Oatman to begin with, whether they’re blocking the way or not. Sure, Oatman’s got a gold-mine tour, Wild West shootouts and an annual egg-frying contest, but it’s the braying beasts of burden everybody comes to see. Come to think of it, it’s probably the only vacation spot tourists flock to in order to be surrounded by asses entirely on purpose.

The burros, though they’ve gotten quite comfortable among humans, are actually wild. It’s estimated there are about 600 feral burros meandering between Kingman and Lake Havasu City, and about a dozen of them enter Oatman on a daily basis. They come down from the Black Mountains of their own accord and invade the town as though commuting to work. When the shops begin to close and the tourists start to leave, they head back out again.

They’re direct descendants of pack animals that were once used in local mining operations. When the federal government shut the mines down in the 1940s in response to the war effort, workers simply let the burros go. They never really left, though, and due to their obstinate charm, Oatman has survived becoming a ghost town, though just barely. As a nearby sign admits, “If it were not for these burros, in all probability, neither you nor this plaque would be standing here today.”

These days, the burros willfully amble among Oatman’s small collection of storefronts, planting themselves along the shoulders and walkways. They persistently beg for handouts, which come in the form of carrots sold in many of the town’s shops. The animals aren’t subtle about it, either. They head-butt their way into car windows and wander directly into the shops to get what they’re looking for. Tourists who neglect to have treats on hand are sometimes chased down the street. Those with an ample supply quickly find themselves outnumbered and drowning in donkey slobber.

Oatman insists the burros are friendly, but still advise visitors to beware. The more zealous of the bunch have been known to mistake fingers for carrot sticks. Kicking isn’t unheard of, either. In fact, the locals recommend you leave the pets at home, as some of the pack tend to see dogs as furry soccer balls.

Donkeys Rule in Oatman
There is a little town northeast of Bullhead City, Arizona called Oatman. It’s on old Route 66. The road is narrow, twisty, and pot-holed. The town is an old gold and silver mining town with lots of character and weird history. Many donkeys roam the streets and they have the right of way. These donkeys are descendants of the pack donkeys the old miners brought to the area. I’m sure that this place is rife with weird stories. —Ken Karnes