This summer marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called Summer of Love. Honest and intelligent people will remember it for what it really was: the Summer of Drugs.
Forty years ago hordes of stoned, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was the calling card of LSD proponent Timothy Leary. Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, hippies instead opted for a cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music that flourished in San Francisco.
The Summer of Drugs climaxed with the Monterey Pop Festival which included some truly virtuoso musical talents such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, both of whom would be dead a couple of years later due to drug abuse. Other musical geniuses such as Jim Morrison and Mama Cass would also be dead due to drugs within a few short years. The bodies of chemical-infested, brain-dead liberal deniers continue to stack up like cordwood.
As a diehard musician, I terribly miss these very talented people who squandered God's gifts in favor of poison and the joke of hipness. I often wonder what musical peaks they could have climbed had they not gagged to death on their own vomit. Their choice of dope over quality of life, musical talent and meaningful relationships with loved ones can only be categorized as despicably selfish.
I literally had to step over stoned, drooling fans, band mates, concert promoters and staff to pursue my musical American Dream throughout the 1960s and 1970s. I flushed more dope and cocaine down backstage toilets than I care to remember. In utter frustration I was even forced to punch my way through violent dopers on occasion. So much for peace and love. The DEA should make me an honorary officer.
I was forced to fire band members and business associates due to mindless, dangerous, illegal drug use. Clean and sober for 59 years, I am still rocking my brains out and approaching my 6,000th concert. Clean and sober is the real party.
Young people make mistakes. I've made my share, but none that involved placing my life or the lives of others at risk because of dope. I saw first-hand too many destroyed lives and wrecked families to ever want to drool and vomit on myself and call that a good time. I put my heart and soul into creating the best music I possibly could and I went hunting instead. My dream continues with ferocity, thank you.
The 1960s, a generation that wanted to hold hands, give peace a chance, smoke dope and change the world, changed it all right: for the worse. America is still suffering the horrible consequences of hippies who thought utopia could be found in joints and intentional disconnect.
A quick study of social statistics before and after the 1960s is quite telling. The rising rates of divorce, high school drop outs, drug use, abortion, sexual diseases and crime, not to mention the exponential expansion of government and taxes, is dramatic. The "if it feels good, do it" lifestyle born of the 1960s has proved to be destructive and deadly.
So now, 40 years later, there are actually people who want to celebrate the anniversary of the Summer of Drugs. Hippies are once again descending on ultra-liberal San Francisco--a city that once wanted to give shopping carts to the homeless--to celebrate and try to remember their dopey days of youth when so many of their musical heroes and friends long ago assumed room temperature by "partying" themselves to death. Nice.
While I salute and commend the political and cultural activism of the 1960s that fueled the civil rights movement, other than that, the decade is barren of any positive cultural or social impact. Honest people will remember 1967 for what is truly was.
There is a saying that if you can remember the 1960s, you were not there. I was there and remember the decade in vivid, ugly detail. I remember its toxic underbelly excess because I was caught in the vortex of the music revolution that was sweeping the country, and because my radar was fine-tuned thanks to a clean and sober lifestyle.
Death due to drugs and the social carnage heaped upon America by hippies is nothing to celebrate. That is a fool's game, but it is quite apparent some burned-out hippies never learn.