HomeNewsHippie Digest Monday: Mickey Hart ,Paul McCartney and For my next number – illness and death
Prophet of loss: Leonard Cohen, now 78

Mickey Hart leads a drum circle to kick off Art Town Sunday at Idlewild Park.

Drum Circle with Grateful Dead percussionist brings community together in RenoFor a few hours on Sunday afternoon, Idlewild Park was transformed into a throwback to San Francisco in the 1960s, with dozens of self-proclaimed hippies dancing and drumming in a circle with former Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart during Artown‘s first day.

Artown has in the past focused opening day events such as parades and face-painting, festival manager Bryan Wildman said.

But by scheduling weekly family activities, Wildman said the opening day festival can cater to a wider variety of people.

“We always try to include the community, and it really became obvious to all of us that the audience wants a hands-on event,” he said. “When the opportunity to get Mickey (Hart) came, (we) really wanted to do a drum circle.” More…

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McCartney turns 70, shows no sign of slowing down

Paul McCartney can still rock at 70. What more could a former Beatle want?

He celebrated his birthday in private today, perhaps resting up between gigantic gigs this summer. But he shows no sign of slowing down as his music is passed on to generations too young to have seen him in Wings, much less the Beatles.

Once a pot-smoking counterculture rebel, “Sir Paul” is very much part of the British establishment now, closing Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee concert earlier this month with a mix of favorites that included a raucous “All My Loving,” one of the Beatles’ first smash hits.

He’s also preparing for a featured role as the final act at the July 27 opening ceremony of the London Olympics – just another global audience of a billion or more for one of the most popular performers in pop history.

Prophet of loss: Leonard Cohen, now 78

For my next number – illness and death
Forget sex and drugs, rock’s newest subject is ageing, says Nick Hasted“Hope I die before I get old,” Roger Daltrey declared in The Who’s 1965 song “My Generation”. Pete Townshend, then 20, wrote the words in the voice of a speed-gulping mod, a raging adolescent foreseeing no future.

He was keeping faith with the 1950s rock youthquake, and anticipating the hippies who trusted no one over 30. Many of rock’s heroes, from Janis Joplin to Amy Winehouse, obligingly died at 27.

In 2012, one of Townshend’s contemporaries, 63-year-old Peter Hammill, is by contrast singing this, on his remarkable new song “All the Tiredness”: “All the tiredness that you’ve held in waiting, in abeyance, now comes rushing in… Though I made it through the shows, something got left behind, a debt I owe.” The Van der Graaf Generator vocalist lists the inescapable exhaustion that hits the body in its sixties. This is rock’s new subject, as the elixir of youth it promised fails, and its makers and listeners face decrepitude and death. When you don’t die before you get old, Hammill has survived to say, this is how it feels.

“When I started playing in the 1960s,” he tells me, “nothing had been going longer than five years, and it was – and largely remains – the music of youth. But once it became clear that, ‘Yes, this can go on longer,’ it had to start addressing the point of view of all sorts of ages, and the problems that hit.”

Forget sex and drugs, rock’s newest subject is ageing, says Nick Hasted More…


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