The Book

 

Half documentary, half novel about the Hippie phenomenon, full of humour and anarchy, told by someone who was there, and still is! For those who lived through that unique era and those who want to discover the roots of the music they listen to now. A unique story because very few will have experienced anything like it and, even if they had, not many will be able to remember in such psychedelic intensity.

 

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"A roller-coaster hallucinogenic ride through the hippie years and beyond"

Tim Abbot, Creation Records (Oasis)

About the Author

Even at a very young age, Lee Martin demonstrated an independent nature. His outlook on life was to buck the trend, get away from the norm. People tend to settle for roles that are predetermined for them, either by their circumstances, their environment, their parents or their education. It wasn’t like that for Lee, nobody made his decisions – except himself. When he grew into a teenager, he worked at many manual jobs to make a bit of money – kitchen porter and odd-job man and barrow-loader in a pottery. He went on the road and travelled to America and the Far East, leading a nomadic lifestyle and acquiring the ability to think for himself and try to understand the meaning of it all. He came back to the UK with ideas about writing this book, but events overtook him and he never got around to it until now. He mixed with New-Age travellers and got involved in events like the Beltane Bash at the Horse-Drawn Camp. With the spread of family-orientated music festivals in the new millennium, Lee was one of the organisers of the Lakefest happening in Gloucestershire, originally held at Croft Farm but now relocated to Eastnor Castle near Ledbury. He currently lives on Bredon Hill with his wife Becky and their two children.

Excerpt

PROLOGUE

This is a book on two levels. First, it’s a history of the hippie phenomenon, from its origins in the Beat Generation of the 1950s, through to its survival today in the form of new-agers and post new-agers, environmentalists, alternative lifestyle enthusiasts and spiritualists. It traces the life of one particular Hippie on a journey from the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco in the 1960s to New York during the Summer of Love and then to Woodstock in 1969. The biography comes back to England at the end of that decade and the story resumes in the UK of the 1970s and 1980s. It narrates the history of the free festivals like Windsor and Stonehenge and the brutality hippies faced from the establishment and a rabid tabloid press. The book touches on Greenham Common and the Peace Movement, before taking to the Hippie Trail and trekking to India and Nepal. The pseudo-biographer suffers personal loss on the way back and experiments within a commune as a way to deal with this trauma. He eventually goes back on the road in a horse-drawn vardo before organising his own music festival in Gloucestershire. On a second level, the book delves into the metaphysical philosophy of the hippie culture, at first using hallucinogenic drugs, but eventually experiencing enlightenment through understanding. This element of the story may be difficult for non-hippie readers to grasp – but here’s a simple step-by-step guide to its meaning. Continue reading

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