It’s Wavy Gravy’s 80th birthday. So that got me thinking about the ole’ Wave-ster . .
Of course I have mixed feelings about Wavy Gravy. To me he kind of symbolized the whole ’60s “Woodstock Nation” myth. All that hippie bullshit the media was pushing. Wavy’s main claim to fame is that he was one of the original hippies. The last of a dying breed. He was there in ’66 doling out the LSD at Kesey’s Acid Tests. And Wavy never wavered from the course. Kept on wavy-ing. And turned himself into kind of a professional hippie.
I guess one of the things that annoyed me about so many of these ’60s icons is the air of self-congratulation they endlessly exuded. Always going on about the greatness of the ’60s. And, of course, the greatness of themselves for bringing us the ’60s. When, in my opinion. The accomplishments of the ’60s were rather meager. And they also left a rather nasty after-taste; little things like the Drug Epidemic that followed in it’s wake (you might have heard of that one).
My only real interaction with Wavy Gravy was around 1990. John Holmstrom — the legendary editor of HIGH TIMES magazine (among many other things) — asked me to interview Wavy Gravy for an exclusive feature in HIGH TIMES magazine. Wavy was running for Mayor of Berkeley, or something. So we could kind of milk a media feature out of it.
Wavy Gravy did his hippy-dippy groovy “free spirit” act when he was on stage. But when I interviewed him in private he just seemed like a grouch old curmudgeon.
Or maybe I’m just a bitter cynic who lacks true grooviness.
But my Wavy Gravy interview ended up getting a little blurb on the cover of HIGH TIMES. So I made the Big Time at last, baby!