Sunday, December 29, 2013

"The Hippies" by Hunter S. Thompson

Haight-Ashbury (Photo credit: Zeetz Jones)
by Hunter S Thompson, 

The best year to be a hippie was 1965, but then there was not much to write about, because not much was happening in public and most of what was happening in private was illegal. 

The real year of the hippie was 1966, despite the lack of publicity, which in 1967 gave way to a nationwide avalanche in Look, Life, Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Saturday Evening Post, and even the Aspen Illustrated News, which did a special issue on hippies in August of 1967 and made a record sale of all but 6 copies of a 3,500-copy press run. 

But 1967 was not really a good year to be a hippie. It was a good year for salesmen and exhibitionists who called themselves hippies and gave colorful interviews for the benefit of the mass media, but serious hippies, with nothing to sell, found that they had little to gain and a lot to lose by becoming public figures. 

Many were harassed and arrested for no other reason than their sudden identification with a so-called cult of sex and drugs. The publicity rumble, which seemed like a joke at first, turned into a menacing landslide. 

So quite a few people who might have been called the original hippies in 1965 had dropped out of sight by the time hippies became a national fad in 1967.

Ten years earlier the Beat Generation went the same confusing route. From 1955 to about 1959 there were thousands of young people involved in a thriving bohemian subculture that was only an echo by the time the mass media picked it up in 1960. 

Jack Kerouac was the novelist of the Beat Generation in the same way that Ernest Hemingway was the novelist of the Lost Generation, and Kerouac's classic "beat" novel, On the Road, was published in 1957. 

Yet by the time Kerouac began appearing on television shows to explain the "thrust" of his book, the characters it was based on had already drifted off into limbo, to await their reincarnation as hippies some five years later.

The purest example of this was Neal Cassidy [Cassady], who served as a model for Dean Moriarity in On the Road and also for McMurphy in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Publicity follows reality, but only up to the point where a new kind of reality, created by publicity, begins to emerge. So the hippie in 1967 was put in the strange position of being an anti-culture hero at the same time as he was also becoming a hot commercial property. 

His banner of alienation appeared to be planted in quicksand. The very society he was trying to drop out of began idealizing him. He was famous in a hazy kind of way that was not quite infamy but still colorfully ambivalent and vaguely disturbing.

Despite the mass media publicity, hippies still suffer or perhaps not from a lack of definition. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language was a best seller in 1966, the year of its publication, but it had no definition for "hippie." 

The closest it came was a definition of "hippy": "having big hips; a hippy girl." 

Its definition of "hip" was closer to contemporary usage. "Hip" is a slang word, said Random House, meaning "familiar with the latest ideas, styles, developments, etc.; informed, sophisticated, knowledgeable [?]." That question mark is a sneaky but meaningful piece of editorial comment.

Everyone seems to agree that hippies have some kind of widespread appeal, but nobody can say exactly what they stand for. Not even the hippies seem to know, although some can be very articulate when it comes to details.

"I love the whole world," said a 23-year-old girl in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, the hippies' world capital. 

"I am the divine mother, part of Buddha, part of God, part of everything. I live from meal to meal. I have no money, no possessions. Money is beautiful only when it's flowing; when it piles up, it's a hang-up. We take care of each other. There's always something to buy beans and rice for the group, and someone always sees that I get 'grass' [marijuana] or 'acid' [LSD]. I was in a mental hospital once because I tried to conform and play the game. But now I'm free and happy."

She was then asked whether she used drugs often. "Fairly," she replied. "When I find myself becoming confused I drop out and take a dose of acid. It's a short cut to reality; it throws you right into it. Everyone should take it, even children. Why shouldn't they be enlightened early, instead of waiting till they're old? Human beings need total freedom. That's where God is at. We need to shed hypocrisy, dishonesty, and phoniness and go back to the purity of our childhood values."

The next question was "Do you ever pray?" "Oh yes," she said. "I pray in the morning sun. It nourishes me with its energy so I can spread my love and beauty and nourish others. I never pray for anything; I don't need anything. Whatever turns me on is a sacrament: LSD, sex, my bells, my colors ... that's the holy communion, you dig?" 

That's about the most definitive comment anybody's ever going to get from a practicing hippie. 

Unlike beatniks, many of whom were writing poems and novels with the idea of becoming second-wave Kerouacs or Allen Ginsbergs, the hippie opinion makers have cultivated among their followers a strong distrust of the written word. 

Journalists are mocked, and writers are called "type freaks." Because of this stylized ignorance, few hippies are really articulate. 

They prefer to communicate by dancing, or touching, or extrasensory perception (ESP). They talk, among themselves, about "love waves" and "vibrations" ("vibes") that come from other people. That leaves a lot of room for subjective interpretation, and therein lies the key to the hippies' widespread appeal.

This is not to say that hippies are universally loved. From coast to coast, the forces of law and order have confronted the hippies with extreme distaste. 

Here are some representative comments from a Denver, Colo., police lieutenant. Denver, he said, was becoming a refuge for "long-haired, vagrant, antisocial, psychopathic, dangerous drug users, who refer to themselves as a 'hippie subculture a group which rebels against society and is bound together by the use and abuse of dangerous drugs and narcotics." 

"They range in age", he continued, "from 13 to the early 20's, and they pay for their minimal needs by "mooching, begging, and borrowing from each other, their friends, parents, and complete strangers ... it is not uncommon to find as many as 20 hippies living together in one small apartment, in communal fashion, with their garbage and trash piled halfway to the ceiling in some cases."

One of his co-workers, a Denver detective, explained that hippies are easy prey for arrests, since "it is easy to search and locate their drugs and marijuana because they don't have any furniture to speak of, except for mattresses lying on the floor. They don't believe in any form of productivity," he said, "and in addition to a distaste for work, money, and material wealth, hippies believe in free love, legalized use of marijuana, burning draft cards, mutual love and help, a peaceful planet, and love for love's sake. They object to war and believe that everything and everybody except the police are beautiful."

Many so-called hippies shout "love" as a cynical password and use it as a smokescreen to obscure their own greed, hypocrisy, or mental deformities. 

Many hippies sell drugs, and although the vast majority of such dealers sell only enough to cover their own living expenses, a few net upward of $20,000 a year. 

A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of marijuana, for instance, costs about $35 in Mexico. Once across the border it sells (as a kilo) for anywhere from $150 to $200. Broken down into 34 ounces, it sells for $15 to $25 an ounce, or $510 to $850 a kilo. The price varies from city to city, campus to campus, and coast to coast. 

"Grass" is generally cheaper in California than it is in the East. The profit margin becomes mind-boggling regardless of the geography when a $35 Mexican kilogram is broken down into individual "joints," or marijuana cigarettes, which sell on urban street corners for about a dollar each. 

The risk naturally increases with the profit potential. It's one thing to pay for a trip to Mexico by bringing back three kilos and selling two in a circle of friends: The only risk there is the possibility of being searched and seized at the border. 

But a man who gets arrested for selling hundreds of "joints" to high school students on a St. Louis street corner can expect the worst when his case comes to court.

The British historian Arnold Toynbee, at the age of 78, toured San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district and wrote his impressions for the London Observer. 

"The leaders of the Establishment," he said, "will be making the mistake of their lives if they discount and ignore the revolt of the hippies and many of the hippies' non-hippie contemporaries on the grounds that these are either disgraceful wastrels or traitors, or else just silly kids who are sowing their wild oats."

Toynbee never really endorsed the hippies; he explained his affinity in the longer focus of history. If the human race is to survive, he said, the ethical, moral, and social habits of the world must change: the emphasis must switch from nationalism to mankind. 

And Toynbee saw in the hippies a hopeful resurgence of the basic humanitarian values that were beginning to seem to him and other long-range thinkers like a tragically lost cause in the war-poisoned atmosphere of the 1960's. 

He was not quite sure what the hippies really stood for, but since they were against the same things he was against (war, violence, and dehumanized profiteering), he was naturally on their side, and vice versa.

There is a definite continuity between the beatniks of the 1950's and the hippies of the 1960's. Many hippies deny this, but as an active participant in both scenes, I'm sure it's true. 

I was living in Greenwich Village in New York City when the beatniks came to fame during 1957 and 1958. I moved to San Francisco in 1959 and then to the Big Sur coast for 1960 and 1961. Then after two years in South America and one in Colorado, I was back in San Francisco, living in the Haight-Ashbury district, during 1964, 1965, and 1966. 

None of these moves was intentional in terms of time or place; they just seemed to happen. When I moved into the Haight-Ashbury, for instance, I'd never even heard that name. But I'd just been evicted from another place on three days' notice, and the first cheap apartment I found was on Parnassus Street, a few blocks above Haight.

At that time the bars on what is now called "the street" were predominantly Negro. Nobody had ever heard the word "hippie," and all the live music was Charlie Parker-type jazz. 

Several miles away, down by the bay in the relatively posh and expensive Marina district, a new and completely unpublicized nightclub called the Matrix was featuring an equally unpublicized band called the Jefferson Airplane. 

At about the same time, hippie author Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1962, and Sometimes a Great Notion, 1964) was conducting experiments in light, sound, and drugs at his home at La Honda, in the wooded hills about 50 miles south of San Francisco. 

As the result of a network of circumstance, casual friendships, and connections in the drug underworld, Kesey's band of Merry Pranksters was soon playing host to the Jefferson Airplane and then to the Grateful Dead, another wildly electric band that would later become known on both coasts along with the Airplane as the original heroes of the San Francisco acid-rock sound. 

During 1965, Kesey's group staged several much-publicized Acid Tests, which featured music by the Grateful Dead and free Kool-Aid spiked with LSD. 

The same people showed up at the Matrix, the Acid Tests, and Kesey's home in La Honda. They wore strange, colorful clothes and lived in a world of wild lights and loud music. These were the original hippies.

It was also in 1965 that I began writing a book on the Hell's Angels, a notorious gang of motorcycle outlaws who had plagued California for years, and the same kind of weird coincidence that jelled the whole hippie phenomenon also made the Hell's Angels part of the scene. 

I was having a beer with Kesey one afternoon in a San Francisco tavern when I mentioned that I was on my way out to the headquarters of the Frisco Angels to drop off a Brazilian drum record that one of them wanted to borrow.

Kesey said he might as well go along, and when he met the Angels he invited them down to a weekend party in La Honda. The Angels went and thereby met a lot of people who were living in the Haight-Ashbury for the same reason I was (cheap rent for good apartments). 

People who lived two or three blocks from each other would never realize it until they met at some pre-hippie party. But suddenly everybody was living in the Haight-Ashbury, and this accidental unity took on a style of its own. 

All that it lacked was a label, and the San Francisco Chronicle quickly came up with one. These people were "hippies," said the Chronicle, and, lo, the phenomenon was launched. 

The Airplane and the Grateful Dead began advertising their sparsely attended dances with psychedelic posters, which were given away at first and then sold for $1 each, until finally the poster advertisements became so popular that some of the originals were selling in the best San Francisco art galleries for more than $2,000. 

By this time both the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead had gold-plated record contracts, and one of the Airplane's best numbers, "White Rabbit," was among the best-selling singles in the nation.

By that time, too, the Haight-Ashbury had become such a noisy mecca for freaks, drug peddlers, and curiosity seekers that it was no longer a good place to live. Haight Street was so crowded that municipal buses had to be rerouted because of the traffic jams.

At the same time, the "Hashbury" was becoming a magnet for a whole generation of young dropouts, all those who had canceled their reservations on the great assembly line: the high-rolling, soul-bending competition for status and security in the ever-fattening yet ever-narrowing American economy of the late 1960's. 

As the rewards of status grew richer, the competition grew stiffer. A failing grade in math on a high school report card carried far more serious implications than simply a reduced allowance: it could alter a boy's chances of getting into college and, on the next level, of getting the "right job." 

As the economy demanded higher and higher skills, it produced more and more technological dropouts. The main difference between hippies and other dropouts was that most hippies were white and voluntarily poor. 

Their backgrounds were largely middle class; many had gone to college for a while before opting out for the "natural life": an easy, unpressured existence on the fringe of the money economy. 

Their parents, they said, were walking proof of the fallacy of the American notion that says "work and suffer now; live and relax later." The hippies reversed that ethic. "Enjoy life now," they said, "and worry about the future tomorrow." 

Most take the question of survival for granted, but in 1967, as their enclaves in New York and San Francisco filled up with penniless pilgrims, it became obvious that there was simply not enough food and lodging.

A partial solution emerged in the form of a group called the Diggers, sometimes referred to as the "worker-priests" of the hippie movement. The Diggers are young and aggressively pragmatic; they set up free lodging centers, free soup kitchens, and free clothing distribution centers. 

They comb hippie neighborhoods, soliciting donations of everything from money to stale bread and camping equipment. In the Hashbury, Diggers' signs are posted in local stores, asking for donations of hammers, saws, shovels, shoes, and anything else that vagrant hippies might use to make themselves at least partially self-supporting. 

The Hashbury Diggers were able, for a while, to serve free meals, however meager, each afternoon in Golden Gate Park, but the demand soon swamped the supply. More and more hungry hippies showed up to eat, and the Diggers were forced to roam far afield to get food.

The concept of mass sharing goes along with the American Indian tribal motif that is basic to the whole hippie movement. The cult of tribalism is regarded by many as the key to survival. 

Poet Gary Snyder, one of the hippie gurus, or spiritual guides, sees a "back to the land" movement as the answer to the food and lodging problem. He urges hippies to move out of the cities, form tribes, purchase land, and live communally in remote areas. 

By early 1967 there were already a half dozen functioning hippie settlements in California, Nevada, Colorado, and upstate New York. They were primitive shack-towns, with communal kitchens, half-alive fruit and vegetable gardens, and spectacularly uncertain futures. 

Back in the cities the vast majority of hippies were still living from day to day. On Haight Street those without gainful employment could easily pick up a few dollars a day by panhandling. 

The influx of nervous voyeurs and curiosity seekers was a handy money-tree for the legion of psychedelic beggars. Regular visitors to the Hashbury found it convenient to keep a supply of quarters in their pockets so that they wouldn't have to haggle about change. 

The panhandlers were usually barefoot, always young, and never apologetic. They would share what they collected anyway, so it seemed entirely reasonable that strangers should share with them. 

Unlike the beatniks, few hippies are given to strong drink. Booze is superfluous in the drug culture, and food is regarded as a necessity to be acquired at the least possible expense. 

A "family" of hippies will work for hours over an exotic stew or curry, but the idea of paying three dollars for a meal in a restaurant is out of the question.

Some hippies work, others live on money from home, and many get by with part-time jobs, loans from old friends, or occasional transactions on the drug market. 

In San Francisco the post office is a major source of hippie income. Jobs like sorting mail don't require much thought or effort. 

The sole support of one "clan" (or "family," or "tribe") was a middle-aged hippie known as Admiral Love, of the Psychedelic Rangers, who had a regular job delivering special delivery letters at night. 

There was also a hippie-run employment agency on Haight Street; anyone needing temporary labor or some kind of specialized work could call up and order whatever suitable talents were available at the moment. 

Significantly, the hippies have attracted more serious criticism from their former compatriots of the New Left than they have from what would seem to be their natural antagonists on the political right. 

Conservative William Buckley's National Review, for instance, says, "The hippies are trying to forget about original sin and it may go hard with them hereafter." 

The National Review editors completely miss the point that serious hippies have already dismissed the concept of original sin and that the idea of a hereafter strikes them as a foolish, anachronistic joke. 

The concept of some vengeful God sitting in judgment on sinners is foreign to the whole hippie ethic. Its God is a gentle abstract deity not concerned with sin or forgiveness but manifesting himself in the purest instincts of "his children."

The New Left brand of criticism has nothing to do with theology. Until 1964, in fact, the hippies were so much a part of the New Left that nobody knew the difference. 

"New Left," like "hippie" and "beatnik," was a term coined by journalists and headline writers, who need quick definitions of any subject they deal with. The term came out of the student rebellion at the University of California's Berkeley campus in 1964 and 1965. 

What began as a Free Speech Movement in Berkeley soon spread to other campuses in the East and Midwest and was seen in the national press as an outburst of student activism in politics, a healthy confrontation with the status quo.

On the strength of the free speech publicity, Berkeley became the axis of the New Left. Its leaders were radical, but they were also deeply committed to the society they wanted to change. 

A prestigious University of California faculty committee said the activists were the vanguard of a "moral revolution among the young," and many professors approved. 

Those who were worried about the radicalism of the young rebels at least agreed with the direction they were taking: civil rights, economic justice, and a new morality in politics. The anger and optimism of the New Left seemed without limits. 

The time had come, they said, to throw off the yoke of a politico-economic establishment that was obviously incapable of dealing with new realities.

The year of the New Left publicity was 1965. About the same time there was mention of something called the pot (marijuana) left. 

Its members were generally younger than the serious political types, and the press dismissed them as a frivolous gang of "druggies" and sex "kooks" who were only along for the ride.

Yet as early as the spring of 1966, political rallies in Berkeley were beginning to have overtones of music, madness, and absurdity. 

Dr. Timothy Leary the ex-Harvard professor whose early experiments with LSD made him, by 1966, a sort of high priest, martyr, and public relations man for the drug was replacing Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement, as the number-one underground hero. 

Students who were once angry activists began to lie back in their pads and smile at the world through a fog of marijuana smoke or to dress like clowns and Indians and stay "zonked" on LSD for days at a time. The hippies were more interested in dropping out of society than they were in changing it. 

The break came in late 1966, when Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California by almost a million-vote plurality. 

In that same November the GOP gained 50 seats in Congress and served a clear warning on the Johnson administration that despite all the headlines about the New Left, most of the electorate was a lot more conservative than the White House antennae had indicated. 

The lesson was not lost on the hippies, many of whom considered themselves at least part-time political activists. 

One of the most obvious casualties of the 1966 elections was the New Left's illusion of its own leverage. The radical-hippie alliance had been counting on the voters to repudiate the "right-wing, warmonger" elements in Congress, but instead it was the "liberal" Democrats who got stomped. 

The hippies saw the election returns as brutal confirmation of the futility of fighting the Establishment on its own terms. 

There had to be a whole new scene, they said, and the only way to do it was to make the big move either figuratively or literally from Berkeley to the Haight-Ashbury, from pragmatism to mysticism, from politics to dope, from the involvement of protest to the peaceful disengagement of love, nature, and spontaneity. 

The mushrooming popularity of the hippie scene was a matter of desperate concern to the young political activists. 

They saw a whole generation of rebels drifting off to a drugged limbo, ready to accept almost anything as long as it came with enough "soma" (as Aldous Huxley named the psychic escape drug of the future in his science-fiction novel Brave New World, 1932). 

New Left writers and critics at first commended the hippies for their frankness and originality. But it soon became obvious that few hippies cared at all for the difference between political left and right, much less between the New Left and the Old Left. 

"Flower Power" (their term for the power of love), they said, was nonpolitical. And the New Left quickly responded with charges that hippies were "intellectually flabby," that they lacked "energy" and "stability," that they were actually "nihilists" whose concept of love was "so generalized and impersonal as to be meaningless."

And it was all true. Most hippies are too drug-oriented to feel any sense of urgency beyond the moment. Their slogan is "Now," and that means instantly. 

Unlike political activists of any stripe, hippies have no coherent vision of the future which might or might not exist. The hippies are afflicted by an enervating sort of fatalism that is, in fact, deplorable. 

And the New Left critics are heroic, in their fashion, for railing at it. 

But the awful possibility exists that the hippies may be right, that the future itself is deplorable and so why not live for Now? Why not reject the whole fabric of American society, with all its obligations, and make a separate peace? 

The hippies believe they are asking this question for a whole generation and echoing the doubts of an older generation.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

VIDEO: Ken Kesey Talks About the Meaning of the Acid Tests in a Classic Interview

by , Open Culture:

Josh Jones is a writer and musician. He recently completed a dissertation on landscape, literature, and labor.

For me, there have always been at least three Ken Keseys.

First, there was the anti-authoritarian author of the madcap 1962 classic One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Inspired by Kesey’s own work as an orderly at a Menlo Park mental hospital, the author’s voice disappears into that of the narrator, Chief Bromden, and the dialogue of the most memorable ensemble of troubled personalities in twentieth century literature.

Then there’s the Kesey of the 1964 Sometimes a Great Notion, a Pacific Northwest epic and the work of a serious novelist pulling American archetypes from rough-hewn Oregon logging country.

Finally, there’s Kesey the Merry Prankster, the mad scientist who almost single-handedly invented sixties drug culture with his ‘64 psychedelic bus tour and acid test parties. It’s a little hard to put them all together sometimes. Ken Kesey contained multitudes.

The acid test parties began after Kesey’s experience with mind-altering drugs as a volunteer test subject for Army experiments in 1960 (later revealed to be part of the CIA’s mind control experiment, Project MKUltra).

Kesey stole LSD and invited friends to try it with him. In 1965, after Hunter S. Thompson introduced Kesey to the Hell’s Angels, he expanded his test parties to real happenings at larger venues, beginning at his home in La Honda, California.

Always present was the music of The Grateful Dead, who debuted under that name at one of Kesey’s parties after losing their original name, The Warlocks.

The cast of characters also included Jack Kerouac’s traveling buddy Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and Dr. Timothy Leary. Out of what Hunter Thompson called “the world capital of madness,” the psychedelic counter-culture of Haight-Ashbury was born.

In the interview above, Kesey talks about the acid tests as much more than an excuse to trip for hours and hear The Dead play for a buck. No, he says, “there were people who passed and people who didn’t pass” the test.

What it all meant perhaps only Kesey knew for sure (he is quoted as saying that he and his band of compatriots, the Merry Pranksters, were trying to “stop the coming end of the world”).

In any case, it’s a strange story - stranger than any of Ken Kesey’s works of fiction: covert government mind control program turns on one of the generation’s most subversive novelists, who then masterminds the hippy movement.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

VIDEO: Rock and Roll: An American Story - Music Resources for Teachers!

by RetroKimmer:

Rock and Roll: An American Story (RRAS) is an online educational resource presented by Steven Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation and offered free-of-charge to educators and individuals everywhere.

Interdisciplinary in nature, RRAS is geared toward middle and high school students but includes resources for learning at all levels. Launched in Fall 2013, the website offers new lesson plans and teaching resources on a monthly basis.

Educators are encouraged to create user accounts, which will allow them to receive notifications when new content is made available. This is where the story will unfold!

 Steven Van Zandt


Steven Van Zandt founded the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation in response to a drop-out crisis he saw crippling American education. Believing that student engagement is a significant facet of the crisis, he conceived a curriculum based around popular music, a subject that connects with student interest and passion.

Importantly, what he then created with his team is a curriculum that is not restricted to music departments alone, a truly interdisciplinary curriculum.

Now endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies and the National Association for Music Education, with partners including Scholastic Inc., Reelin' in the Years, ABC News, Rock's Backpages, New York University's Steinhardt School, and the Grammy Museum, Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation is launching Rock and Roll: An American Story.

Dr. Warren Zanes

Jackson Browne
Martin Scorsese
Bruce Springsteen
Steven Van Zandt, Chair

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Alan Lomax Sound Archive Now Online: Features 17,000 Recordings

by , Open Culture:

A huge treasure trove of songs and interviews recorded by the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax from the 1940s into the 1990s have been digitized and made available online for free listening.

The Association for Cultural Equity, a nonprofit organization founded by Lomax in the 1980s, has posted some 17,000 recordings.

“For the first time,” Cultural Equity Executive Director Don Fleming told NPR’s Joel Rose this week, “everything that we’ve digitized of Alan’s field recording trips are online, on our Web site. It’s every take, all the way through. False takes, interviews, music.”

It’s an amazing resource. For a quick taste, here are a few examples from one of the best-known areas of Lomax’s research, his recordings of traditional African American culture:
But that’s just scratching the surface of what’s inside the enormous archive. Lomax’s work extended far beyond the Deep South, into other areas and cultures of America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

“He believed that all cultures should be looked at on an even playing field,” his daughter Anna Lomax Wood told NPR. “Not that they’re all alike. But they should be given the same dignity, or they had the same dignity and worth as any other.”

You can listen to Rose’s piece about the archive on the NPR website, as well as a 1990 interview with Lomax by Terry Gross of Fresh Air, which includes sample recordings from Woody Guthrie, Jelly Roll Morton, Lead Belly and Mississippi Fred McDowell.

To dive into the Lomax audio archive, you can search the vast collection by artist, date, genre, country and other categories, or go to the Sound Collections Guide for easy browsing.

h/t Judy Brophy and Matthew Barnes

Sunday, December 1, 2013

VIDEOS: Watch the Rolling Stones Write “Sympathy for the Devil”: A Highlight in Godard’s ’68 Film One Plus One

by , Open Culture:

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Naissance de "Sympathy for the devil " (one+one... by cinocheproduction

After the Rolling Stones’ partly misguided, partly inspired attempt at psychedelia, Their Satanic Majesties Request, the band found its footing again in the familiar territory of the Delta Blues.

But with the 1968 recording of Beggar’s Banquet, they also retained some of the previous album’s experimentation, taken in a more sinister direction on the infamous “Sympathy for the Devil.”

In the studio, with the band during those recording sessions, was none other than radical French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, who brought his own experimental sensibilities to a project he would call One Plus One, a document of the Stones’ late sixties incarnation - including an increasingly reclusive Brian Jones.

Godard punctuates the fascinating studio scenes of the Stones with what Andrew Hussey of The Guardian calls “a series of set pieces - an incoherent stew of Situationism and other Sixties stuff”:

Black Panthers in a disused car park execute white virgins; a bookseller reads aloud from Mein Kampf to Maoist hippies; in the final scene the bloodied corpse of a female urban guerrilla is raised to the Stones’ soundtrack as Godard himself darts about like a demented Jacques Tati waving Red and Black flags. You just don’t find this sort of thing at the local multiplex anymore.

For all of its heavy use of leftist Sixties iconography, its anarchic attempt to fuse “art, power and revolution,” and its fascinating portraiture of rock and roll genius at work, the film crash landed in France, earning the contempt of arch Situationist theorist Guy Debord, who called it “the work of cretins.”

Critics and audiences apparently expected more from Godard in the wake of the abortive May ‘68 student uprising in Paris, and the general neglect of the film meant that Godard missed his chance to, as he put it, “subvert, ruin and destroy all civilised values.”

The film’s producer, Iain Quarrier, also found it disappointing. Without the director’s permission, Quarrier decided to retitle One Plus One with the more commercially-minded Sympathy for the Devil and tack a completed version of that song to the last reel, a move that provoked Godard to punch Quarrier in the face.

But not everyone found Godard’s effort off-putting. In a 1970 review, the New York Times’ Roger Greenspun called it “heavily didactic, even instructional ... the prospective text of some ultimate, infinitely complex collectivism.” Greenspun also decried Quarrier’s unauthorized interventions.

In his retrospective take, Andrew Hussey admits that Godard’s political posturing is “bollocks,” but then concludes that One Plus One is “great stuff: a snapshot of a far-off, lost world where rock music is still a redemptive and revolutionary force.”

And it’s both - ridiculous and sublime, a powerful crystallization of a moment in time when all the Western world seemed poised to crack open and release something strange and new.

Watch Godard’s original film, One Plus One here (with Spanish subtitles); the trailer for the recast Quarrier version directly above; and the scenes where Godard captured the Stones’ giving birth to “Sympathy for the Devil” at the top.

It may be perfect viewing on “Black Friday,” that most absurd celebration of mindless consumerism.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Beginner's Guide to the Music of Frank Zappa: The Non-Definitive Version

Cover of "Apostrophe"
Cover of Apostrophe
by Ian T Robertson

So, whenever someone finds out that you play guitar, sing, record and produce music, etc etc, there is a question that follows shortly after that makes many artists retch with awkwardness.

"So, what kind of music is it?"

I gotta admit I am no different, partly because I sincerely struggle to define what I sound like and partly because that inner monologue of artistic individuality starts screaming at me.


But. I learnt that like it or not, you need an answer. And for the longest time, I answered that question like this - "I'm a bit like Frank Zappa, but without the chops."

Of course that often triggered even more confused looks. What I was trying to say was that the sense of humour and strangeness that infects Zappa's music also infected mine, but that the ridiculous level of musicianship it took to play most of his material was not reflected in my music.

I ended up coming up with the term "Strange Rock" as the descriptor for my music. That seemed to work more readily with most.

The mention of the name of Zappa in the context of a musical discussion with a normal human being elicits some recognition, but normally without any musical exposure.

Instead, you get "Ah yeah, he ate his own faeces on stage didn't he?" or "Didn't he name his daughter Moon Unit?" or "Didn't he run for President once?"

I'll let you all check Wikipedia for which of the above statements is true (and chuckle at my suggestion that Wikipedia is a source of truth).

Very occasionally, you come across someone who is truly interested in exploring the world of Zappa and his immense, eclectic musical output. So they ask the obvious question "What should I listen too first?" Ouch.

At last count including posthumous releases, there are 95 albums released either as Frank Zappa or Mothers Of Invention albums. Granted, there is some double up going on here with some live albums, edited live albums and reworked studio cuts.

But that is still a lot of work to sift through and make recommendations about. Add to that the stylistic and thematic differences in his work and you are definitely on the horns of a dilemma making recommendations.

So, let me see if I can do my best to help out here. Here is my official 'start here' list of ten Frank Zappa releases, aimed at getting you the best overview of his material.

1. Absolutely Free (1967)

To many, to suggest not starting with the landmark first album Freak Out is sacrilegious. But for mine, of the early Mothers Of Invention albums, Absolutely Free stands out as not only accessible but extraordinarily different. Plus - it has "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," a personal favourite.

When listening to this album, just keep remembering this is 1967 - prominent releases that year include Are You Experienced, Disraeli Gears and Fresh Cream, The Who Sell Out and The Doors.

I think it is fair to say that this album ups the ante on strange when compared to the other releases, classic as they are!

2. Were Only In It For The Money (1968)

Combine truly hummable little ditties, musique concrete, various vocal conversational elements edited to give the impression of a storyboard (albeit of a very strange story) and lots of vari-speed weirdness with a clever Beatles rip off on the cover art and you get this album. A true step forward from what came before, showing the boundaries were definitely going to be stretched.

3. Hot Rats (1969)

Frank gets his rock on. Showcasing riffs, guitar improvisation and melodies, you could say that this is a more traditional rock album from Zappa as his first after the 'original split' of the Mothers.

But the rhythmic interplay and use of melody and harmony, though they appear effortless at times, are anything but. This is possibly the first time Frank really displays that he is a serious guitarist. Serious. Guitarist.

4. The Grand Wazoo (1972)

I adore this album. An often overlooked work, this beautiful sounding release showcases Zappa's arrangement ability with a "big band" at his disposal. Gorgeously layered, brilliant melodies, inventive harmony and a rich timbre, this album is a delight and sticks in your head long after it is finished.

5. Apostrophe (1974)

Together with the album it is often spoken with in the same breath (Overnite Sensation, 1973) these albums were immensely important in bringing Zappa into the mainstream music consciousness, primarily due to 4 tracks detailing the adventures of a certain young eskimo named Nanook and a piece of advice regarding the danger of yellow snow. Whether you like the funny story or not, the musicianship on something like "St Alphonzo's Pancake Breakfast" is still gob smacking.

6. Lather (1996)

Whether you believe all you read or not, this 1996 release is apparently how Frank initially intended the work to appear. Instead, due to various record contract wrangles, they appeared at the time as various albums such as Sheik Yerbouti, Sleep Dirt, Orchestral Favourites and Studio Tan.

The collection as it appears in Lather is a better representation for mine. It is also the start of a period in Zappa's output that is controversial for some as they believe he gets lazy on the lyrical and thematic elements and relies on simple sex jokes. You be the judge.

7. Joe's Garage (1979)

I don't think this is cheating. I include all Acts of Joe's Garage here as a single piece. This collection suffers again from a lot of fan criticism that the music is getting simpler and the sex jokes and smut is getting more prominent. The right of reply - listen to how extraordinarily gorgeous "Watermelon In Easter Hay" and "Outside Now" are.

8. Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers of Prevention (1985)

The 80's are a difficult period to distil the important albums out of. For me, The Mothers Of Prevention however fits the bill.

Classic early examples of Zappa at work with the Synclavier coupled with great montages of the senate hearings on music censorship that he was involved with make compelling listening if not instantly engaging.

There are other albums that sold more and had classic musicianship (You Are What You Is, Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch and Man From Utopia come to mind) but this album is important.

9. Broadway The Hardway (1988)

The 1988 band, notorious for self-destructing in the middle of the tour, documented in all its glory on this release. A full, virtuosic big band tonality with amazing vocals packed with a very full element of humour.

Big, gorgeous melodies and harmonies to the fore, backed by a band that could turn on a dime. This is the tour that our mate Mike Keneally cut his teeth on, playing guitar/keyboards and impersonating Bob Dylan probably all at the same time. As you do.

10. The Yellow Shark (1993)

Gobsmackingly beautiful. Rich. Textured. Funny. This album is worth the price of admission alone to the Zappa world.

A glorious gift of orchestral wonder after what can only be described as some difficult earlier orchestral albums, The Yellow Shark documents what happens when a truly brilliant bunch of dedicated musicians immerse themselves in the world of a composer.

The footage of Zappa working with the Orchestra Ensemble through the rehearsal periods certainly indicate he was enjoying the process and the outcomes. You will too.

At the end of the day, your first Zappa album will make a mark on you of some kind. And there are definitely arguments for approaching this from a whole different mindset - like picking up any of the excellent You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore releases for a real live overview.

Pieced together with extraordinary attention to detail of course with parts seldom coming from the same performance.

What was my first Zappa album? Man From Utopia. And yes, it hurt to leave it out ("Dangerous Kitchen!" "Jazz Discharge Party Hats!" "Moggio!").

Did I miss out one of your favourites? Let me know here -

Odysseus' Dog are fine purveyors of Strange Rock. Ian T Robertson is the driving force behind their unique brand of Strange Rock, and is forever trying to live up to the strange mantle of a master like Frank Zappa. Hear more at

Free music, updates on the Dog's blog activity and more are readily found!

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

VIDEO: Sun Gazing

Remembering Jimi Hendrix’s 71th Birthday!

by Cherokee Billie:

Remembering Jimi Hendrix’s 71th Birthday! Click picture to read article.

November 27, 2013 marks Jimi Hendrix’s 71th birthday.

This man single-handedly changed music Forever.

It’s beyond me to even comprehend Jimi Hendrix at 71 years of age.

Out of all the famous performers that I have seen live only one stands out above them all and it is Jimi Hendrix.

I feel grateful that I lived In Los Angeles in the 60’s and was able to see this amazing man so many times in person. Perhaps no other rock-and-roll trailblazer has been as original or as influential in such a short span of time as Jimi Hendrix.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most daring and inventive virtuosos in rock history, Hendrix pioneered the electric guitar (he played a right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside-down and left-handed) as an electronic sound source capable of feedback, distortion, and a host of other effects that could be crafted into an articulate and fluid emotional vocabulary. Jimi literally made his guitar talk.

For a man who could not read music and played the guitar with his left hand he showed what talent and determination can do. They did not make guitars for left handed guitar players at that time and he just strung the guitar strings backwards so he could perform.

Although he was on the scene as a solo artist for less than five years, Jimi Hendrix is credited for having a profound effect on everyone from Miles Davis to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Eric Clapton has stated that after seeing Jimi Hendrix the first time he knew that he, Eric, didn’t hold a candle to the talent of Jimi. In the few short years that he obtained superstardom he has never been forgotten.

Jimi came from a background of a black American of African, European, Cherokee Indian and Mexican descent. An unsettled home environment made Jimi spend much of his early years staying with his grandmother, a full-blooded Cherokee, in Canada.

Jimi took care of his little brother with very little help from his father as his mother had passed away when he was only ten years old. At the age of seventeen he left and joined the army, where he served as a parachute jumper until he broke his ankle and was honorably discharged.

Aside from playing the guitar behind his head or with his teeth, Hendrix was renowned for setting his instrument on fire during his performances. The first time he set his guitar ablaze was on March 31, 1967, during a show at Finsbury Park in London.

That year also marked the release of his first single, “Hey Joe,” which went to #6 and lasted ten weeks on the U.K. charts.

It was followed in quick succession by “Purple Haze” (#3), “The Wind Cries Mary” and the trio’s ferocious debut album, “Are You Experienced?” which featured those tracks and the Hendrix staples “Foxy Lady” and “Manic Depression.”

Hendrix’s popularity in the United States was a bit slower in igniting, but “Are You Experienced?” finally broke through in a major way after a defining moment at the famed Monterey Pop Festival, in June of 1967, when the notoriously outlandish frontman created a sensation by coaxing flames from his Stratocaster during the band’s performance as a sacrifice for the audience.

Throughout the next year, Hendrix’s eclectic psychedelia reached a zenith with two albums, “Axis: Bold as Love” and “Electric Ladyland” - the latter ranks as one of the greatest albums of the rock era.

He was recognized as the greatest guitarist when he was alive and one can only glimpse what might have been his future had he lived.

There’s no question that he would have advanced musically beyond what he had done previously. So much of the music performed today would not exist were it not for the groundwork that Jimi Hendrix laid for those that followed after him.

He perfected the use of the wha-wha pedal that alters the tone of guitars and to boost certain frequencies. Jimi’s wah-wah style utilized a percussive “wacka-wacka” effect by muting strings and moving the pedal at the same time. The first time this was ever done was on the song “Little Miss Lover.”

His connection to the audience was so powerful and you felt like every note he played was just for you. I always think of how he came out smiling and how he always exited the same way, smiling.

There were no fancy sound systems; yet, his music was so powerful he didn’t need what is used today to convey his music.

Orchestras have performed some of his songs and I often think how blown away Jimi would have been to have heard his songs done by famous orchestras. Perhaps he would have formed an orchestra himself. He certainly had the talent and the gift to do anything that he put his mind to.

Jimi never owned much of anything during his life as he traveled almost 50 weeks out of the year and what little free time he had he spent in the studio recording. He never was able to settle down into one place.

He called himself a “Highway Child” and that was certainly a good description of what his life was. He did not leave a will and it took many years for his father to gain rights to his estate and it eventually passed to his brother Leon.

Located in Seattle Washington there is a beautiful exhibit called the Experience Music Project with more than 8,000 Jimi Hendrix artifacts in its collection.

Some may say that Jimi Hendrix burnt out, but to burn out you have to first be on fire, and my friends this man was on Fire!

For a gentle man who only lived 27 years he changed the face of music and performing for ever. I know that where ever you are Jimi you are still making beautiful music and smiling. And you certainly did live your life the way you wanted to!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rocks Stars Who Died Before They Got Old: What They Would Look Like Today

by , Open Culture:

Ayun Halliday is the author of seven books, most recently Peanut. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Live fast.
Die young.
Spare yourself the grim realities of the state fair reunion tour circuit.

aged rock stars

On the other hand, it’s deathly hard to control one’s image from beyond the grave. Especially when you’ve got an award-winning PR Agency and a photo manipulation company teaming up to imagine how you might look had you survived!

The twelve unlucky recipients of these posthumous makeovers remain household names (see the gallery here), even though it’s nearly twenty years since the last of their number drew breath.

Like Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain was but 27 when he passed, though at the time of his birth, the other three were all old enough to be his mommy or daddy. Fitting, then, that he appears to be the baby of the golden group.

Music writer Elijah Wald and popular music scholar Reebee Garofalo offer insights below each portrait in the gallery about where the subjects might now find themselves in their careers.

It’s all conjecture, but their experience ensures that their opinions can be taken as educated guesses, at least.

Less convincing are the sartorial choices on display. Dennis Wilson in a Hawaiian shirt, okay, but were he alive, might not Keith Moon follow suit with former-bandmates Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, both of whom have adopted the sleek, monochromatic wardrobe favored by aging rock gods?

And who here thinks the 78-year-old Elvis would traipse around in the sort of short-sleeved poly-blend shirt my late grandfather wore to his weekly men’s prayer breakfast?

For pity’s sake, age does not automatically imply drabness!

Who’s that I see over there? Could it be Yoko Ono, looking great at 80, in a top hat and tap pants? Even if she were looking less-than-fit, it would still be a bold choice! I doubt she wears that get-up to the grocery store, but the progression of time has not robbed her of the ability to make a deliberate visual impression.

What is refreshing - though not necessarily believable - is how none of the resurrected icons in these portraits seem to have gone in for plastic surgery.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

VIDEOS: Andy Warhol Shoots “Screen Tests” of Nico, Bob Dylan & Salvador Dalí

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol (Photo credit: vpickering)

by , Open Culture:

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. 

He’s at work on a book about Los AngelesA Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.

Just the other day, I had a chat with a well-known poet who laid out for me his theory that Andy Warhol invented our conception of modern America.

When we think about this country, the poet explained, we think about this country broadly in the way that Warhol (and thus his disciples) envisioned it.

We here at Open Culture have covered several of the forms in which the artist promulgated his distinctive brand of Americana, and today, for the 85th anniversary of his birth, we’ve rounded up a few of his famous “screen tests,” the short films he made between 1963 and 1968 that offer portraits of hundreds of figures, famous and otherwise, who happened to pass through his studio/ social club/ subcultural hot zone, The Factory.

Just above, you can watch Warhol’s screen test with Nico, the German singer who would become an integral part of the Factory-formed band the Velvet Underground.

Little-heard at the time but ultimately highly influential, the Velvet Underground’s sound shaped much American popular music - and given popular music’s centrality back then, much of American culture to come.

You may not necessarily buy that argument, but surely you can’t argue against the influence of a certain singer-songwriter by the name of Bob Dylan, Warhol’s screen test with whom appears just above.

Coming from a Polish immigrant family, and seemingly dedicated to the cultivation of his own outsider status his entire life, Warhol understood the importance of foreigners to the vitality of American culture.

Naturally, he didn’t miss his chance to shoot a screen test with Salvador Dalí, below, when the Spanish surrealist came to the Factory.

See also our previous post on Warhol’s screen tests with Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper, Edie Sedgwick, and others.

When you’ve watched them all, consider continuing your celebration of life in Andy Warhol’s 85th birthday with the EarthCam and The Warhol Museum’s collaboration Figment.

It offers live camera feeds of not only his grave but the church where he was baptized. Comparisons to the viewing experience of Empire are encouraged.

The film Andy Warhol: A Mirror of the Sixties has been added to our list of 550 Free Movies Online.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

VIDEO: Discovered: Conversation with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Timothy Leary at Montreal Bed-In (1969)

by , Open Culture:

On May 26, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko One began their second “Bed-In,” a form of anti-Vietnam War protest that combined the media impact of a press conference with the comfort of hotel sheets.

Their first Bed-In, which happened in various rooms of the Amsterdam Hilton in late March of that year, saw them grant interview after interview about peace all day long without moving from the bed in which they had ensconced themselves.

They’d scheduled its follow up in New York City, but Lennon found he couldn’t enter the United States due to a previous conviction for marijuana possession.

They relocated it to the Bahamas, where the heat soon prompted them to move again to the entirely cooler Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

There they recorded the song “Give Peace a Chance,” aided by such visitors as Tommy Smothers, Dick Gregory, Murray the K, and psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary.

But Leary didn’t just come to provide a backing vocal. With his wife Rosemary, he recorded a conversation with Lennon and Ono about … well, about a variety of subjects, but they’d all fall under the broad heading of Leary’s one great pursuit, “consciousness.”

Only recently did Leary archivist Michael Horowitz discover the transcript of this session in “an unmarked envelope in a box of miscellaneous papers,” and this week the Timothy Leary Archives made it available to the public for the first time ever.

The conversation begins with the finer points of teepee life, moves on to the effects of place on one’s state of mind, touches on both couples’ having found themselves on the wrong side of drug law enforcement, and ends with Lennon and Leary comparing notes on how they use the media to convey their message:
TIMOTHY: John, about the use of the mass media ... the kids must be taught how to use the media. People used to say to me - I would give a rap and someone would get up and say, “Well, what’s this about a religion? Did the Buddha use drugs? Did the Buddha go on television? I’d say, “Ahh - he would’ve. He would’ve …”.
JOHN: I was on a TV show with David Frost and Yehudi Menuhin, some cultural violinist y’know, they were really attacking me. They had a whole audience and everything. It was after we got back from Amsterdam … and Yehudi Menuhin came out, he’s always doing these Hindu numbers. All that pious bit, and his school for violinists, and all that. And Yehudi Menuhi said, “Well, don’t you think it’s necessary to kill some people some times?” That’s what he said on TV, that’s the first thing he’s ever said. And I said, “Did Christ say that? Are you a Christian?” “Yeah,” I said, and did “Christ say anything about killing people?” And he said, “Did Christ say anything about television? Or guitars?”
To learn more about Lennon and Ono’s Bed-Ins, you can visit the 70-minute documentary Bed Peace (below), previously featured on Open Culture and still freely viewable on YouTube:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

VIDEO: The Beatles: Unplugged Collects Acoustic Demos of White Album Songs (1968)

by , Open Culture:

Josh Jones is a writer and musician. He recently finished a dissertation on land, landscape, and labor.

I am a child of Beatles fans; we owned nearly every album in original mono vinyl pressings. But somehow there was a hole in our collection - a whale-sized hole, it turned out - because we didn’t have a copy of the White Album.

I was introduced to it later by a friend, who shared its secrets with me like one would share the favorite work of a favorite poet - reverently.

We delved into the history and learned that recording sessions were notoriously fractious - with Ringo stepping away for a while and Paul stepping in on the drums, and with the others recording solo, sometimes with session players, rarely in the same room together - a situation reflected in the tracking of the record, which feels like a compilation of songs by each Beatle (but Ringo), rather than the usual smooth affair of Lennon/ McCartney, and occasional Harrison productions.

That ranginess is what makes the White Album special: it’s feels so familiar, and yet it’s not like anything they’d done before and presages the genius to come in their solo careers.

So imagine my surprised delight at stumbling across a bootleg that die-hard completists have surely known about for ages (though it only saw release in 2002): The Beatles: Unplugged is a recording of acoustic songs, most of which would appear on the the White Album, played and sung by John, Paul, and George at George’s house in Esher - hence the bootleg’s subtitle, the Kinfauns-Sessions (Kinfauns was the name of George’s home).

Here are the close vocal harmonies that seemed to mark a group of musicians in near-perfect harmony with each other (but without Ringo, again). And here are some of the Beatles’ most poignant, pointed, and vaudevillian songs live and direct, without any studio tricks whatsoever.

Of course these were recorded as demos, and not meant for release of any kind, but even so, they’re fairly high-quality, in a lo-fi kind of way.

Listening to the songs in this form makes me think of the folk/ psych revivalism of the so-called New Weird America that hearkened back to so much sixties’ trippy playfulness, but mostly eschewed the major label studio sound of sixties’ records and welcomed prominent tape hiss and single-track, bedroom takes.

Given the rapid pop-culture recycling that is the hallmark of the early 21st century, The Beatles: Unplugged sounds strangely modern.

The Unplugged session includes a wonderfully airy rendition of “Dear Prudence,” which like so many of these songs, was written during The Beatles’ sojourn in India, about Mia Farrow’s sister (a complete tracklist is here).

The compilers of the release have tacked on three additional songs: “Spiritual Regeneration India” (also a birthday tribute to The Beach Boy’s Mike Love), an oddly upbeat studio run-through of “Helter Skelter,” and a free-form acoustic medley of traditional songs called “Rishikesh No. 9” (also called “Spiritual Christmas”).

In addition to the slew of White Album songs, the recording session also features McCartney’s “Junk,” which later appeared on his 1970 solo album McCartney and John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” (here called “Child of Nature”), which surfaced on 1971’s Imagine.

As Allmusic’s Bruce Eder writes, Unplugged is a bootleg so good, “the folks at Apple and EMI ought to be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first.”

Track List

The Beatles - The White Album - Unplugged - demos
0:00 Intro
0:15 Cry Baby Cry
2:42 Child of Nature (Jealous Guy)
5:25 The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
8:15 I'm So Tired
11:24 Yer Blues
15:00 Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
18:00 What's the New Mary Jane
20:39 Revolution
24:49 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
27:29 Circles
29:47 Sour Milk Sea
33:22 Not Guilty
36:36 Piggies
38:42 Julia
42:47 Blackbird
45:02 Rocky Raccoon
47:49 Back in the U.S.S.R
50:50 Honey Pie
52:54 Mother Nature's Son
55:09 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
58:05 Junk
1:00:46 Dear Prudence
1:05:27 Sexy Sadie
1:07:52 Spiritual Regeneration
1:10:22 Spiritual Christmas