I had no idea when I saw Jordan Butler wearing a bodice top that belongs to my daughter, they were preparing for Spirit Week at school. It seems their task was to dress like hippies.
“Dad, do you have a pair of those wide pants?” my daughter asked me.
“You mean bellbottoms?” I asked.
“Yeah, those wide pants,” she said back to me.
“God, no,” I said with a touch of incredulity.
I’ve never really liked those bellbottom jeans. And while I get that they’re readily associated with hippies, I’ve never really connected them to hippies. I remember them from the 1970s when there were “freaks” and “jocks” in my junior high school.
The freaks wore bellbottom jeans. They smoked pot and they had long, frizzy hair. And I suppose that while you could call them hippies, they were metal heads and liked hard rock, not the so-called “acid” rock that helped define hippies early on.
Those would be the followers of The Grateful Dead. They’re fondly referred to as Deadheads and although I had only been to one Dead concert, I’m a fan.
Now I’ve also been called a hippie pretty much all of my adult life. Long hair never really had anything to do with it since I wore it short off and on, more than likely my clothing might have said something about it, but also my politics — yes, I adhere to the so-called “liberal gospel” that one a local gadfly referred to online one day when commenting on something I wrote.
And then there’s always been the way we live. There was the geodesic dome house in the middle of the woods. And of course the Volkswagen bus we drove coast-to-coast and back again that might have had something to do with it.
But maybe, just maybe, the music is the defining moment in the life of any person that is referred to as “hippie,” although hyper-conservative diva of hate Ann Coulter says she’s a big Dead fan, so who really knows.
That said, before you narrow your line of thinking and come up with the lineup from Woodstock, relax and broaden your mind a bit. While a lineup of music from the infamous Upstate New York concert is not half bad, it goes so much deeper than that.
Robin and I went to The Onley Place last week for the Carolina Moon Theater show. It was a lineup of local musicians playing great old school country music. And there’s nothing like acoustic, old school country music to set the mood for an old second generation hippie.
You had Chuck Hodges surrounded by master steel guitarist Bobby “Muskrat” Reams, the esteemed percussionist and Nashville stalwart Martin Parker, the relaxed bass of Dr. Steve Raisor and the beautiful vocals of Caston Young, Jill Malo and Connie Riddick.
It was the kind of music that draws a smile upon your face, and tap your feet and look at your neighbor to see the smile on his face. That’s the way it is at The Onley Place, and I’ve found that venues like this draw deep into the roots of that old time music and that good old hippiefied vibe.
So good music goes a long way to touch the roots of hippiedom, but dear daughter bellbottoms are not a requirement.