This article Laurel Canyon, Part 2: James Dean and the Beatniks was interesting to me because it gave some more perspective on that generation which my mother (b.1939) considered herself a part of. My mother sometimes called herself a "beatnik" or even "bohemian". She lived in Greenwich Village in 1960-64 roughly and was at some of Bob Dylan's little coffeehouse sessions, and she sat in with Judy Collins in a pub session once.
Anyway, those were the same days during which she met my father, who had been working for NOAA in the Antarctic Sea, and had participated in the search for the nuclear submarine “Thresher” when it disappeared mysteriously in 1963. My father also had an interesting friend named Ronald Hadley Starks.
"Manson's supply of LSD may have come directly from the CIA. A new type of LSD known as "Orange Sunshine" was being used by the Manson Family immediately prior to the Tate-LaBianca murders according to Family member Charles "Tex" Watson, who wrote in his prison memoir that it was the use of the Orange Sunshine LSD that finally convinced him that Manson's Helter Skelter, apocalyptic vision was real. (13) And this special LSD may have been supplied by the CIA. Orange Sunshine was manufactured and distributed by a group known as "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love" who operated out of a beach resort near Los Angeles. The Brotherhood had among it's drug manufacturers and dealers, one Ronald Stark, a person with known connections to the CIA. It is believed that Stark was responsible for the manufacture of up to 50 million hits of LSD). (14)
(13) Will You Die for Me?: The man who killed for Charles Manson tells his
own story by Tex Watson, as told to Chaplain Ray, Fleming H. Revell Company,
(14) Acid Dreams, pages 248-251”
This same Ronald Stark visited my parents after they moved to Maine. One year before that, he was best man at my father and mother's wedding. Old timers in my town still remember the time in around 1965, that Starks came up for a visit in a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with two or even three female groupies on board.
Coincidentally (or not) my mother’s best friend from New York City, who had moved to Maine one year ahead of her, was the ex-wife of (author of the 1978 book ”Operation Mind Control”) Walter Bowart. They all had relocated to the Camden area, which was where I was born. Camden is noted for having the largest population of retired CIA agents in the world, but that’s probably just a coincidence.
This all reminds me of something Dave McGowan wrote:
"The epicenter of the Cambridge folk scene was the legendary Club 47, opened in 1958 as a jazz and blues venue. A very young Joan Baez, whose reputedly CIA-connected father worked at nearby MIT, was the first folkie to take the stage, not long after the club opened. Dylan reportedly first performed there in 1961, taking the stage between the billed acts. The scene hit its peak in the summer of 1962, which was the Cambridge equivalent of the Haight’s Summer of Love."
"The Cambridge scene, and others in Greenwich Village and elsewhere, were necessary precursors to the Laurel Canyon scene. The canyon scene was essentially created by taking the music of that earlier scene, particularly the work of Dylan and Seeger, and mixing it with the instrumentation being utilized across the pond by a band known as the Beatles. It is entirely fitting then that, as with Laurel Canyon, the Cambridge scene came complete with its own resident psycho killer."
"In addition to the folk scene hitting its peak in the summer of 1962, something else newsworthy happened in Cambridge that summer: a lot of women started turning up dead – six of them in that first summer alone, and seven more over the next couple of years. And as Susan Kelly noted in The Boston Stranglers, one of those victims was killed right across the street from Club 47: “Just across the street from [victim Beverly Samans’] apartment, a very young and not yet famous Joan Baez and an equally youthful and unknown Bob Dylan were playing to reverently hushed audiences at the Club 47.”"
"Folkie Richard Farina, by the way, was the husband of Mimi Baez, Joan’s younger sister. Farina had attended Cornell University as an engineering major. Cornell also happened to be where Joan and Mimi’s dad, Albert Baez, conducted classified research. Albert Baez tended to move around a lot, popping up for varying periods of time at Stanford, UC Berkeley, Cornell, and MIT, all of which have been repeatedly identified as hotbeds of MK-ULTRA research."
"Albert Baez also traveled abroad, to France, Switzerland, and, in 1951, to Baghdad, Iraq, where he spent a year purportedly teaching physics and building a physics laboratory at the University of Baghdad. 1951 also happened to be the year that Mossadegh was duly elected in neighboring Iran and the CIA immediately began planning a coup to oust him, but I’m sure that that is just a coincidence.
Anyway, Farina married Mimi when he was twenty-six and she was just seventeen. The two of them, along with Joan, became stars of the Cambridge folk music scene, which they were introduced to when their dad moved the family to Boston in 1958 when he went to work at MIT. Richard and Mimi’s marriage was a short one, alas, as Richard Farina was killed in a motorcycle accident in Carmel, California, on, of all days, April 30, 1966. On that very same day, in nearby San Francisco, Anton Szandor LaVey declared it to be the dawn of the Age of Satan."
There's my perspective on it. Thanks for your choice to undertake this series looking at these things in a new light.