Haight And Ashbury

11 Dec 18
Marc's Travels

I’ve visited San Francisco many times and have always enjoyed my stay.  The best part about the city is the incredible wealth of good restaurants, definitely a foodies paradise. There are so many places worth visiting and exploring, it’s worth taking your time to explore by foot which I’ve done a few times.  I’d been […]

11 Dec 18
Traces of Places

Haight-Ashbury is a district of San Francisco, named for the intersection of two streets commemorating two early San Francisco leaders who had a hand in planning the neighborhood, as well as the nearby Golden Gate Park. The area is best known for being the origin of the hippie counterculture in 1960s America, especially during the “Summer of Love” (1967), in […]

10 Dec 18
Fae Loses it!

Hello friends! My name is Emily, also known as Fae. I decided it was time to start blogging again. I need a fresh start for this new stage in my life. That’s right! We’re engaged! Before I tell the whole proposal story, I have to tell you about the amazing anniversary trip where this all […]

09 Dec 18
1960s: Days of Rage

“According to Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson was ‘the only twentieth-century equivalent of Mark Twain.’ Wolfe’s comparison was meant to feature Thompson as a humorist, but biographical similarities also linked the two writers. Both Twain and Thompson arrived in San Francisco as obscure journalists, thrived on the city’s anarchic energies, and departed as national figures. […]

09 Dec 18
Mixtape Project - The Sexual Revolution

Robert Chance Gooch The Summer of Love was preceded by an event called the Human Be-in which took place on January 14th, 1967. This event was organized to protest a recent ban on LSD, a MASSIVELY popular psychedelic drug among hippies and young people at the time. It featured famous poets, bands, and even former […]

08 Dec 18
Now or Never

Weekend NotebookDecember 8, 2018 Share Mrs Cox with Alfie and (courtesy of Jeff Bezos) his new best friend Things you can no longer say: I was in the big city earlier this week, and so saw for the first time in ages a physical copy of The New York Times. It contained an interview with James […]

07 Dec 18
Film Quarterly

In 1998, Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner published an essay entitled “Sex in Public,” which now appears as the utopian vision of a bygone era. Drawing from Jürgen Habermas and Michel Foucault, Berlant and Warner called attention to the public mediation of sexuality in the United States and critiqued the heteronormative ideologies and institutions that hinged on a structural delineation of “personal life.” Where a hegemonic public sphere had been constituted by “a privatization of sex and the sexualization of private personhood,” so they argued, queer culture represented a world-making project involving the development of ephemeral, promiscuous, and often-criminal forms of intimacy—ones “that bear no necessary relation to domestic space, to kinship, to the couple form, to property, or to the nation.”

06 Dec 18
Marin Independent Journal
The music video for “Birdy,” a song by the Novato surf-punk band the Happys, opens with lead singer-songwriter Nick Petty being released from the Marin County Jail, segues into a scene of him going to the Alano Club in San Rafael for help in fighting his drug addiction, and then follows him as he forms the musical group that will play a vital role in getting his young life back on track. “It’s been seven years since I started the Happys,” the clean-cut, 27-year-old Petty says. “It’s everything to me. It’s what gets me through the day.” Before the Happys, he couldn’t get through a day without OxyContin, a notorious opioid that has infected communities across the country. “After high school I got into pain pills and trouble,” Petty, a 2009 San Marin High School grad, confesses. “I self-medicated. It was an expensive habit.” His addiction cost him more than money. It also landed him in county jail for a 14-month stint that had the tough love effect of scaring him straight. ‘Wake-up call’ “It was a wake-up call,” he explains. “I realized that jail was not where I saw myself going in my life. I wanted something to stop me from what I was doing, and jail did that. And when I got off drugs, I was able to nurture my creative side.” “I thought this EP would be inspiring for people because I have depression, anxiety, ADD, all that stuff,” says Nick Petty, lead singer-songwriter of the Happys. “With ‘Bipolar,’ we’re trying to be a voice for all the people who are also going through that.” Back on the streets, Petty worked odd jobs and took music classes at College of Marin. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, he sang his original songs at San Rafael’s Belrose Theater and at other open mics around the county, gaining experience performing for audiences with an eye toward a career in music. Influenced by hip-hop and ’90s punk-pop bands like Blink 182 and Sublime, he formed the first iteration of the Happys in 2012. Four years later, the group released “Trippin’,” a debut album that showcased Petty’s talent for writing songs with catchy melodies and ear worm hooks. Some are goofball tunes with equally silly videos about being young and having fun, but others deal with more serious issues facing Petty and his millennial generation. “Someone Else’s Couch,” one of the nine songs on “Trippin’,” touches on youth homelessness, something Petty has some first-hand experience with. These days, he lives with family in Novato. But while he was getting off drugs and putting together the pieces of his life, he bounced around, living for a time in his car. Necessary support He found some of the support he needed through Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity (AHO), a Mill Valley-based nonprofit that helps Marin’s homeless teens and young adults with everything from jobs and housing to legal representation and counseling. Its supporters include rocker Sammy Hagar, Journey’s Neal Schon, Metallica’s James Hetfield and Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation. “Nick knew he could always call and we’d be there,” says Zara Babitzke, AHO’s founder and executive director. “And we’ve been staunch advocates of the Happys.” In return, the Happys — now featuring Petty with longtime bassist Brett Brazil, 28, lead guitarist Alex Sanchez and drummer Ryan Donahue, both 25 — regularly perform at AHO parties and celebrations, and Petty has served on the organization’s Youth Leadership Team for the past five years, sharing his story at schools around Marin. He and Brazil have also offered to mentor kids with aspirations in music and arts, and they’ve been active in Building Bridges, an AHO program that brings law enforcement and young adults together to better understand each other. Nick Petty formed the first iteration of the Happys in 2012. “Nick has a heart, a spirit and an inclusiveness,” Babitzke says. “We’re so proud of him. What’s so wonderful for me is seeing youths like Nick really hanging in there and making things happen.” Building a following With Petty devoting himself full-time to the band, the Happys have been working to build a following over the years, playing clubs in the Bay Area and in Southern California. They’ve gone on tours of the Pacific Northwest and have opened on the road for the ska punk outfit the Mad Caddies. They won a battle of the bands in San Francisco over the summer, the prize being a slot at the Haight Ashbury Street Fair. Rick Bonde of Tahoe Artists Agency, who has worked with the Monophonics and the Brothers Comatose, saw one of their music videos and now represents them. With a Wednesday night residency at George’s nightclub in San Rafael, the Happys are trying to build a local music scene around that gig that rivals the glory days of Marin rock in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Earlier this year, they released “Bipolar,” a new four-song EP aimed at raising awareness about mental health issues. “I thought this EP would be inspiring for people because I have depression, anxiety, ADD, all that stuff,” Petty says. “With ‘Bipolar,’ we’re trying to be a voice for all the people who are also going through that.” Contact Paul Liberatore at p.liberatore@comcast.net IF YOU GO What: The Happys When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays Where: George’s Nightclub, 842 Fourth St., San Rafael Admission: Free Information: facebook.com/thehappysband
05 Dec 18
tradeswomn musings

Dear Readers, In an effort to record the history of the Tradeswomen Movement and the stories of the first women to enter the construction trades, I’ve been interviewing some of my tradeswoman sisters. Here is the first of many to come. As a sister electrician, I had heard of Betsy Brown but I didn’t get […]

05 Dec 18
Fleischaker/Greene Scholars

By Hayley Robb, F/G Scholar From a shout or cry in a crowd to the lyrics in a song, every citizen in the United States has the right to free speech, a freedom granted by the First Amendment. In theory, the freedom is to allow for a free trade of ideas between individuals and to […]

05 Dec 18
Kenny Wilson's Blog

In the summer of 1967, Atlanta Journal reporter Michael Palmer went undercover as a hippie. Hoping to provide his readers with some insight into a movement that had recently made its way into the national consciousness, Palmer put on a “white, ruffled shirt, and old vest, levies [sic] frayed at the cuffs” and stealthily entered the city’s […]

05 Dec 18

First published in 1968, Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays, largely about California and published mainly within the pages of The Saturday Evening Post across the previous decade. Fifty years on, what is most striking about the collection is the writing, which is vivid and alive. The style of New Journalism […]

05 Dec 18
1960s: Days of Rage

“On the release of Bryter Layter in 1970, the agoraphobic Nick Drake put the nails in the album’s coffin by failing to accompany it with any publicity – or indeed barely any live performance. It was only after his death, (four years later from an overdose of prescription drugs), that the self-destructive singer’s music garnered […]