Rhino Factoids: San Francisco hosts a Human Be-In
48 years ago today, an event took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park which has been described by pop culture historians as the prelude to the Summer of Love, but at the time, the San Francisco Oracle called it “A Gathering of Tributes for a Human Be-In.
Organized by artist Michael Bowen, the Human Be-In was a sight to behold, particularly if you were a square who’d never had a close encounter with a hippie – let alone tens of thousands of them – up to that point. Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg spoke to the assembled masses, Dick Gregory and Jerry Rubin were present and accounted for in the crowd, and there were performances by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Likely more life-changing in the long run, however, were the copious amount of acid – White Lightning, to be specific – passed out to the crowd by famed psychedelic chemist Owsley Stanley.
Inevitably, we’re most partial to the music – big surprise, right? – which is why you’ll find a playlist below, one which features songs from the artists who were involved in the concert that day. To get a better idea of what really went down on the Polo Fields of Golden Gate Park, however, your best bet is to watch this documentary from MusicVault, which really does the trick.