Purple Haze

Truth be told, San Francisco's Summer of Love was a lot less about love and a lot more about community giving way to a fair amount of drug-driven chaos. But it also galvanized kids across the nation with its pure, daisy-in-your-rifle sort of magnetism, and a whole generation bloomed and went to seed that summer, leaving behind the legacy that was sometimes lovely and, at other times, ugly. The best part was the music, and if you weren't there to experience it, you'll never know what it was like. Stop yer whining.

If you hate the Sixties, it would be best to just stop reading now, because this is a pitch for the Love-In Summer of Love Celebration and Sing-Along today at 2 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, where participatory-sing-along host Jim Bernath will share his lyric sheets with the public. "This is not going to be the typical sit-down type of sing-along we usually do," he says. "It'll be more of a party this time, with people just dancing and talking and maybe singing, too."

And for the record, my abridged version of the Summer of Love might go something like this: "San Francisco," "Get Together," "Groovin'," "White Rabbit," "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" and "Eve of Destruction." But you can quibble. They're all on the agenda at this free hippie hoedown; call 303-263-0176.
Sun., June 24, 2 p.m.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd