The mid to late 60's was an evolutionary time for rock & roll music. The music had survived it's infancy generation and would soon change the mood of an entire country.
To provide a little background on how I got "turned on" to this music, here is my story. It was the spring of '67. I had just finished my 2nd year at a JC (Bethany College) in
Mankato, Minnesota. Well, apparently my "friends and neighbors" at my local draft board in Rochester, New York were short of a few good men
and selected me for a government sponsored sabatical to a little known garden spot: South Vietnam.
So into Uncle's Army I went, being too naive to weigh any other options; and the Army, in its' infinite wisdom, made me a medic. So, there I was in the city by the bay in April of '68, stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco, and scared to death
that my number would be called. That's when I first seriously heard the music.
The San Francisco Sound essentially began in the mid 60's and the conventional wisdom places it in the Haight-Ashbury
district of the city. Everything was in place in this small neighborhood of San Francisco. Rock & Roll, psychedelic posters, dances, light shows, flower children; and of course at the center of it all was ACID. The only place to score 'Owsley' named after it's creator, Owsley Stanley, also known as The Bear and White Rabbit.
This was the time dance bands started progressing into nationally known acts. Bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, It's A Beautiful Day and Santana; to name a few.
By the time many of the local bands made their way to the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, the media had already proclaimed it
'The Summer of Love'. Suddenly, out of nowhere the bands, the people and the Music was thrust into the national spot light through newspaper, magazine and TV sound bites. This utopia, that in reality perhaps lasted at best a few months, was now co-opted by the media and that ever lurking beast the Recording Industry Executive.
But it wasn't just San Francisco or the music that excited the youth of America, it was also the lyrics, the environment and The War. The war in Vietnam was raging and it seemed every social institution was politicized. The youth were rebelling and the music
reflected what the kids were thinking. Of course, this would all end with Altamont, but the idealism was imbedded in the music.