Wednesday, June 24, 2009
By the Time We Got to Woodstock, Part IV: If You're Leaving San Francisco
In 1969, the vaunted music scene in San Francisco was descending to earth like so many purple orchids at a Moby Grape signing party. The Grateful Dead were in the process of getting ripped off by their manager, Country Joe & the Fish had lost their mojo, Janis Joplin had left Big Brother, Tracy Nelson of Mother Earth was having trouble "living with the animals," and the Grape's Skip Spence had taken a sabbatical in a mental hospital. Only the Jefferson Airplane still espoused the Timothy Leary ideal of acid and togetherness--and Leary was on his way to jail. Even John Fogerty of Creedence, whose year rivaled the Beatles, was complaining everyplace looked like "Lodi" to him. Ironically, as Steve Miller pronounced, for a music fan it was a great time to be "Living in the USA."