It’s 2021 and untold thousands of old hippies are turning 70 this year. But the question is how many of us are truly far-out hippies and how many are simply flower child wannabes?
To find out for sure, you’re invited to take this quiz or administer it to a loved one. We just hope you can resist the urge to cheat by consulting your spouse or friend, YouTube, Google or an Ouija board.
1. If you go to San Francisco, what should you wear?
2. What was the hippie generation’s favorite dessert?
3. When was Woodstock? What town was it in? Give yourself an extra point if you can recall the name of the (Jewish) gent who leased festival organizers his dairy farm.
4. What’s the most hated day of the week and according to whom?
5. What couldn’t the Rolling Stones get?
6. What’s the only thing you can’t get at Alice’s Restaurant?
7. In “Hell no, we won’t go,” where exactly were we unwilling to go?
8. What was Bob Dylan’s original name?
9. What was Ram Dass’s best-selling book?
10. What does TM stand for? An extra point if you know the movement leader’s name and can spell it.
11. What was Richard Nixon’s nickname?
12. What was the rumor concerning the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus?”
13. Fill in the blank: The Chicago _____ and tell us who they were.
14. What year was San Francisco’s Summer of Love? Give yourself an extra point for the famous rabbi who opened the House of Love and Prayer in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
15. Who provided security at the Altamont rock festival?
16. What was Archie Bunker’s nickname for his long-haired son-in-law?
17. What was the “age” featured in Hair? What else was the musical known for?
18. What was a popular method for disposing of one’s draft card? An extra point if you can recall the garment that often suffered the same fate.
19. Which Beatle did millions of Jewish fans believe was Jewish?
20. What was a favorite destination for those draftees refusing to serve in Vietnam?
1. Flowers in your hair. This according to “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear [Some] Flowers in Your Hair).” The 1967 song, written by John Phillips and recorded by Scott McKenzie, was dubbed the “unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement” and was wildly popular with hippies and straight folk alike.
2. Hash brownies, of course. The treat served a dual purpose: Creating a marijuana high and satisfying the infamous “munchies” that this stoned state generates.
3. On August 14-16, 1969, Woodstock Music and Art Fair drew a half million hippies to the small Catskills town of Bethel, New York, where Jewish dairy farmer Max Yasgur had rented organizers his 240-hectare (600-acre) farm. An extra point if you can prove you were there, and another if you can actually remember the experience.
4. Monday. Since the Mamas & the Papas declared in their 1966 tune “Monday, Monday” that “Every other day, every other day of the week is fine, yeah. But whenever Monday comes, you can find me cryin’ all of the time.”
5. Satisfaction. This was the complaint at the heart of the Stones’ 1965 “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the single initially receiving limited play in their native UK due to its somewhat steamy lyrics, yet it was destined to become the band’s first American chart-topper.
6. Alice herself. As singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie (His dad: famed folksinger Woody Guthrie, and his Jewish mom: dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie) sang in his 56-verse musical saga, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”: “You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. Excepting Alice. You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant. I said walk right in, it’s around the back. Just a half a mile from the railroad track. And you can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant.”
7. Vietnam. “Hell, no, we won’t go” was a familiar battle cry during the countless anti-war rallies, demonstrations and sit-ins in cities and campuses around the US from the late ’60s until 1973. Most notably the 35,000-strong March on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on October 21, 1967.
8. Robert Allen Zimmerman, born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941. Beginning with the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1962, Dylan was destined to bestow on the hippie movement such generation-defining antiestablishment classics as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “All Along the Watchtower.”
9. Be Here Now. The Harvard psychology professor-turned-psychedelic-researcher-yogi Ram Dass (born in 1931 into a Boston Jewish family as Richard Alpert) filled the pages of this 1971 spiritual guidebook with a stew of yoga, mysticism and meditation. The thick square paperback, with its distinctive blue mandala cover, was soon a must-have for hippies everywhere.
10. Transcendental Meditation. Founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought his Western-friendly version of Vedic meditation to the US in the mid-’50s. By the 1970s millions had learned the technique, including the Beatles. In those peak years, other celebrities such as Mary Tyler Moore, Merv Griffin and Doug Henning frequently appeared on TV to testify to their positive TM experiences.
11. Tricky Dick. It was, sadly for the president, not a term of endearment. To whit: These lyrics from the 1972 tune “Tricky Dicky” by singer-songwriter and Woodstock performer Country Joe McDonald (you guessed it, his mom, Florence Plotnick, was Jewish): “The war keeps going on and on and the kids won’t respect the cops. It’s even said that God is dead. When will it ever stop? Hey, it’s Tricky Dicky from Yorba Linda. Hip hip hip hurrah.”
12. That Paul McCartney was dead. It was widely believed that the altogether inexplicable lyrics to this song off the Beatles’ 1967 Magical Mystery Tour album revealed that Paul was dead and, furthermore, that this would be apparent if one played the song backward. Which basically nobody could. As late as 1969 the rumor persisted on college campuses that he’d been killed and replaced with a look-alike. But it eventually faded out when McCartney continued to appear alive and well at performances and on TV and movies. A wink to the public: the title of his 1993 solo album was “Paul is Live.”
13. Seven. The defendants – including such counterculture cowboys as Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis – were arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago for conspiracy and crossing state lines with intent to incite a riot. Eventually, all were acquitted on appeal and released. But not before six of the seven were forced to undergo haircuts in jail for “sanitary reasons.”
14. 1968. With the streets of San Francisco a magnet for young hippies, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, whose music would transform Jewish worship across the denominations, opened the House of Love and Prayer in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to pull those the rabbi called the “holy hippielech” off the streets and into Jewish life.
15. The Hells Angels. An effort to create a Northern California answer to Woodstock a few months earlier, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, attracted some 300,000. It’s said that the Hells Angels motorcycle gang had been promised $500 worth of beer to keep an eye on the stage, but the day was destined to turn dark with four deaths – a stabbing, two hit-and-runs and an LSD drowning – as well as numerous stolen cars and reports of property damage. And, though such rock luminaries as Santana, Jefferson Airplane and the Rolling Stones performed, The Grateful Dead refused to go on due to the violence. Prompting Rolling Stone magazine’s description as “rock and roll’s all-time worst day.”
16. Meathead. During the eight-year run (1971-1979) of Norman Lear’s wildly popular sitcom All in the Family, each week viewers were treated to the verbal sparring between that master of the malapropism Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) and his sarcastic live-in hippie son-in-law Michael Stivic, aka the aforementioned Meathead (Rob Reiner).
17. Of Aquarius. Soon after Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical debuted on Broadway in 1968, shaking up the theater world with its portrayal of hippie life complete with profanity and sexual and drug allusions, in addition to some unprecedented nudity, The 5th Dimension’s recording of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” climbed the charts. “When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius, Aquarius.” The film Hair featuring Treat Williams followed in 1979.
18. By fire. An estimated 25,000 young men burned their draft cards in the ’60s and early ’70s, providing a vivid image of protest that spread like... wildfire through the media. In 1965, Congress passed a law making such destruction illegal, with one case making it up to the Supreme Court, which upheld the law. Still, the burning continued to make headlines.
Extra credit: If you guessed that early women’s libbers burned their bras (which typically take longer to consume than a draft card), the extra point is yours.
19. That would be Ringo. The thought of a “Jewish Beatle” not only thrilled the Jewish prepubescents of the ’60s and ’70s, but also earned Starr antisemitic death threats while performing in Montreal.
Alas, it was not true. Starr (now Sir Ringo), however, does have two close family connections: his Jewish stepdad, Harry Graves, and Jewish wife, actress Barbara Bach (Goldbach), now Lady Starkey.
20. Canada. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly half of the roughly 30,000 American draft evaders who, aided by anti-war organizations, crossed the border to make new lives in Canada, beginning in 1965, stayed after the war ended a decade later. Long after the threat of arrest and the stigma of draft-dodging had evaporated, many thousands of them opted to build lives and raise families as Canadian citizens.
Scoring: Award yourself 5 points for every correct answer, and 10 for all that you get right without having consulted your spouse, friend, YouTube, Google or an Ouija board.