For my first 64 years on the planet, I never gave any serious thought to writing a book. But in 2017, I discovered the main thing you need for a book – a good idea. Sailing on our first-ever rock cruise, which featured Gregg Allman, I discovered 2,700 rock fans paying at least $2,000 each to hear music that was supposed to be just a passing teenage fad in the mid-1950s. I wondered how exactly did this come to pass.
And now today, 3 years later, my first book — Come Together: How the Baby Boomers, the Beatles, and a Youth Counterculture Combined to Create the Music of the Woodstock Generation — has been published and released.
For now, it is available exclusively at the Politics and Prose book store in Washington, DC. It can also be ordered from the Politics and Prose website. However, the book will be rolling out in other places and as an e-book soon.
In the summer of 1967, America found itself in a very similar place to where it finds itself today, 50 years later.
The country was bitterly divided, torn asunder by a generation gap; glaring racial, cultural, political, economic, educational, and lifestyle differences; a seemingly endless and possibly unwinnable war in a distant foreign land; and an increasingly unpopular president in the White House.
However, first in San Francisco, and soon spreading around the country and much of the western world, a movement blossomed where a group of rebellious dreamers were convinced they had discovered a way to reject materialism and find peace, love, and happiness.
They were called hippies and they unleashed what is called today the Summer of Love. In a 7-part series, Booming Encore is examining that special summer of 1967.
Mickey Dolenz vividly recalls the first time he realized he wasn’t just an actor playing a rock and roll drummer on TV anymore, but a full-fledged rock star.
It was December of 1966 and he had been working seven days a week acting on the new hit series The Monkees. At nights, he and is bandmates Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork had been rehearsing and recording vocal parts for the new made-for-TV American group based loosely on The Beatles.
“It was really a crazy commitment. We had been almost incommunicado for three months,” Dolenz explained.
With Christmas approaching, he needed to get a few presents for friends and family. So during a brief hiatus, he drove to a nearby Hollywood mall to engage in some holiday shopping.
As he walked in the doors, he suddenly witnessed dozens of shrieking girls rushing toward him.
‘I saw all these people screaming and running and I thought at first there was a fire. Then I realized they were coming after me. I had to get back in my car and drive off. I had never seen anything like that before,” Dolenz says.
At age 75, he may need some assistance from a cane and the strong left arm of a loving wife to get from the dressing room to the backstage area. But once he hears the music and strides onto that stage he prowls. He growls. He moans and he howls.
He becomes the iconic, irascible Eric Burdon, the Hall of Fame rock and roll blues belter, who for more than four decades has been the voice of the much-beloved British Invasion band The Animals.
Recently, Burdon and the latest members of the Animals (all of whom were still more than two decades from being born when Burdon started his series of hits with “The House of the Rising Sun” in 1964), headlined the Flower Power music cruise, a five-day floating Summer of Love music festival sailing around the Caribbean.