Summer of Love

3032 Words13 Pages
The Summer of Love The 1960s was a decade of political and social upheaval. The counterculture, which was what the decade was called, became disappointed with all the restrictions and conventions of the straight society. The Summer of Love did not occur until 1967, but the decade was inspired by the Bohemian spirit which was already present in the 1950s; known as the Beat generation. The counterculture gained significant influence in liberal cities such as Berkley and San Francisco. In 1967, Scott McKenzie released his song San Francisco and with this song came rumors of a huge love-in in the summer. This is what fueled the Summer of Love. Leaders of the counterculture in the Haight-Ashbury district were anxious to start planning an…show more content…
As Ken Kesey would work night shifts at the hospital he had access to the drugs and would perform controlled experiments on himself. LSD was only available through pharmaceutical company, Sandoz in New York. Sinclair wrote, “Using his homemade laboratory in Berkley; a student named Augustus Owsley Stanley III manufactured what he claimed to be enough LSD for a million and half doses” (Sinclair 200). They became widely known and soon fell to Leary. Owsley would soon become the Pranksters’ chemist, supplying the active ingredient fro Kesey’s organized events called acid tests. These acid tests soon became advertised events in public halls. In January 1966, two thousand people attended one at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and the Warlocks (now the Grateful Dead), provided the music and Kesey wired the place with speakers, cameras, and TV screens for them to replay. Leary would become one of the most famous countercultural figures in this era along with Ken Kesey. LSD was a huge part of the spiritual and music scene of the Summer of Love. There was one church which was Tim Leary’s League for Spiritual Discovery; he wanted to keep his religion pure and aloof from social structures. He described it as evading the law, “We’re not a religion in the sense of the Methodist Church seeking adherents. We’re a religion in the basic primeval sense of a tribe living together and centered around shared spiritual goals” (Miller 8).
Get Access