In the summer of 1969, at age 14, it was a still recovering soul that did his best to psych up for yet another year of going to school after barely surviving the last three very difficult years at Tappan Junior High. Zager and Evans’ dystopian classic “In the Year 2525”, about a doomed world, was the big summer hit on CKLW AM radio. Perhaps more hopeful were all the songs on the radio from the provocative rock musical Hair about hippies and human liberation, as expressed by the reality and underlying metaphor of “letting your hair down”.
Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair’s too short
The iconic Woodstock music festival, which I knew nothing about at the time, was happening in upstate New York that August, the climactic event in what some would later call the “summer of love”. But the musical Hair at least made me familiar with that counterculture that was emerging with its “flower children” driven by a mantra of “peace, love, joy” facilitated by “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” which allowed you to “tune in, turn on and drop out”.