“The rear view mirror of life”, is a saying I coined at the tender age of 22 before I fully understood how dearly I would resonate with the concept. It was 1982, I lived in Marin county, and I was finishing up my education. At the time I was “working” part time involved in “scouting” the local music scene for a girlfriend’s well connected brother. During this time I fell in love with live music, small venues, large outdoor festivals, and anything having to do with taking in an artist’s live act.
The era was fueled by the “me” generation of the 70’s where there was very little talk of political correctness, social norms, or “limits.” It was an era of “self actualization”, finding oneself, and developing your self awareness. The police did not stop drunk drivers and throw them in jail. Instead you were “escorted” home and told to “beat it.” The run and gun wildness may have come from the break all the rules 1960s.
With all of that in focus, I ventured over to the Sausalito Art Festival to catch the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. The Jefferson Starship, sans Grace, were the headliners with Quick Silver Messenger service. Both bands were spectacular in their delivery, in their selection of music, and in their ability to wrestled the memories of the past through my “rear view mirror of life.”
My favorite was Marty Balin who still remains one of the premiere front men from the 1960’s giants of music. His delivery and pure melodic voice is a reminder that what once was great can always remain great. As always, Balin plays to the crowd’s emotions and memories in a way very few can perform.. He loves what he does and what he does to people! Balin is an incredible talent. His rendition of “Hearts” was a heart wrenching reminder that we all need someone special, we all need to love one another, and we all must never forget to take the time to connect.
Yet the most important discovery of the day was the people. The crowd was a 45-65 group with Summer of Love life experience. People were touched by the music as reflection for a time gone by was evident in most people’s eyes. It was a gathering of old friends coming together. People were hugging and reminiscing while paying homage to the music that was the soundtrack of their lives.
It was a symbol for the Summer of Love generation: Love, Peace, Tolerance to all!