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Richard: "... and Taj Mahal will be there as well as the Lovin' Spoonful. So that's going on, it's free. It's in the park in the polo grounds on Sunday at 11. And you know, last week we had a great concert at the Avalon Ballroom and these guys were there to start it off - here are the Byrds ..."

America's youth gravitates to the West Coast, to San Francisco. The times are wild and colourful. To the general public, it looks like nothing but happenings, with loud music, drugs and sex.

But there are in fact other issues at hand - protest against authoritarian structures and politics. Love and Peace, Party and Protest: what memories and feelings remain for the youth of the Sixties and their children today?

Richard: "OK. Some far-out stuff's goin' on around here, I dunno. We have more music than you can shake a stick at. But, you know, that is how radio was back in those days of K-San, years ago? And, I kinda looked like this, lots of long hair, we had turntables, we had records. The station was really instrumental in that era. And I think that's so far-out, I'm gonna go back to it right now, so, yeah, we have some groovy tunes here. Just sit back and listen to Buffalo Springfield."

On one side of the Bay lies San Francisco, on the other, Berkeley, with the famous University of California. This is where the political spark was ignited, that later erupted in the streets of Berkeley. As a child, Piero was right here when it happened, and he can tell it all like a historian. Everywhere he goes he runs into friends, and advertises the concert his band - Los Angelitos - is giving on Friday night.

Telegraph Avenue was and remains home for him. He's on the way to the Mediterranean Cafe, his favourite. In the early Sixties, this was where the political and intellectual scene met. His mother, Marilyn, often took part.

Marilyn: "I was born in Oakland and when I ran away from home, which is a traditional American occupation, I ran to Berkeley, ten miles away. I was a beatnik from 1960. And I was a hippie from - whatever - '65 to '80, maybe, 1980, something like that. So, I've lived here and been involved in the community, politics, social life, cultural life of Berkeley and brought my children up in the same atmosphere, same town."

Sheila: "When I was 17, directly after high school, I moved to Berkeley. I knew it was the place I wanted to be. It was 1960, but the 60s weren't really happening and it wasn't until later that I began to just sort of grow into what was going on."

At first, the political scene at the University consisted of small individual groups, which stood up for civil rights, against atomic testing or for free speech. The university administration viewed the petitions with displeasure. The conflict about free speech on the campus escalated.

Piero: "This is Sproul Plaza. Maybe you could call it the eye of the storm, the focal point, where a lot of things began here. But I really have to say that the one spot where things really, really took off was not here - it was rather over there, by the fountain."

A student was arrested by the police. While he sat in the police car, thousands of students thronged around, preventing it from leaving. For hours, inflammatory speeches were held from the roof of the vehicle. Marilyn: "It was very, very tense and people were very excited though because it was the first real - anybody really putting their foot down against the administration. University was known to be - uh - well, they were an enemy."

... and faced with a common enemy, a diversity of groups joined forces.

Marilyn: "It was electrifying, a riveting moment, and especially Mario Savio talking about ... I think his famous speech was something like: Sometimes, the operation of the machine become so odious ..."

Mario Savio: "Makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop and you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that, unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

The university administration had reversed its former acceptance of political activity on the campus. The students vented their frustration by taking over Sproul Hall. That was at the end of 1964 and it marked the beginning of student protests in Berkeley. Support came from many sides; Joan Baez sang her protest.

Sheila: "I remember, quite early on, that someone said to me, "There are these fantastic concerts going on in San Francisco and I'd like to take you." And I said, "Fine." And he said, "And wear bright colours, really bright colours, because there are these black lights. And they're strobe lights and when you dance, then you just will be glowing all over and it will be terrific." And it was."

Marilyn: "Women in heavy-duty costums with heavy face make-up and usually eyes going like that, you know, pinwheel eyes, Lucy-in-the sky-with-diamonds for sure. And a feeling of very earthy happiness."

Colours and shapes match the mood: brown, orange, red and yellow in fashion, at concerts, on the wall and in art. Concert posters have a characteristic style: softly curving lines and contrasting colours.

The legendary Fillmore was opened by Bill Graham, who later became one the most well-known organizers of rock concerts. In the following years, everybody who was anybody played here: Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Ray Charles, Vanilla Fudge ...

Ray: "All the walls of the ballroom with these large flowing colours - well, it was really beautiful. We would try to produce a meaningful parallel of graphic images that would kind of illustrate the songs sometimes, and sometimes take a simple song and make it appear to be transcendental because of the choice of our images, I think. But sometimes, you know, it would get pretty emotional, with the imagery of the music. Yeah, I hear about that. People are still talking about 'Oh, I remember that show!'"

Using an overhead projector, Ray demonstrates how he used to create the images. But back then, there were 16 projectors, as well as film and slide projectors. In each of the two large watch faces he's using, he has one colour diluted with water and oil.

Ray no longer does light shows, but he's still involved in music. In his store, "Grooves", he sells records exclusively.

Tal: "San Francisco was the birth of the psychedelic music movement, as far as I'm concerned. And there's a huge element - anyway, in my ears - of psychedelia in our music. It's what I grew up with, and a lot of that influence, the freedom ..."

John-John: "... and also it's the ambiguity, I think actually, it's the ambiguity of a lot of our songs, that it's not really about something, black and white, it's about an impression. And that's a bit of the psychedelic influence, you know. You're suggesting something, you know, and it's open to interpretation. And it's kind of psychic."

The group is called "If Walls Could Talk" and this piece by Chris, Rob, John-John and Tal combines Psychedelia and Hard Rock.

Tal and the others are on their way to Haight Ashbury, where they have a gig in a small club.

Richard: "It's Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company."

Haight Ashbury, the area near Golden Gate Park, was the centre of hippie culture and a magnet for thousands of young people.

Tal: "In my childhood, there was a sense of serious community here that had to do with a movement. At this point it's about survival and people trying to hang on to their individuality."

Country folk would come to gawk at the exotic goings-on.

Bus driver: "The hippies' is often a strange world in which they live in. They take many trips and the trip of the hippies is generally an unusual one."

LSD and marijuana were part of the trip experience. The drugs elevated the combination of music, readings and meditation into a veritable euphoria of the senses.

Marilyn: "I was at the first be-in in Golden Gate Park. As usual, the atmosphere was very excited, happy. People were just loving one another, and just ready to dance, and you know - take your clothes off and play in the mud, whatever."

While some were making love or demonstrating, other young Americans of the same age were fighting in Vietnam. The war had been going on for several years, but now it escalated. Every month, 20,000 soldiers leave the US for Vietnam. Under police protection, the draftees are brought to Oakland for induction.

The anti-war movement tries time and again to disrupt these transports. For months, police and students in Berkeley wage street battles. Media interest in the war and in the demonstrations leads to increased opposition among the general population. Support also comes from civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King: "And I want to make it very clear, that I am going to continue with all of my might, with all of my energy, and with all of my action to oppose that abominable, evil, unjust war in Vietnam. And I say that there is a great need now for a revolution of value. And I say to you, in conclusion, that we must continue to stand up and we must continue to follow the dictates of our conscience, even if that means breaking unjust laws."

Marilyn: "Sometimes I was demonstrating against the war and sometimes against the draft and sometimes against the death penalty and sometimes against the Board of Regions, the University Board of Regions, and so life was just one big party or protest. In those decades, the 60s and the 70s, I was bringing up my children in this wild atmosphere of partying and politics and assassination and drugs."

Piero: "Part of me, looking around at the stuff that was going on - it was very interesting and exciting - another part of it was just totally shocking. And as a little kid, I was just baffled, I mean, I was amazed. I mean, I understood what was going on, but I didn't understand why people were doing what they were doing. I had no idea. I think they had no idea what they were exposing us to. Not just me, but, like, kids that grew up in my generation. They didn't realize how big of an effect it would have on our lives. We were baffled. I didn't understand why I would come home and, you know, people would have four-day parties and run naked around the house. What I really couldn't understand was the drug behavior, people freaking out, you know, jumping through windows and fighting invisible dragons and deciding - meeting somebody for five minutes and deciding they were going to marry them."

Marilyn: "Sometimes I would be just as interested in the other children's welfare as I was with my own children's welfare and many, many people felt like that. The children were the community children, in a way. So our children came to resent that later. They wanted, you know, the regular life they saw in the United States. I tried to cultivate their responsibility for people through their artistry, sometimes at the expense of one-on-one relationship with, you know, mother and child."

Stylistically, Piero's band, Los Angelitos, follows in the footsteps of bands from the Sixties - Santana, for example.

Marilyn: "All the mothers took care of all the children. The fathers, haha, they were not present. But other men would sort of stand in for fathers and there was a community effort to parent the children. And it was successful, sometimes not. We were trying something brand-new - we thought."

Piero: "After the summer of love came the winter of single mothers."

Sheila: "I think there was a lot of what's called "serial monogamy" going on, where people would get together with somebody until they got to a point where it was difficult. And then they'd split up and then they'd find someone new and then they'd go on to the next person. I think that that happened a lot. It was a time that I had with Tal that was really unique and we sort of grew up together and I rather enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to discuss with anyone else what we were going to do next. I could just make a decision about it and we'd do it."

Tal: "She would gravitate from a pocket of society where she felt comfortable to another pocket of society where someone from that society moved. And they would say,"Come here and live here". So we would be in Berkeley and then we would move to Mendocino and, you know, be living there in a kind of hippie culture, in a micro-community. The only thing I really miss about not being a part of some type of family or, you know, established thing, is that I really value ritual now."

Richard: "And, more music, of course, "Sherry lost her dog, I lost my cuckoo." It's the Chambers Brothers, on K-San."

Priest: "I declare this place decontaminated from poisons, chains and lies. Brothers and sisters, continue planting the seeds in the earth, wash blood-stains off of stone, fill the air with vibrations of love."

Piero: "This is People's Park the great icon of the left. As a child here, I remember this being one of the most productive farming experiments in the United States. There was always food here for little kids. And a lot of things going on. Bands were playing and people were speaking and there was a lot of people making love in the bushes and stuff like that. The Regions from UC California tried to put up fences, they pulled out all the plants, they kicked everybody out, they broke down all the stuff that people had built ... and this is how the whole battle of People's Park began."

The experiment in the park, communal living, the rural commune in the city - Utopia ended abruptly. Ronald Reagan, at that time Governor of the State of California, sent in the National Guard. For months, Berkeley was in a state of siege.

Sheila: "The one that happened by the shop was the People's Park. I turned a corner and there was a National Guardsman with as rifle just aimed directly at me. And I remember just freezing and my heart was just pounding. It looked so ugly. They looked so ugly. They looked so menacing."

Marilyn: "There was a time it was escalating - seriously escalating - the Berkeley Police Department drove around the corner and onto Telegraph Avenue and pressed a button and from the automobile came horrible clouds of unbelievably bad spray. Everyone on the block were drenched by this awful, awful pepper spray, which turned your face on fire."

Normal operations were no longer possible at the university. The army blocked the entrance to the campus. That was in the spring of 1969. Today, a mural is the only reminder of the protagonists on both sides and of those who died in the conflict.

Marilyn: "We thought it was the centre of the universe and that we were beginning movements and, you know, it's the beginning of peace and intergration. And we believed it with all of our hearts, We believed that peace and integration was going to come through hard partying and protesting."

Sheila: "I think that there are a lot of people who say, "Oh, it's very easy to be sentimental about the Sixties." But I think that "sentimental" isn't the right word. It's more. It was a time that had a lot of hope in it and a lot of change and promise of change."

Tal: "My mom has a certain nostalgia. When you're younger and you're rebelling against the material world, you have that luxury, and so you can tell the system to fuck off, you know. But the system's still there and when it comes time for you to want to have some comfort and some stability, the system's going, "Here I am. You gotta play my game now." They were trying to gain that and they were losing their innocence in that process."