NAT FREEDLAND wonder weekend Los Angeles

Hey Antonin Artaud, you poor old dead junkie faggot funny-farm-commuter genius, it's really a drag that you weren't around in freaky LA this past weekend for the Be-In II and the Oracle Celebration.

Because it was your sad hang-ups that went Into "Theater and Its Double" and made you see the future's Theater of Religious Arts Ceremonial as a Theater of Cruelty. Sure, you could get the people where they live by confronting their minds with the power of evil and death. There ain't hardly never been Theater of Cruelty like the Mayan Human Sacrifice Ritual.

But in two sunny days of Southern California last weekend, the New Children of Hip proved that an equally meaningful ceremony could be attained via the Theater of Love.


Griffith Park, a small canyon just up the Vermont Ave. road from the Greek Theater. By four PM Saturday the canyon is packed solidly with joyous human beings.

There were at least six thousand persons in the canyon of L.A.s second Be-In, twice as many as the first time around.

And be they did:

They gave each other flowers, they shared food,

they sprawled happily on the grass,

they climbed trees and hills, they heard the UFO, The Doors,

the Sound Machine, et al.

They danced the Dionysus to a mad jazz tribe of African drums, bass, flute and saxes.

They brought their children, they didn't put anybody down, hardly.

They didn't need to be policed by the cops who weren't there anyway, they observed the Love Balloon floating in the sky and the parade of the Flower Power banners, they accepted the gift of 1,000 free, Free Presses in something like 18 1/2 minutes.

They went behind a tree and turned on if they weren't too paranoid, they opened up and became friends with each other.

They didn't go away until the park was closed

They had a time of easeful happiness and didn't cause any trouble of any kind for any authority at all. Mostly what they did was look around in overjoyed amazement at how many people like them came together in one place to have a beauty blast.


And that was just the beginning -- Because on Easter Weekend is coming the Great Love-In at Elysian Park, now being put together by the Free Press and KPFK and the Oracle and the Be-In gang led by Jerry Hopkins with his resplendent scarlet uniform and golden beard.

It was even the beginning in terms of wonder weekend -- because on Sunday the about-to-be-born Los Angeles Oracle opened the doors to its Massive factory and celebrated with wildest freak-out party since the GUAMBO.

In the good old days when our forefathers knew how to live life RIGHT, (harrumph, koff, hak!) when a new newspaper arrived in town it was the signal for a circulation War. And, Circulation Wars were almost as much fun as a Race Riot...plus they even had the justification of a profit motive. What would happen was that each rival paper would hire the roughest muscle goons they could find to drive the circulation routes -- and when they converged on a newsstand the drivers would slug It out, the winner got to throw the loser's papers down a sewer.

However, last Sunday most of the Free Press Staff was down there on Fairfax Avenue at the Oracle office dancing to Love and two other bands and lapping up Vito and Sue's freebie chili.

Before the Be-In, Oracle editor Joe Dana was at the Free Press finding out from publisher Art Kunkin how we run our circulation system and offering to lend the services of any or the wild graphic arts staffers of the upcoming Oracle.


So it looks like the Los Angeles Underground press isn't about to start a circulation war.

About five hundred strange and/or beautiful people came through the doors for the Oracle afternoon and evening sessions. Pictures by the late artist, Godo, filled the walls of the front rooms and most of them were sold by the time the hall closed down.

In the past, the main way an in group held its status was by keeping other people out. However, both items on the wonder weekend agenda were wide open to the public and announced in the Free Press; which is in itself something of a revolution in style. Not that there weren't put down games still going on at the flower gatherings. Groupies, for example, could be observed displaying their more balled than thou status to each other. But still, it's a beginning, the whole weekend was a beginning. Also available up front last Sunday afternoon was a Love Picnic at a park in Ojai. People who went said it drew a crowd of several hundred and was a peace family trip.

Article courtesy of
LA. Free Press, March 17 th , 1967

Elliot Mintz Looking Out
Elliot Mintz Looking Out


The most encouraging result of the two Griffith Park Human Be-Ins has been the fact that it has opened the door for dozens of similar events.

      Easter Sunday at noon the Franklin House sponsors of the Be-Ins, the new Los Angeles "Oracle" and other backers will present what they hope to be an even more significant gathering - the city's first "Love-In".

      I expect the crowd to exceed 25,000. You are invited to be part of this joyous occasion. You may wish to bring a small gift - a stick of incense or an apple to offer to those you meet there. But far more important than any gift is the magic, which your presence will help bring about.

      The West Hollywood Coordinating Council has been in existence for approximately twenty-five years. Its major concern has been juvenile delinquency in the West Hollywood area. Since the flower-power movement is really representative of a concept that is totally alien to any form of criminal activity, the time has come for a more all-encompassing program to meet the NEW needs of the young adult community. An open meeting was held on March 15 th and a few new faces appeared on the scene. One of these was a representative from the Diggers up in San Francisco who have supplied free food and clothes to those in need in the Haight Love Ashbury District. They now plan "youth hotels" in Los Angeles.

      Let's say that a 16 or 17-year-old chick, who just couldn't make it in Iowa, finds herself in front of the Fifth Estate one night without any bread or place to fall out. The "hotel" would be a place where she could make it to. She could go to the "hotel" and seek aid from a staff who would be on 24-hour duty.

      Another Digger endeavor will be an attempt at establishing a local "L A Hippie Job Center".



Article courtesy of
LA. Free Press, March 17 th , 1967

Below is a list of the bands that played during the second "Love-In/Be-In" on the 25 th of February, 1967.

Theme: Bring Flowers
Emcee: Jerry Hopkins

  • Alexander's Timeless Blooz Band
  • Ma's Preserve Jug Band
  • New World Jazz Company
  • The Sound Machine
  • City Lights
  • WC Fields Memorial String Band
  • UFO
  • The Doors

Articles taken from the Los Angeles Times 1967

Five arrests, one for assault with a deadly weapon, marred the surface serenity of a "love-in" in Griffith Park Saturday. An estimated 6,000 hippies and curious onlookers jammed into the Crystal Springs area of the park, creating a monumental traffic jam. As music groups and non-groups played, police arrested Ronald Johnson, 33, of 9145 Eastgate Road, for allegedly threatning persons in the crowd with a .22-caliber revolver. Officers said they found Johnson sitting in a car with a loaded gun and a knife. Four arrests were made for possession of dangerous drugs, an officer on the scene reported.
Police officers raided a love-in in Griffith Park Sunday and arrested 78 youths on various charges in an effort to discourage hippies from using the area near the merry-go-round for gatherings. The raid resulted in arrests on charges of possession of marijuana, battery against a police officer, drinking in public veiw, begging, using profane language in public and smoking in restricted areas. Numerous complaints have been made by citizens, according to Capt. Charles W. Crumley, Hollywood division commander.

Kilroy is here

Coffee Houses
Photo 1
Picture Of
Griffith Park 1
Photo 2
Picture Of
Griffith Park 2
Photo 3
Picture Of
Griffith Park 3
Letter from