33 Responses

  1. Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous '60s Commune ...

    […] The Grateful Dead once lived there, apparently taken with the acoustics of the living room. Its bucolic grounds were featured on the back cover of the Dead's 1969 album Aoxomoxoa. And the crush of …  […]

  2. xian
    xian at |

    It turns out that that’s not Courtney Love on the back of Aoxomoxoa.

  3. David Gans
    David Gans at |

    Is it possible that there were more records but they departed with the troupe, leaving only the less culturally desirable ones behind?

    1. Bill
      Bill at |

      why focus on the biggest names? there were lots of people there. It’s more than likely that they just belonged to someone else who brought their record collection from home, found a different cultural ID, & then moved.

    2. Sandy
      Sandy at |

      David that was my thought exactly….they left behind the unwanted albums!!!

  4. Archeologists excavate hippie commune's record collection | Designolics

    […] 'hippie' commune had a wide range of backgrounds, including their musical tastes," Parkman said. "Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous ’60s Commune Challenge ‘Hippie’ Stereotype, Study Says" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) …read […]

  5. R.E. Baker
    R.E. Baker at |

    What is known as “hippie” today is far from what the original hippie was. In fact the Dead were into country, blues and bluegrass music. They were essentially an Americana band with a penchant for LSD. It’s not surprising to find “square” stuff like Judy Garland and Burl Ives there. They weren’t as one dimensional and predictable as the typical liberal, hacky sack playing, bike riding vegan of today. In fact, by today’s standards, the hippie movement was much more libertarian-leaning as far as wanting to get away from the government and pushing the concept of being an individual. It was much different than what is commonly thought and more inclusive and free than any scene today.

    1. bg davis
      bg davis at |

      I spent a weekend at that commune in the 60s; went up from the City with a friend looking for some girl he used to know who was into the music scene (in L.A.).
      Most of the people were total losers, lying around stoned in the mud (it was raining) in their teepees.
      But it was a mix. The most pathetic one was some guy from the City (SF) who had quit his teaching job and moved up there, bringing his wife and kids, actually believing that they were going to be part of a real groundswell movement to change the world for the better. This poor guy was trying to live a model lifestyle in the midst of general degeneracy. Basically, he had painted himself into a corner.
      He had nice books and a record collection, so yes, there were some gems among the refuse. But it’s typical of anthropologists to try to make an anomaly into something representative. I spent plenty of time in the Haight, Golden Gate Park, Marin and points north during that era. Also dipped into the Berkeley scene from time to time. Some nice people but the stereotypes did accurately fit the vast majority of hippies.

  6. Mike McRoberts
    Mike McRoberts at |

    When I was a long-haired rock and roll musician in the 70’s we frequently would go over to other long-haired rock and roll musician’s homes. Usually, we all listened to jazz.

  7. Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous ’60s Commune Challenge ‘Hippie’ Stereotype, Study Says | Worldwide Hippies

    […] “I’ve used the contemporary archaeology of Olompali to address the concept of stereotype, in this case, what we generally consider to be the ‘hippie,’” said Parkman, senior archaeologist for California’s state parks. Continue reading… […]

  8. A Journal of Musical ThingsAncient Buried Vinyl Collection Unearthed at Site of Old Hippie Commune » A Journal of Musical Things

    […] Read more here. […]

  9. Records excavated at 60′s hippie commune have archaeologists literally digging for vinyl – The Vinyl Factory

    […] in a fascinating story posted by Western Digs, the former commune, which has been subject to archaeologist E. Breck Parkman’s studies since […]

  10. Sadie McFarlane
    Sadie McFarlane at |

    “While perhaps surprising in their variety, and rather establishment tastes, Parkman said, these records were not the soundtrack of daily life at Olompali. Instead, he said, they’re artifacts of the various segments of mainstream culture that the Chosen Family’s members had once identified with, and in some ways, tried to leave behind.”

    What an arrogant jerk! What makes this guy so sure hippies didn’t listen to jazz and soundtracks and comedy records? I was a hippie, and I did! His narrow-mindedness is getting in the way of his research – but unlike the old “every large building is a temple” school of archeology, the people involved are still around to call him on the fallacy in his thinking.

    1. Alan C
      Alan C at |

      So true, Sadie! First, to stereotype hippies as a monolith, musically or otherwise, is as vapid and eye-rolling as saying every Beat had a goatee and beret and played bongos a la Maynard.

      My friends and I played our parents’ 78s incessantly: Gene Krupa, Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby, old movie soundtracks. A few of our grandparents had Victrolas and one even had a gramophone and we’d play old Dixieland or crooners singing through megaphones. My experience during that time is that the mindset was very very inclusive: foods, cultures, music, ethnogens, clothes, everything. Sure, there were popular contemporary musicians, but *their* music was usually very diverse and inclusive.

  11. Dave
    Dave at |

    Of course they were peaking out to Super Session! One of my favourite albums of all time. Great article.

  12. Records excavated at 60′s hippie commune have archaeologists literally digging for vinyl | Live For Vinyl

    […] in a fascinating story posted by Western Digs, the former commune, which has been subject to archaeologist E. Breck Parkman’s studies since the […]

  13. Sound Stage Direct » Blog Archive Weekly Vinyl And Music News Wrap Up - Week Ending June 13 » Sound Stage Direct

    […] Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous ’60s Commune Challenge ‘Hippie’ Stereotype, Study Says […]

  14. Richard. Brooks
    Richard. Brooks at |

    Sadie, I agree he’s way off track in his postulations, but I wonder how you ‘was a hippie’. How can one used to have been a hippie and not still be one? Maybe you are still; one would hope so. Also, there were pseudo-hippies and then yuppies. Myself, I was an aspiring Yippie, but I couldn’t shake the image of the deranged, drug-addicted Viet Nam Veteran. Though Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman weren’t my heroes, neither were Iggy Pop or Jonathan Richman. I cried at Woodstock when Jimi played the Star-Spangled Banner – as did everyone else I saw. All musical genres, from every corner of the planet, is what makes ‘the world go round’, and me spin.
    As an added bit of mania, I found myself on Shakedown St. New Year’s Eve 1988 in the parking lot of the Oakland Coliseum, selling my jewelry, while the Grateful Dead were inside playing their yearly concert. At ten minutes to midnite, a bullet found my face, a random new years’ shot, which may have possibly come from up to 2mi away. It lodged in my flesh, traveling for an inch from just outside my cheek bone down to the center of my cheek. It sent me to the ground like someone came up behind me with a baseball bat and hit a grand slam home run. I couldn’t say I’d been shot, that implies somebody was aiming at me; I was hit in the face with a bullet. Ten minutes later, at midnite, the Dead played, ‘It’s Another Saturday Night’ (the show inside was being broadcast live on KSAN-FM radio) while the party raged in the parking lot. It was a Saturday night, the disco bus was jamming, there were fireworks everywhere, one schoolbus had about 30 gay dudes dancing on the roof in diapers!! I was still seeing fireworks, but I was up and dancing. Didn’t know I had a bullet in my face till the next day when a doctor at Oakland City Hosp pulled it out. I’m still seeing fireworks and hearing the music 25yrs later!!!!

  15. L.V. Sage
    L.V. Sage at |

    Interesting, yet I must agree with Sadie. I’m not technically of the “hippie” generation (born in 1965), but I do remember listening to many albums that my parents had from their era such as Elvis Presley. Fortunately for me, my parents mostly listened to (& bought) rock n roll albums, so that was the majority of what we heard in the house (Rolling Stones, Beatles, CCR, Janis Joplin, etc).

    As for outlaw bikers, I hardly think that they would have grown up listening to any one particular type of music.

    BTW-check out my novel about the “hippie/Vietnam/biker era” Red, White & Blues” available on Amazon!


    1. Alan C
      Alan C at |

      + L.V.
      So basically, this is some commercial bullshit about your sell-something agenda. Apparently, your parents didn’t play enough music for you to know how very uncool your post is. Peace.

      1. L.V. Sage
        L.V. Sage at |

        Wow. What a sad, negative human being you are. I wish I never posted any reply so if you can suggest how I might remove it, I will be more than happy to do so.

  16. Alan C
    Alan C at |

    My point is that to push your book in a Comments section is tacky. I apologize for being harsh in making that point.

    1. L.V. Sage
      L.V. Sage at |

      I understand and I don’t ever mean to come across like that (like I am pushing my book). I guess it’s just human nature to want to share your accomplishments with others who you feel might relate to or appreciate them. I often have free giveaways on the book, so it has little to do with making money, just exposure. Anyway, I would be more than happy to remove the link so that it doesn’t offend anyone else if someone can instruct me on how to do so.

  17. Buttery Biscuit
    Buttery Biscuit at |

    I cannot believe anything later than 1900 could be considered archaeology with so much documentation and PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE to talk to. This reminds me of the excavation of the Barbie Doll sent supposedly to the Smithsonian.

    1. CT
      CT at |

      5 stars!!! These “experts” need to get out and talk to PEOPLE.

  18. Jack Kessler
    Jack Kessler at |

    I am still not sure whether this is a send-up or not, but if it isn’t, it shows the hazards of archaeological interpretation. I lived in communal houses in that era and I can assure you that the records that were found were there survived precisely because no one played them. Records that anyone wanted to listen to were soon stolen for the most part, or exchanged for crap, or wore out, or got scratched too badly to be played,

    Parkman is looking at the dregs that remains in what was in effect a record exchange, and assuming that they are there because they were played. In fact the opposite is the case. The reason they remained in the exchange was that no one wanted them.

    To put this in archaeological terms, Parkman thinks he found a trove whereas in fact he has found a midden.

  19. Sandy
    Sandy at |

    David Gans, my thoughts exactly…

  20. Michael Simmons
    Michael Simmons at |

    Firstly, Gans point is perfect, furthermore there is a Grand Canyon twixt the hackneyed definition of “hippie” in 2015 and the reality in the 1960s-’70s. I will write about this elsewhere.

    Also, the little girl who’s constantly being identified as Courtney Love is Stacy Kreutzmann, drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s daughter. This claim has been debunked for decades.

  21. Scott Holmes
    Scott Holmes at |

    I believe it to be fairly common knowledge that Jerry Garcia’s favorite female valcalist was Dolly Parton. So much for musical taste stereotypes. And I really enjoyed, “Why Is There Air”

  22. PeiPei
    PeiPei at |

    You can learn a lot by excavating through any culture’s rubbish…what people throw away can speak volumes about that culture. But if you don’t realize that what you are sifting through is their garbage, you will most likely come away with a misinterpretation of that culture. Seems like that’s exactly what happened here!

  23. tipipaul
    tipipaul at |

    Frisbees! How many of those “not cool-parents music” records became frisbees?


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