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Summer of Love
Looking Back

After transferring to the University of California at Berkeley in 1961, Charles Perry roomed with Owsley Stanley, who produced LSD in large quantities.

Charles Perry
Charles Perry, 1967, at home.

...The Summer of Love led to a greater tolerance of nonconformity. For instance, the issue of men having long hair was violently debated for a long time, and then finally people decided, hey, any length is okay, whatever you want. And so a lot of personal freedom and nonconformity is more tolerated these days.

Later on, the "doing your own thing" just became a mantra of hedonism. But in 1967, the kids came, they caught the excitement, but they were newcomers and they had to establish themselves, they had to show that they were part of it, they had to wear kind of a costume. Lots of them were taking as many drugs as possible to give themselves the feeling that they were part of it. It was no longer a spontaneous kind of thing, it was conformist.

There's certainly a heritage of hippie life. ... that particular kind of aesthetic, a ... particularly un-emphatic hedonism is now an ongoing feature. ... You have people living in a room with, where it's decorated with furs and bits of driftwood and Indian art and things like that, nothing hard-edged, sort of soft and comfortable and something to meditate upon.

That's a continuing thing. And there are still people who live like that. And of course, there are even psychedelic bands these days. One of my nephews was in a psychedelic surf band.

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Summer of Love American Experience

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