Second day – memories of the hippie trail

1 Oct

Just a morning session before an afternoon of meetings and chat. Most useful of which was chance encounter with Doug Gill who hit the hippy trail in the late 60’s, was at Woodstock, hung out in Haight Ashbury etc. Details fell from him like gold dust: sandals made of car tyres, beautifully painted trucks, treating the drive like a nine to five day job, guns everywhere, police brutal, ignorant kids fighting in uniform, Vietnam kids and draft dodgers, the air heavy with the sense of not having to do this anymore, the radicalism and the urgency of change, the sense that everything was up for grabs, the sense that everything could change, families travelling with monkeys, criss crossing and catching up, windscreens strafed with bullet holes like streaks of a broken windscreen wiper.

We improvised some scenes: a cartoon sized gattling gun becomes a pistol in Billy’s hand; the presence of Rahimullah moved slowly across space. Is he a curator? The wider meaning of the piece discovered through the existence of the stories in a collection? Perhaps he exists in the songs, invisible.

Even the most important things should be allowed to vanish if they want to.

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