Amongst Rainbows and butterflies…
Having grown up in the 60’s, I lived this vibe. Compared to today, this was heaven. But in the the decade this film was made, Vietnam was a war our 18 year olds wanted nothing to do with. Down with War was the catch phrase. The counter drug culture developed and Make Love-Not War protests would become common place.
16 and 17 years olds commonly had long hair. At 18, you better be in college, As Creedence Clearwater put it, your either a Fortunate Son, or you have a Bad Moon Rising. But the song that fits this time zone narrative and that put Jefferson Airplane into the stratosphere was-White Rabbit.
It was released the same time this film was made-1967. The Summer of Love. This song was an invitation to feed your head. The psychedelic generation made this song their anthem.
Grace Slick, the band’s founder, says it this way…
“In all those children’s stories, you take some kind of chemical that leads you to a great adventure.”
The Lewis Carroll story- Alice in Wonderland, was way ahead of it’s time.
Grace continues” Alice in Wonderland is blatant. “Eat Me!” She gets so high she’s too big for the room. “Drink Me!” The caterpillar is sitting on a psychedelic mushroom smoking opium!”
Grace continues “This song was about the importance of education.” “Feed your head” the climax to White Rabbit, “was meant to liberate your brain and your senses.”
The 70’s culture retained much of this color, music and passion. Cocaine became prevalent, and all these drugs could easily be found in public school. Everything Jefferson Airplane sings about and more, carried over in another very colorful decade. On the MGM backlot-The sixties and seventies blended together. Sargeant Pepper would be made in 1977. Based off the Beatles album of the Sixties. The color, pageantry, and drugs continued like some Yellow Submarine trip.
This film-The Love-Ins was made by Columbia Pictures on the MGM backlot. Why they didn’t use their own backlot confuses me. They easily have backgrounds and a fancy park at The Columbia Ranch. What’s cool- is they didn’t.
Drugs and backlot adventures go together, hand in hand. It’s a wonderland weather Alice greets you or not. I have wonderful story called White Rabbit in part 2 of Hole in the Fence, second edition, coming later this year. It involves Magic Mushrooms and a chase by MGM security, the funny thing is-I was bare foot. It started in Tarzan’s Lake and I was doing my best Tom Sawyer impression. One of my fellow trespasser friends ended up in jail as everything that could go wrong-DID!
This backlot was so fun-drugs weren’t needed. MGM is a drug. But enhancement of the senses can manifest any illusion you can imagine. It’s as if these studio backlots were intelligently designed for just this reason.
You may see a White Rabbit or two, trying to lead you down a rabbit hole. You too can experience all this enchantment, simply by following me through my…Hole in the Fence!
Written and lived by….Donnie Norden