SONGS OF LOVE AND HAIGHT
You may have heard it said that if you can remember the Sixties, you werent there. As it happens, I actually was there, and in 1967, during the famous Summer of Love I was living in what was then the world center of the Hippie counterculture -- San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury district.
In that atmosphere of unusual freedom and creativity, I published the first Pot-Shots postcards, which, as you may know, eventually grew into a series numbering 10,000. But another production, of which Im equally proud, but which is much less well-known, was a set of satirical songs about the Hippie scene, which I wrote and sang in Golden Gate Park to an informal daily gathering sometimes numbering in the hundreds, and published as the HAIGHT-ASHBURY SONGBOOK -- Songs of Love and Haight.
These songs consist of new lyrics for tunes you probably know. They're parodies which echo the originals, but put a completely different slant on them. For example, My Grandfathers Clock becomes My Grandfathers Pot and the Whiffenpoof Song morphs into The Hippenpoof Song. Tidings of Comfort and Joy becomes a song about sexual freedom. And in my version of Clementine, the miner forty-niner is now a runaway minor named Regina.
Different songs reflect various aspects of the Hippie era, such as public nudity, conflicts with the police, pan-handling, the Diggers, and of course the two mind-altering drugs, known familiarly as pot and acid, which were an essential part of the whole scene.
We all knew at the time that that scene was too beautiful to last, and this anticipatory nostalgia was indeed a theme of several of my songs. But my musical contribution to the Sixties has until now been available only in the form of the original tabloid Haight-Ashbury Songbook (first editions currently selling at various sites on the Internet for prices up to $140) and a now very rare LP record called Ashleigh Brilliant In the Haight-Ashbury, which actually contained only a few of the songs in the Songbook, and was never widely marketed.
Just recently, however, I had an opportunity to make a new recording, singing all of the immortal creations from that unique publication. And Im happy to announce that I can now offer this collection to you on a CD.
With a new wave of permissiveness sweeping away old taboos (and a measure to legalize recreational use of marihuana actually set to appear on the California ballot in November 2010) this seems a good time for a new release of my outrageous songs, whose stated purpose, as proclaimed in the Songbook itself, has always been to spread joy and consternation throughout society.
But wait! Theres more! Besides all 33 songs which were in the original Haight-Ashbury Songbook (and one which wasnt, but should have been), this CD also gives you two equally startling, but totally different, masterpieces. One is my hectic recounting (in 4 minutes) of the entire history of America from Columbus to the Space Age (with all the important names, dates, and facts) to the rousing beat of John Philip Sousas Stars and Stripes Forever. The other is my incredible version of Offenbachs Can-Can (absolutely not to be missed by any cat-lover.)
For a list of all the songs on the CD, please see below.
The price of this whole exhilarating concoction is just $25, which includes shipping anywhere in the world.
To ORDER (Just write Songs CD in the Item line.)
SONGS OF LOVE AND HAIGHT
By Ashleigh Brilliant
As First Sung by the Author in Golden Gate Park,
And First Published in his Haight-Ashbury Songbook
San Francisco, 1967
[Recorded by Dan Fiebiger, Portland, Oregon, April 2010]
(Total time: 55:31)
1. There Is a Digger in the Town (1:32) ["There
Is A Tavern In the Town"]
2. The Intercourse Song (1:44) ["God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"]
3. Haight-Ashbury The Beautiful (1:05) ["America The Beautiful"]
4. Father Fallon (1:36) ["Sweet Betsy From Pike"]
5. So Jolly (0:41) ["Hello Dolly"]
6. Hateful Powers (0:49) ["April Showers"]
7. The Hippenpoof Song (1:27) ["The Whiffenpoof Song"]
8. Hippie Get Stoned (2:15) ["Jimmy Crack Corn"]
9. Marry-Wanna (0:58) ["Celito Lindo"]
10. It's a Nark (0:53) ["Lone Ranger" theme from "William Tell" Overture]
11. Digger Lullaby (1:13) ["Hush Little Baby, Don't Say a Word"]
12. Home in the Trees (1:17) ["Home On the Range"]
13. Hippie Hill (1:10) ["Bless 'Em All"]
14. Chiquita Banana Song (0:54) ["Chiquita Banana Song"]
15. San Francisco - Full of Marihuana (3:59) ["Alouette"]
16. Seventy Chicks (1:21) ["Seventy-Six Trombones"]
17. The Girl I Left in Berkeley (1:43) ["The Girl I Left Behind Me"]
18. How Delinquent Can You Be (2:33) ["My Darling Clementine"]
19. Don't You Lie To Me (1:30) ["Oh Susanna"]
20. The Panhandler's Song (1:23) ["Mockingbird Hill"]
21. The Hitching Hippie (1:17) ["Lili Marlene"]
22. Hey Run Me Over (0:46) ["Hey Look Me Over"]
23. Take Acid and You'll See (1:08) "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"]
24. The Singing Hippie (1:16) ["Dominique," from "The Singing Nun"]
25. I Love Haight Street (0:41) ["I Love Paris"]
26. The Bridge (2:28) ["The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night"]
27. On the Street Where I Live (1:24) ["On the Street Where You Live"]
28. Don't Be Square (0:38) ["Over There"]
29. My Grandfather's Pot (1:02) ["My Grandfather's Clock"]
30. Took a Little Trip (1:07) ["Jamaica Farewell" -- "Left a Little Girl in Kingston Town"]
31. "Cockels" and "Mussels" (2:13) ["Molly Malone"]
32. My Teenie Bopper With the Light Blue Jeans (0:57) ["I Dream of Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair"]
33. Around The Bay (0:43) ["Around The World"]
34. Haight-Ashbury Farewell (2:14) ["Red River Valley"]
35. American History Song (4:02) ["The Stars and Stripes Forever"]
36. The Pussy-Cat Can-Can (2:54) [Offenbach's "Can-Can"]
37. About the Author (1:17)
I just spent a delightful 55:46 listening to your songs I laughed, I cried, I sang along. Your spoken intros to the songs added greatly to the experience Every track is my favorite of all, as I listen to it. Then the next track is You are a national treasure."
-- Fred Brown, North Carolina. email@example.com
[A complete set of lyrics will be made available
to all purchasers of the
Price of CD: $25 (includes shipping anywhere)
To Order (type "Songs CD" in "Item" line)
CD: "SONGS OF LOVE AND HAIGHT"
by Ashleigh Brilliant.
by Dan Fiebiger
I live on Haight Avenue in Portland
Oregon. For years, even decades, when I was spelling the street
I lived on for people seeking my address, I always said, "It's
pronounced and spelled just like "Haight-Ashbury", without
the "Ashbury", and everyone I talked to instantly understood
what I meant.
Then suddenly a few years ago, I started
running across people who had never heard of "Haight Ashbury",
or the whole San Francisco Hippie counter-culture movement of
the 60s that revolutionized my entire generation's social and
cultural outlook on life, and I realized that part of the history
that I had grown up with was slowly being eroded and erased from
the public consciousness. I even met some people who had no idea
who The Beatles or Neil Armstrong were.
This was (and still is) pretty alarming,
kind of like the beginning of forgetting that World War II or
the American Revolution had happened, and I then knew how the
Jews felt when they ran across people who had never heard that
the Holocaust had happened, and didn't believe it could happen,
and why the Jews were so adamant about keeping that memory alive.
Finally I understood, even though
my topic, the Haight-Ashbury era, was far less dramatic or horrific
than the Jewish Holocaust.
Now comes to the rescue Ashleigh Brilliant's
wonderful collection of songs on CD written at and during the
Haight-Ashbury experience in San Francisco, a still-living piece
of real significant history first created in 1967, the "summer
of love", the actual peak of the movement.
For everything significant that came
out of that era, and that summer, the great music groups like
the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, (etc.),
the cultural events like the Monterey Pop Music Festival which
introduced Jimi Hendrix and The Who to large-scale American audiences,
and gave rise to the invention of the large-scale rock festival,
the wonderful "underground" artistry of Robert Crumb
and his contemporaries, and those far-seeing writers like Hunter
S. Thompson and those other writers and editors who would soon
bring us Rolling Stone magazine, etc., Ashleigh Brilliant was
right in the middle of it all, writing his songs and poems, standing
on a milk box and singing them to gathering crowds almost daily
in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, doing his bit to encourage
this amazing cultural revolution that affected and influenced
an entire boomer generation.
When he came to visit me in Portland
early in 2010, and mentioned his songs, I just had to volunteer
my modest basement recording studio to record these songs anew
(they had been recorded once for an LP which is now out of print)
so that Ashleigh could send them out on his web site, to preserve
a significant part of our generation's cultural history that brought
on all the social and artistic movements that are still quietly
intertwined with the fabric of our current society.
Current generations have their forms
of music, artistic styles, writing styles, and alternative concepts
that are available today, and taken for granted, because the Hippies
in the 60s (evolving from the "Beat Generation" of the
50s) created them, gave birth to many of them, nurtured them,
and fought to keep them alive, and kept those concepts, philosophies,
and movements thriving, evolving, and merging with the additional
conceptual and artistic contributions of the 70s, 80s, 90s, into
the 21st century, with aging factions still keeping those original
ideas (and the atmosphere of openness to allow for the invention
of even newer ideas) alive to this day.
So what artist-historian Ashleigh
Brilliant has done in his "SONGS OF LOVE AND HAIGHT"
CD is demonstrate a significant origin of those concepts, those
ideas, those alternate ways of thinking in their raw, pure, original
solo-vocal form, and so everyone should seek out a copy of his
CD, to see where we were, and forever measure it against where
we are now. Even re-discovering the original songs that Ashleigh
parodies with his verses is a worthwhile exercise, just cuz that's
part of our world musical history also.
Otherwise, a giant gift to current
world society will be forever lost.
And that would be truly tragic.
And so Ashleigh Brilliant's "SONGS
OF LOVE AND HAIGHT" CD is highly recommended as the endlessly
fascinating cultural-artistic document of cutting-edge ideas that
And by the way, his songs are a just
a lot of FUN to hear also, just like his "Pot Shots".
Even without all the historical-cultural
trappings, that alone is worth your while, and worth his price
Try it, you'll like it.
North Haight Ave