Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Timothy Leary: A Biography

by Robert Greenfield

On Monday, May 11, a benefit for Tim took place at the Village Gate in Greenwich Village. Rosemary had organized it on what she described as "hallowed ground--the place where I first saw Miles Davis and Charlie Mingus." She had invited "all the big givers from the liberal left" in New York City and fully expected to raise enough money to help spring Tim from jail. Musicians scheduled to perform that night included folksinger Phil Ochs, the albino blues guitarist Johnny Winter, and Jimi Hendrix, whom Alan Douglas had persuaded to fly in from Chicago with his band just for this gig. Scheduled speakers included Abbie Hoffman, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, Jerry Rubin, and Wavy Gravy. In a full-body cast after having been kicked in the back by a security guard at a Rolling Stones concert, Wavy Gravy showed up with a fellow member of the Hog Farm commune in New Mexico carrying a baby lamb in his arms. "Acid was flowing like water," Anita Hoffman recalled. "The punch was spiked and everyone was on acid. It was one of those very pivotal events because the mood was changing. The repression was increasing. Instead of all this love-and-flowers stuff, the attitude of politicos like Abbie and Jerry Rubin and myself was that you had to organize if you wanted to get people like Tim out of jail. But the Hog Farm people and all these religious people, all they wanted to do was chant."

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