Thursday, 5 April 2018

What's wrong with beads and bells? 1967




                      WHAT'S WRONG WITH BEADS AND BELLS?
What's all the fuss about flower children? It seems that everyone over the age of thirty—particularly the national press, the police, and the establishment generally—has had something hard to say about hippies. Loud cries of free love, junkies, nude parties. It seems any girl who throws off her office clothes on Friday night and puts on a cut-down Indian bedspread is in danger of having herself labelled. It means nothing to these critics that the vast majority of Britain's hippies are part-timers; weekend flower children with five day week jobs. Intro's countrywide investigation estimates that nine out of ten of them DON'T take drugs, DON'T sleep around and, most important DON'T harm anyone. All the same, they're being harassed by police and maligned by the papers. Few people have chosen to discriminate between the hard-core, hard drug beat, who is using the hippie movement to excuse his way of life, and weekend part-timers; young people with a desire to be differentto show that they're something more than extensions of the old generation.  Who dares to dictate that we must all dress alike, all look alike?  



''I can have a good time without drugs.'' Jean MacIlroy, eighteen, (cover model), a Brockley, London, bank clerk, also said she's a part-time hippie. ''I don't use drugs, but I feel it's a matter of individual choice.''





In defence of unconventional dress among young people, Dr. Barbara Gray, a Birmingham University lecturer in Social Studies and a member of the Latey Committee (which recommends that young people should be regarded as adults at eighteen instead of twenty-one) says: ''Almost every group of teenagers tries to produce a different style of dress. Each generation produces something that distinguishes them from the middle-aged. When they dress in a style which could identify them with the hard-core hippie, then everybody gets tarred with the same brush; perhaps it is not so surprising. The fault is partly ours for not trying hard enough to look at each person as an individual; I think that we should try hard to avoid criticizing them as a group.''







                                                              WOBURN ABBEY LOVE-IN
Support has also come from one of Britain's most progressive aristocrats, the Duke of Bedford, who threw open his stately home, Woburn Abbey, to a love-in. He said: They were absolutely charming; the most polite people I've ever met.'' It's estimated that there are no more than two hundred real and dedicated hippies in Britain (they utterly ignore society and live a tribal experience. All life is sacred and they preach love and complete freedom to do as they wish). The remainder are part-timers; almost 50,000 young people who are in it partly because they agree it's better to love someone than to hate, and partly for the fun of a new experience. But, part-timers are having a tough time with the law, especially in London. Many of them gather in the West End before moving on to a club or partyand the police take a dim view. To test this point, two INTRO staffers, a girl and a boy, hung around in Trafalgar Square. They were dressed quite normally and ignored by police. Later, they returned, dressed in Indian Guru jackets, bells and beads. Twice they were moved on; each time the girl was roughly questioned-apparently on how she was dressed.





The Festival of The Flower Children, Woburn Abbey, August 26th-28th 1967 - billed as a 3-day, non-stop happening, the line-up of acts included the Small Faces, Jeff Beck, Eric Burdon and many more! plus DJ sets from Jeff Dexter, Mike Quinn and Tommy Vance. Along with the promise of free flowers and sparklers for 'the beautiful flower children in the most beautiful surrounding'.

                           

                                              BRUSH WITH THE LAW
It happens with other weekenders too. Two eighteen year olds, Linda Evans and Janis Coles, factory workers from Middlesbrough, came to London for a week's holiday. They saw the hippies, liked their clothes, and dressed with beads and bells. They were talking to friends in Trafalgar Square when a policeman approached. ''He said to us, in front of everybody: 'Are you prostitutes?' Then he took us to the police station and kept us there for over two hours.'' Despite these embarrassing brushes with the law, Britain's part-time hippie cult is growing and spreading to major provincial centres. In Bristol, there's already a weekend community, mostly hippie parties in private flats. John (he doesn't use a surname), a twenty year old telephone engineer, said: ''Soon the whole scene will be going on in parks in Bristol...until the fuzz comes along. At the moment they just shrug their shoulders.'' York, Littlehampton, Leeds and Cambridge are also developing weekend groups. Christine Simpson, sixteen, a student from York, said: ''I'm a part-time hippie. I've worn beads in Yorkthey're catching on.'' Mandy Harvey is fourteen, still at school, and comes from Harston, Cambridge. She says: It's sickening that the papers put out a completely wrong image, but I suppose I'm lucky; my mother isn't misled by these reports and she doesn't mind me dressing like this.'' Mandy wears beads, bells and no shoes. She uses heavy make-up round her eyes. Drugs are condemned by almost all weekend hippies. Jeanette Osborne, a sixteen year old student from Gosport, Hants, said: ' I don't take drugs and if people can't live without them, life can't be worth much. I wouldn't take them. '' Bernadette Jarvis,  twenty-three, a Wembley bank clerk, said '' I can have a good time without drugs.'' Jean Macllroy (she's on our cover), eighteen, a Brockley, London, bank clerk, also said she's a part-time hippie. ''I don't use drugs, but I feel it's a matter of individual choice.''








                                When hippies met in Trafalgar Square for a sit-in, the police made it a move-on.                                               



                                                                   GREAT GEAR FOR FUN
Few of the girls in hippie dress are upset by people's stares. ''We don't feel embarrassed,'' said Janis Coles. ''Why should we?'' Jeanette Osborne said: ''I wear jeans, flowers and blouses with love written on them. I go around as a flower child and have a laugh.'' Bernadette Jarvis and her friend Jill Simpkins said: ''We do it because we don't like conservative dress. Unfortunately we can't dress like this all the time because we wouldn't be accepted in our jobs.'' And some girls have mother problems. Ann Bolger, eighteen, a secretary from Leyton, said: ''I'd like to wear the gear but I'm afraid people would laugh.'' And Ann's mother added ''I wouldn't like it at all.'' A South American secret society has an initiation ceremony at puberty for girls and young men, involving intricate body painting (some part-timers have adopted this idea to ''baptise'' new friends). Eyes of ancient Egyptian girls, about to perform acrobatic dances, were heavily decorated with paint. They also wore bangles, flowers and coloured ribbons in their hair-and very little else. Intro says: We don't think the flower children are doing anyone harm. There's nothing wrong with wearing beads. There's nothing wrong with a dress that's different. And it's certainly not wrong to make the most of weekends after a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday life.





                            Smiling flower children (above) with a banner saying: ''Follow Us''  everyone did.




                                                                         Be●In Dress from Way In (1967).



                                          Unisex Kaftans, beads, and bells, available from Chelsea Mail (1967).



That you could also purchase an (almost) complete hippie outfit via these mail order adverts from the same issue of this teen magazine, pretty much signalled the toll of the impending death knell, as the look of the counterculture moved steadily into the mainstream faster than the ideology of the lifestyle behind it. Approximately two weeks after this issue went to print, the Death of Hippie was formally announced in San Francisco, the Death Notice stated: HIPPIE ~ In the Haight Ashbury District of this city, Hippie, devoted son of Mass Media ~ Friends are invited to attend services beginning at sunrise, October 6th, 1967, at Buena Vista Park. The ceremony was led by Ron Thelin, owner of The Psychedelic Shop at 1535 Haight Street, which was set to close, having found itself in debt (to the tune of $6,000, according to Barry Miles author of Hippie - Cassell Illustrated), as were many of the other businesses and clinics in the area. Attendees filled a cardboard coffin with various hippie artefacts and trappings of the lifestyle, such as copies of underground newspapers, beads, bells, and clothing etc, the open coffin was then carried down Haight Street in a funeral possession, stopping at the junction of Haight-Ashbury for a kneel-in, before being ceremonially burned at its final destination. However, although pronounced dead and buried by the people who truly believed in it, in its purest form..it wouldn't 'Rest in Peace' for long. I doubt that it immediately stopped the coach tours full of of hippie-spotting day trippers driving down Haight Street, and it most certainly didn't stop the mass media from continuing the pursuit (as they had hoped it would). The proof is evident in the proliferation of films, books, newspaper and magazine articles, and especially through the advertisement agencies which continued to repurpose the imagery, ideas and language of the counterculture long after it had reached saturation point in San Francisco, and appropriated it for consumers who were living conventional, suburban lives (see examples from 1969-1971 below). Personally, I'm quite fond of a lot of these adverts and artefacts, it was a very creative period, but i'm sure it must have been extremely disheartening to the people who were committed to the counterculture, because they had such high ideals and hopes for the movement, and it probably felt like a failure on many levels at the time. Of course with hindsight, we know that it wasn't, it just took a longer for the best ideas and practices to filter down and integrate properly into mainstream society, it always does, you can change the world, but you can't change the world overnight.







A Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc print advert (1969) which makes reference to the counterculture lifestyle, in a bid to put a slightly new slant on their usual 'tried and tested' selling technique in keeping with the times, by tapping into the decade's quest for freedom from the mainstream, and appealing to the desire for individuality within the non-conformist. 

                 


This William Barry Outerwear  'before and after' print advert, would have you believe that trading in an alternative lifestyle choice and look, and returning to a conventional one, was a good move! (note the well worn, real fur and natural fibres on the left Vs. the ''Put On'' in warm, plush pile of 100% Orlon manmade Acrylic on the right), making a clear distinction between hippie culture and mainstream consumerism. 




An advertisement for a range of leather belts by Fife & Drum, originally published in September 1971, and although not necessarily 100% hippie, there are many references to the imagery and ideals of the counterculture in both the ad copy and art work, they've even managed to work Frank Zappa into it. And on a subliminal level, the mention of 'a holding company' made me think of Big Brother and the Holding Company..even if that wasn't their intention.

      

                                           IMAGE CREDITS & LINKS
All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original article for Intro Magazine September 23rd 1967. Photographer, illustrator and models all uncredited in the original publication, except for cover model Jean MacIlroy. Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc image scanned from 60s All-American Ads (Taschen). William Barry Outerwear and Fife & Drum advert (1971) scanned from The Male Mystique- Men's Magazine Ads of the 1960s and 1970s by Jacques Boyreau. If you did happen to find yourself in trouble with the law under one of these circumstances in particular back in 1967, the best people to look for were Rufus Harris and Caroline Coon, who founded Release, a civil rights agency providing legal advice for young people charged with the possession of drugs. View an interview with Caroline Coon filmed in 1968, this interview was conducted on the day Coon was released from Holloway Prison, having been arrested for protesting about the prosecution of Rolling Stone Brian Jones for drug possession. Here you'll find a small archive of documents from the drug advice and referral agency, Release, dating from its inception in 1967 through to its tenth anniversary. And in some of my previous posts you'll find Felicity Green's report on the flower power fashion scene, August 1967; Apple Clothing - Apple Boutique 1968; Rave Magazine's in-house dandy decked out in flower-power finery from Kleptomania 1967; Flower Power Maddie Smith (1967) before she became more widely known as an actress; Dentelle Galler & the King's Road Hippies 1969, and The Rise and Decline of the Afghan Coat 1966-197?. Discover more about the Death of Hippie October 6th 1967 (lots of photographs of the event included). And here, you can view some filmed footage plus an interview about it with Ron Thelin. More film footage of  protest scenes outside The Psychedelic Shop after the Police arrested Allen Cohen (store clerk) for selling "The Love Book" by Lenore Kandel, on grounds of obscenity in 1966. A fantastic review of the recently published Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman (a must-read!).  And finally, you know the dream is over when ''they're selling hippie wigs in Woolworth's man!''


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...