Tag Archives: Summer of Love







On October 10, 1941, Peter Coyote was born Rachmil Pinchus Ben Mosha Cohon in New York City to Ruth (Fidler) and Morris Cohon, an investment banker. His involvement with both politics and acting began in high school. At fourteen he was a campaign worker in the Adlai Stevenson presidential campaign in his home town of Englewood New Jersey. Two years later, he began actin classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.

As a student at Grinnell College in Iowa, Peter was one of the organizers of a group of twelve students who went to Washington during the Cuban Missile crisis and fasted for three days, protesting the resumption of nuclear testing, and supporting President Kennedy’s “peace race”. President Kennedy invited the group into the White House (the first time protesters had ever been so recognized), and they met for several hours with MacGeorge Bundy. This meeting received national front-page media attention, and the Grinnell group xeroxed the coverage and sent it to every college in the United States, precipitating the first mass student demonstration of 25,000 in Washington, in February of 1962. At the end of his school term, Peter was elected President of the Council of House Presidents, the governing student body at his college.

After graduating from    Grinnell College with a BA in English Literature in 1964, and despite having been accepted    at the prestigious Writer’s Workshops in Iowa, Coyote moved to the West Coast to pursue a    Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. After a short    apprenticeship at the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop, he joined the San Francisco Mime    Troupe, a radical political street theater which had recently been arrested for performing    in the City’s parks without permits.
In the Mime Troupe, he    was soon acting, writing and directing. He directed the first cross-country to tour of    “The Minstrel Show, Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel,” a highly controversial    piece closed by the authorities in several cities. The cast was arrested several times    before a tour of eastern colleges and universities, ending triumphantly in New York City,    where they were invited and sponsored by comedian Dick Gregory. The following year, a    play, “Olive Pits,” that Peter co-wrote, directed and performed in, won a    Special OBIE from New York’s Village Voice newspaper.
From 1967 to 1975,    Peter took off to “do the Sixties” where he became a prominent member of the San    Francisco counter-culture community and founding member of the Diggers, an anarchistic    group who supplied free food, free housing and free medical aid to the hordes of runaways    who appeared during the Summer of Love. The Diggers evolved into a group known as the Free    Family which established chains of communes around the Pacific Northwest and Southwest.    Many of the stories of that period are included in his memoir called “Sleeping Where I Fall” published    by Counterpoint Press in April of 1998. One of the stories incorporated into his book is    “Carla’s Story,” which was    awarded the 1993-1994 Pushcart Prize, a national prize for excellence in writing,    published by a non-commercial literary magazine.
From 1975    to1983 Peter was a member of the California State Arts Council, the State agency which    determines art policy. After his first year, he was elected Chairman by his peers three    years in a row, and during his tenure as Chairman, the Council’s overhead expenses dropped    from 50% to 15%, the lowest in the State, and the Arts Council budget rose from    one-to-fourteen million dollars annually. It has never been higher since.
These political    victories, among others, fostered Peter’s decision to re-enter acting. In 1978, he began    to work at San Francisco’s award-winning Magic Theater doing plays continuously “to    shake out the rust” and get his unused skills back in working order. While playing    the lead in the World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s “True West,” he was spotted by a    Hollywood agent who asked to represent him. Seventy plus films later, Peter is still    acting.

Beginning in the early ’80s, Peter began doing voice-overs, which has led to a very successful side venture, now numbering over 120 films. His mellow voice,    often compared to Henry Fonda’s, is a gift that won him an Emmy in 1992 for his narration    of the “The Meiji Revolution” episode, part of the PBS American Experience    ten-part series called “The Pacific Century.” He continues to lend his rich    voice to narrations for commercials and documentaries and often donates his voice to films that support issues close to his heart.

Peter makes his home in Marin County in Northern California since the early ’70s. An avid outdoorsman, he is also a passionate songwriter, guitarist and amateur photographer. He has two grown children and has been married to Stefanie Pleet since 2000.



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Video Title: Summer of Love 1967
Posted by: Anonymous [More from this user]
Description: This video features images from the Summer of Love in San Francisco accompanied by techno music (why? isn’t there enough good music from the period?)



The Year of the Hippie

In the mid-1960s, young people who embraced a non-traditional lifestyle began moving into the Haight neighborhood of San Francisco. As had earlier groups like Beatniks and Hipsters, they rejected mainstream society, but their taste for rock music and wild colors was new.  Some tagged this group as junior-grade Hipsters — “hippies” for short. An underground newspaper, The San Francisco Oracle, chronicled the movement, often with psychedelic flair.

In October 1966, a group of San Francisco hippies staged a Love Pageant. As stories and images of hippies spread, thousands of young Americans flooded the city, wanting to witness or be part of the action.  A year later — after the 1967 “summer of love” — San Francisco hippies performed a rite they called “The Death of the Hippie.”

Select a date to open the video timeline.

October 6,1966 January 14, 1967 April 5, 1967 June 21, 1967 October 6,1967

Love Pageant Human Be-In Council for the Summer of Love Summer Solstice celebration Death of the Hippie


The Psychedelic ’60s: Literary Tradition and Social Change


IMG_4857IMG_4857The Psychedelic ’60s: Literary Tradition and Social Change
THE SUMMER OF 1967, with its “Love-Ins,” “Be-ins,” and “Flower Power,” came to be known as “The Summer of Love,” and was one of the seminal moments of our generation. Over thirty years later, we who came of age during the turbulent decade of the sixties are dismayed to realize that, to the young adults of today, those years are now ancient history.

The “Psychedelic Sixties” broke the rules in every conceivable way from music to fashion (or lack of it), to manners and mores. Boundaries were challenged and crossed in literature and art; the government was confronted head-on for its policies in Vietnam; the cause of civil rights was embraced by the young; and mind-expanding drugs were doing just that.

Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of times? Did America evolve as a nation and we as individuals? Are we better for the experience? We who were there have our own answers, but it is the historians who will write the collective answers for posterity. In any case, for better or worse, this dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth, our creation, and our legacy, and this exhibition is an attempt to revisit it, share it, and interpret it.
This is the web version of “The Psychedelic ’60s: Literary Tradition and Social Change,” which was on view in the Tracy W. McGregor Room of Alderman Library April through September 1998. The exhibition was curated by George Riser, U.Va. Special Collections; exhibition text was written by George Riser and Stephen Railton, Professor of English, U.Va.




The Counterculture

photo Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company, Lagunitas, California, 1967. Joplin’s gritty, full-throttle blues-rock style offered a new, liberating image for women in the world of rock music.

Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, and pursuit of happiness. Other people saw the counterculture as self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive of America’s moral order.

Authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. Parents argued with their children and worried about their safety. Some adults accepted elements of the counterculture, while others became estranged from sons and daughters.

In 1967 Lisa and Tom Law moved to San Francisco, joining thousands of young people flocking to the Haight-Ashbury district. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, mysticism, and religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.

photo The “Freak-Out” show, Los Angeles, 1965. Rock music, colorful light shows, performance artists, and mind-altering drugs characterized the psychedelic dance parties of the sixties held in large halls in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
photo A concert in the Panhandle, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967
photo The Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, 1967. Students, hippies, musicians, and artists gravitated toward the community’s inexpensive housing and festive atmosphere.
photo Hell’s Angels motorcycle club members, the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. While some people admired the Hell’s Angels’ audacious style, its members had an uneven and sometimes violent relationship with people in the counterculture.
photo Musician in the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967
photo “Summer of Love,” the Panhandle, San Francisco, 1967
photo San Francisco, 1967
photo Easter Sunday Love-In, Malibu Canyon, California, 1968. This was a celebration of the counterculture movement.
photo Suzuki-Roshi, a Buddhist teacher, at the Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14, 1967. Also known as “A Gathering of the Tribes,” the Human Be-In was an effort to promote positive interactions among different groups in society.
photo Poet Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 1967. Ginsberg, known for his poem Howl, lived and symbolized the bohemian ideals of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and embraced the counterculture of the sixties.
It [the counterculture] was an attempt to rebel against the values our parents had pushed on us. We were trying to get back to touching and relating and living.

-Lisa Law, 1985

photo Monterey International Pop Festival, Monterey, California, 1967. Monterey Pop was one of the first large outdoor rock festivals in the 1960s. Lisa and Tom Law sheltered people who were having difficult psychedelic drug experiences in their “Trip Tent.”
photo Timothy Leary, the Harvard-trained psychologist who coined the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” at the Human Be-In, San Francisco, 1967