By Terri Hemmert

Last night I gave the last lecture of the Fall Semester at my history of rock & soul class at Columbia College Chicago.  The semester covers 1920 through 1969 and I was telling them how dark and weird things were at the end of the 60’s.  Between 1967’s summer of love and the end of the decade, you had the assassinations of Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy and Malcolm X, the Democratic Convention riots in Chicago, inner city riots from coast to coast, violence on campuses, massive anti-war protests and the mess at Altamont.  Dark days indeed.  I didn’t realize how dark until I saw today’s almanac.   President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew and forty state governors were confused by the whole generation gap business and decided to try to get in touch with their hippie side to connect with this confounding generation.  Did they arrange to meet and dialogue with some college students?  No.  They had what sounds like one bizarre sleep over at the White House.  Actually, it was in an auditorium.  They spent hours watching movies of simulated acid trips and listened to some of that weird “anti-establishment rock music.”  Far out.  How weird was that!  Oh to be a fly on the wall.  “Spiro, this is making me dizzy.”   “Dick, I’m having a bad trip.”  Can you dig it, man?

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