I picked up the conservative vibe in the Hagan book and, to be honest, kind of assumed it reflected the political drift of Wenner over the years/decades as the stature of RS got bigger and more mainstream. Glad to learn I was largely mistaken and Wenner is still waving the '60s freak flag.

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Very enjoyable and enlightening presentation. Nice to see that you've bounced back and are able to do what you want to do. I really liked your anecdote about your cousin who "just wanted to go to business school". It was funny and really made the situation/time personal and real and relatable. I felt bad for him...his more mundane/pragmatic aspirations were being thwarted at every turn, and I guess people should be able to be pursue those, as well as the loftier, more philosophical interests. It made me think of the "plastics" scene from the Graduate. Your story about the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" 1978 remake was fun too, and again, just nailed the attitude and feel of the time. For me, those were the two highlights of the event. Very good work and thanks for making it available. Thanks, Peter

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Great interview with Wenner! And not only was Wenner's denunciation of the internet right on, as you noted, but his proposed solution is an excellent one.

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In 1964, I was a teenager living in the suburbs, (Walnut Creek to be exact) and Berkeley was one of my main hangouts, particularly when it came to culture. I’d go to Telegraph Ave. to buy used books and other things. My sister was going to college at Berkeley so she was in the thick of the beginnings of the Free Speech Movement when the college students rebelled against the so-called “establishment,” and the counterculture took hold.

It didn’t really start until a little later for me, I was just bit too young in 1964, but by 1967, Ronald Reagan had become our governor, in part running on get “tough on crime,” including cracking down on student protesters (eventually including cracking some heads).

At some point in ‘67, I drove into Berkeley with a friend in his VW bug to go to the movies. It was an incongruous double bill pairing the rom-com “Two for the Road” with “Dont Look Back,” a now-classic documentary made by D.A. Pennebaker.

We weren’t interested in the rom-com; we went because of Bob Dylan, and his 1965 tour of England. It’s a prime example of the cinema verité style. (Incidentally, the missing apostrophe veritwas intentional.)

It starts with Dylan standing in an alley way running through a series of cue cards bearing fragments of lyrics to his song "Subterranean Homesick Blues,” with Allen Ginsberg talking with someone in the background. It didn’t appear to have anything to do with the rest of the film, but that was okay. It didn’t need to.

That night in Berkeley when we saw the film, the song became a prelude. The movie theater staff turned off the sound after the song ended for an announcement. They wanted their patrons to know that the city of Berkeley had decided to place the entire city on curfew. There were riots elsewhere in town; we weren’t in danger, but we were to go directly to our cars when the movie was over and go home. I guess they didn’t want anyone to get in further trouble.

Or as Bob put it, “Look out kid/It’s somethin’ you did/God knows when/But you’re doin’ it again. You better duck down the alley way/Lookin’ for a new friend…”

And that new friend could get you in trouble…

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