Deadman's picture

    'Hair' yesterday, gone today ...

    Saw the play 'Hair' in Central Park this past weekend.

    Damn, it's a shame I missed the Sixties.

    The outfits were funky and colorful and sexy. The music was danceable and uplifting. The drugs were mostly harmless, more about expanding the mind than escaping reality. And the whole free love thing, well, that seemed pretty groovy too.

    Oh yeah, I'm bitter. All I got was a small taste of the 90s grunge movement, which while propelled by the same youthful energy of the hippie movement, the same rebelliousness, the same dissatisfaction with the many ways people in power were fucking things up, was a much more cynical and angry and generally depressing time.

    The long hair may have still been there, but the clothes were darker and uglier, the music louder and madder, the drugs harder and deadlier. And with AIDS running rampant, free love wasn't even an option on the table.

    Can you even imagine a Broadway musical about the grunge movement? Those two hours alone would make me want to pull a Kurt Cobain (god rest his talented soul) ...

    Grunge, in fact, wasn't even really a political movement at all. People still complained about authority, but they no longer believed they could change things. Mostly, it was about yelling very loudly, getting messed up, and destroying stuff.

    That kind of disillusionment was really the underlying theme of the musical and I fear the primary byproduct of the entire 60's counterculture movement. That the be-ins and sit-ins, the marches and rallies, the pot and LSD, the tie-dye shirts and bell bottom pants, and yes, even the free love, couldn't change the world. That they'd still get you even if you burned your draft card. That eventually most hippies with long hair become suits with thinning hair.

    And that forty years later, we'd still be watching helplessly as people in power make the same mistakes all over again.

    As Cobain might say, 'Oh well, whatever, never mind ...'


    First, I love the musical Hair, although I've never seen it.  I read the play, and I listened to the soundtrack, and that's almost enough for me (except that I missed the sex, dammit).

    Second, I love Pearl Jam, and consider them to be one of the major Grunge movement players next to Nirvana and Soundgarden.  So, I sort of have to disagree that Grunge is a mean, loud, non-movement movement compared to the 60's because Ed Vedder is a very political and popular guy amongst the grungiest of grunge fans, and he's moved beyond a lot of the anger and written some very eloquent, mind-opening and lovely lyrics in his time.  The fact that PJ is still there, recording, touring and making great music -- while none of the bandmembers are dead -- says a lot.

    Well, at least to me.

    But, I'm glad you enjoyed Hair.

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