Summer of 1969, A Memoir: Part 2, Goodbye and Hello

Many songs seem emblematic or emotionally reminiscent of the 60s, but for me, none is more so than Goodbye and Hello, by Tim Buckley and Larry Becket, with its marriage of folk lyricism to Kurt Weill, Wiemar theatricality.

O the new children dance — — — I am young
All around the balloons — — — I will live

Did Arnie and I feel like new children sitting on the ground in the middle of a small outdoor stadium in Santa Barbara listening to Blind Faith? Probably not. We did have strong political views. I had canvassed Washington Square in Manhattan for Bobby Kennedy the year before, stood in line at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for hours to view his body, been strong-armed out of a Nixon campaign event at Madison Square Garden. But our reputations were as pot and acid heads, diggers of our own trips, not as serious politicos out to forge a new world. We were riding the wave for all it was worth, all ten toes hung from the lip of the board — we weren’t devoted to making the wave itself, and I’d sensed a slight undercurrent of grumbling when I was named to the Far Rockaway High School mobilization committee against the Vietnam War. Back across the country at Woodstock, history tells us they were feeling like new children at that moment, but Arnie and I didn’t know about that yet.

Originally published August 21, 2019. Read more at my Medium page.

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