The cast of The Songs of Haight Ashbury.
The cast of The Songs of Haight Ashbury.

The Weekend of Love

The mid '60s was a time for love in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco California.

A time when the hippies were in full flower ... as New York's Time magazine described in July 1967.

"Do your own thing, wherever you have to do it and whenever you want.

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"Drop out. Leave society as you have known it. Leave it utterly.

"Blow the mind of every straight person you can reach. Turn them on, if not to drugs, then to beauty, love, honesty, fun."

Haight-Ashbury was an intersection, but it was also the centre of the movement.

The music of the time was psychedelic, colourful and loose.

Like the people who swayed along to it.

Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Jefferson Airplane were right in the thick of the movement.

The Songs of the Haight-Ashbury Show "gives you a perspective of that era via Nimbin," says Lil' Fi.

"They were living the rainbow dream we're still trying to live now in the rainbow region."

This weekend The Songs of the Haight-Ashbury is on in Nimbin and Byron Bay.

Titled The Weekend of Love, Lil' Fi says love for her is "the highest vibration".

"The kindness that comes with this era of music," she says. "It will actually change your vibrations - the big love of people coming together."

The show is about sharing the love, the love of the era and the music that came from it.

Diana Anaid, James T, Jonathan Harvey, Bill Jacobi, Andrea Soler, Connor Cleary and S Sorrensen dig the vibe and take part during The Weekend of Love.

The question is, has the idea of flower power and hippie love carried through the generations?

What is "love" to you and how do you bring your idea of love into your music?

Bill Jacobi: There's this book by Gandhi... Love Is All, Love Is Everything. It seems to me that love is what drives the human spirit, and that of all sentient beings I suppose.

Music has always been about expressing the human spirit to me. The mysteries and frustrations as well as the joys and elations.

Someone once said writing about music is a bit like dancing about architecture. Don't know who they were, but I think they got it right and I think the same can be said about writing about love.

Andrea Soler:   Love to me is not just a word; it's a vibe, an energy.

On stage I feel I become united with the audience, and that connection reminds me that music can change the world, one song at a time.

Music uplifts and connects us, and is a direct way to remind us of love.
Connor Cleary: Love to me is the most positive force in the universe, without love nothing would happen. I love music and all the music I play is just love in disguise.

S Sorrensen: Love for me is the joy of feeling connection.

It can be connection to another person (that special partner with twinkling eye and kissable lips), a group of people (a community of like-minded souls like the anti-CSG folk or the Lismore Quilters Association), a planet (with all who sail upon her) or to the universe (this is the big connection).

When I'm feeling connected, the past shrivels up into irrelevancy and the future is already here. Love is being here, now.

Love is knowing there is nothing else. Love is a song that vibrates through me. Love is freedom.

Musicians will perform the music from the era, with each artist paying tribute to the artists of the love generation. Nimbin Bush Theatre tomorrow (Friday, December 16), 8pm. Tickets $25. Byron Bay Brewery Sunday, December 18 2pm. Tickets $32.


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