Bay Area Disrupted: Joel Selvin

Joel Selvin ist einer von Amerikas produktivsten Musikkritikern. Er wuchs mit der Hippie-Bewegung in San Francisco auf und schrieb mehrere Bücher über die Musikkultur und die sozialen Veränderungen seit den 60er Jahren.


About San Francisco:

San Francisco was this West Coast outpost of American culture – last stop before the Pacific – and a wild and woolly town that was kind of untamed and a little bit too loud, and had a little bit too much to drink.

San Francisco’s always been this kind of laboratory for artists and musicians, with a community, a culture, that supported that. There’s room on the gallery walls to hang unusual paintings. And there’s a culture that encourages that.


About LSD:

The roots of the personal computer industry extend right back to some clinic in Menlo Park, which is down in the South Bay area – now known as Silicon Valley – that gave LSD experiences while the drug was still legal, up until October of 1966.

The introduction of a key element was LSD – the psychedelic drug that turned the beatniks into hippies. And the psychedelic drug was such a powerful force for creating community that, really quickly, in late ’64 and all through ’65, certain neighborhoods just developed these communities.

You can’t underestimate the subtle but profound social impact of widespread use of a psychedelic drug that was a gateway to a new consciousness. And, initially, it was perceived as a panacea for social, personal and emotional issues that could be resolved in ways that were not available before this. It offered the suggestion that an entire generation could evolve their consciousness. And, initially, I think that was what LSD was seen as a tool for – was to take an entire generation and move them into higher forms of thinking and more harmonious interactions.


About the music industry:

The record business is over. It was there for a 100 years, did very well. Erm, they’re buggy whips now – arcane artifacts – and the whole concept of music as a commodity, as a cultural force, has radically changed.

New game, new rules, new culture, ‘things aren’t what they used to be‘ – I really can’t tell you what they are. It’s very confusing to me. I suppose there is experts that could give you their opinions, and some of them would overlap. But really, it’s a ‘jump-ball’*, it’s a new game. I don’t know who’s winning. As far as I can tell, people still love music – they still want music in their lives – but it no longer has that social leadership role in the culture that it once did. Plus, hey, the world moves on. We didn’t need rock ‘n‘ roll in the ‘30s – we needed it in the ‘50s and ‘60s. And maybe we’re not gonna need it so much any more.


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