Freak Flag High

(8 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)

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Almost cut my hair

It happened just the other day

It’s gettin kinda long

I coulda said it wasn’t in my way

But I didn’t and I wonder why

I feel like letting my freak flag fly

Cause I feel like I owe it to someone

Yeah (sing the song brother…)

Now if uh, six uh, huh, turned out to be nine

Oh I dont mind, I dont mind uh ( well all right… )

If all the hippies cut off all their hair

Oh I dont care, oh I dont care.

Dig.

cause Ive got my own world to live through and uh, huh

And I aint gonna copy you.

White collar conservative flashin down the street

Pointin their plastic finger at me, ha !

Theyre hopin soon my kind will drop and die but uh

Im gonna wave my freak flag high, high !

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us For many of us, it started here and I’ll admit it, I was a victim of “Beatlemania”. Meet The Beatles was the first L.P. (Long Player, for you whippersnappers) I ever purchased and I can still vividly remember standing at the counter in the Record Store, money in hand and Indiana Beginner’s Driving Permit in pocket.  

Mom was waiting outside in the passenger seat just as anxious to hear The Beatles as I was.  Even though this was my first LP, my record buying history was long.  As far back as when I was 8 years-old, my Mom would send me to the record store on my bike to score every new 45 release by Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Bill Halley, Gene Vincent, Fats Domino and others.  I’d race home and stack them up on the spindle of our automatic record player and listen again and again.  It’s no wonder that I eventually became an FM “Underground” Disc Jockey as I reflect on this now.  I guess it was inevitable.

But little did I know the effect this band and this music would have on my life because of my …….

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What started out as a simple teenage fad became something quite defining and shaped much of the rest of my life. The day I decided I wanted to be like John, Paul, George and Ringo was just the beginning of a new direction on my life’s journey and “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”.

I had no idea then that I would get kicked out of High School repeatedly, fail mandatory ROTC and be refused my High School diploma (until my Dad threatened suit which was the end of that program in Owensboro, Ky.) and be forced to teach so many Indiana and Kentucky rednecks that having long hair does not make one a pacifist that they can push around.

.

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI also did not realize that I would eventually make so many cool friends.  Our hair became an our way of immediately identifying kindred spirits. People that would have silently passed each other by were now inclined to interact having visually confirmed that there were certain beliefs we held in common; Peace, Love of music and fellow man, the propensity to engage in imbibing certain substances as well as our collective disdain for “The Establishment”.

Unfortunately, our hair also made us easy targets for “The Man”. Longhairs, Freaks, Hippies, Yippies, Heads or whatever were a new and very visible minority and were treated accordingly with harassment, beatings and incarceration down at Sherrif Bufford’s Local Inn.

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I believe this gave us more empathy to the plight of our Black Brothers and Sisters. For those that weren’t actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement prior to the late-sixties, it was an eye opener. “Like, wow, I’m suddenly a second-class citizen, dig it.”

“Our” music reflected our new identity as well. Radio stations and concert lineups were no longer black or white. You could hear Hendrix and Johnny Cash segued in the same set on many Underground FM stations.  Concert promoters (h/t Bill Graham) put together some great shows oblivious to race. Haight Street meets Beale Street.

Blues recordings that had been available before only on the colored labels in record shops on the other side of town, were now available everywhere.

Our hair has changed over time. Grey has replaced black, brown, red and blond. Some have little if any remaining. But what remains is the feeling inside of our heads.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usMAP SHOWER

Richard Brautigan

I want your hair

to cover me with maps

of new places,

so everywhere I go

will be as beautiful

as your hair.

 

39 comments

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    • Zwoof on June 6, 2008 at 8:46 am
      Author

    I see that Rusty1776 has composed a magnificent essay interpreting Mr. Dylan while I was writing this, so here’s my Bob quote…..

    I’m gonna grow my hair down to my feet so strange

    So I look like a walking mountain range

    And I’m gonna ride into Omaha on a horse

    Out to the country club and the golf course.

    Carry the New York Times, shoot a few holes, blow their minds.

    I Shall Be Free No. 10

  1. cut my hair today.

    I do not wonder why.

    It was making my head hot.

    • kj on June 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    big grin after reading this Zwoof. you got it right.  🙂

    ps. sounds like you might have around southern indiana, i grew up several hours south of chicago.  WLS was the radio station to listen to.  

  2. were way cooler than mine, mom had me score Perry Como albums.And when she had me retrieve the Born Free sound track, I even told the guy it wasn’t for me.

    • Edger on June 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    our hair also made “The Man” easy targets for us…  because he kept coming around, and was so easy to spot in those ridiculous shiny black shoes and buzzcuts.

    I learned a lot from some of those encounters, and the poor saps never could figure out why they had such a hard time being the condescendors their pitiful little egos forced them to always want to be around me and other freaks.

    • RiaD on June 6, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    i have a picture much like your last one, have saved it carefully since i was a girl…but it is of three sisters looking backwards over their shoulders, long hair trailing the floor like wedding veils…i aspire to that~ altho i threaten every summer to cut it, i haven’t for about 25 years…& for the last 10 not even a trim(so far it’s ’bout halfway down my butt~)

    and you’re right..an outward sign that revealed the inner mind

    • OPOL on June 6, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man,

    Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.

    No matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam.

    Good Times, Bad Times, you know I had my share;

    When my woman left home for a brown eyed man,

    Well, I still don’t seem to care.

    Sixteen, I fell in love with a girl as sweet as could be,

    Only took a couple of days ’til she was rid of me.

    She swore that she would be all mine and love me till the end,

    But when I whispered in her ear, I lost another friend, oooh.

    I know what it means to be alone, I sure do wish I was at home.

    I don’t care what the neighbors say, I’m gonna love you each and every day.

    You can feel the beat within my heart.

    Realize, sweet babe, we ain’t ever gonna part.

  3. Yeah, The “death and burial of the hippy” in the panhandle of Golden Gate Park, S.F., Ca…..Except I was in the Army in Panama. Smoked my first Panama Red that day , and oh boy did the world change. Before that, before the Army really, I was a bull rider in pro-rodeo, listening to Hank Williams Sr and Patsy Cline, lecturing my sister that that damn Dylan was just a drug addict, and the Beatles a bunch of freaks.

    Well, yeah, freaks , God love us all, one of the most important social movements in our ,country’s world’s history, giving meaning to the expression “thinking outside of the box”. Freaks, of all colors and genders, stepping out of the lock step lives the stablishment had programmed us for, learning to live in a free loving world with connections to Gaia that so many people and cultures had forgotten about.

    No Bob, Thank You!

    May God bless and keep you always…….

  4. Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” purchased at the same time.  I had several singles (45’s) and some 8-track tapes but those were my first two vinyl LP’s.

    Since I grew up in ultra-conservative cowboy-land everyone was horrified by my musical choices (and damn near everything else about me).

    My world, back then, was sharply divided into “Goat-Ropers” and “Cat-Daddies”.  Like many others I had to fight a few times to keep my hair.  (You mean, I have to be careful I don’t get scalped by cowboys?)

  5. but I was a big fan of this forerunner with some of the lineup  A song that told it like it was and still is.

  6. Long haired freaky people need not apply…



    jeffc5000 flickr creative commons

    Wave that flag Zwoof – wave it wide and high!

  7. When the winter rains

    come pourin’ down

    On that new home of mine,

    Will you think of me

    and wonder if I’m fine?

    Will your restless heart

    come back to mine

    On a journey thru the past.

    Will I still be in your eyes

    and on your mind?

    Now I’m going back to Canada

    On a journey thru the past

    And I won’t be back

    till February comes

    I will stay with you

    if you’ll stay with me,

    Said the fiddler to the drum,

    And we’ll keep good time

    on a journey thru the past.

    When the winter rains

    come pourin’ down

    On that new home of mine,

    Will I still be in your eyes

    and on your mind?

    Will I still be in your eyes

    and on your mind?

    • kj on June 7, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    I feel like letting my freak flag fly

    Cause I feel like I owe it to someone

    my hair is currently quite short and quite silver in front. i look very normal, which allows access to quite a few environments. 🙂 my freak flag is all about the earrings. and the one tat. and i still feel like “I owe it… to someone.”

    that shit passes as “morals” for me.  🙂

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