Acid Heroes

January 8, 2016

Wavy Gravy

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 11:43 pm
Tags: , , ,

More bitter vitriol from ole’ Ace Backwords for no discernible reason.

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!




  1. In the early 90s, I went to a public birthday party/poetry reading for bald headed pervert Alan Ginsberg and a whole cast of 60s retreads and washed up old hippies were there, incl. Wavy Gravy, and an audience of younger people who wished they’d been born in time for all that. The insufferable self-congratulations were just as you described. I despised them and that whole generation.

    Comment by hardears pickney — January 12, 2016 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

    • Yeah. I never got Alan Ginsberg, either. He just seemed like a no-talent who got lucky due to his association with Kerouac (one of the greats in my opinion). And then made a living off of jumping on the ’60s counterculture bandwagon as a professional Beatnik icon. Kerouac, of course, wanted to nothing to do with all that ’60s crap. Unlike Ginsberg, Kerouac repudiated the whole lot of them while it was happening. Instead of jumping onto the gravy train like Ginsberg did.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — January 15, 2016 @ 12:30 am | Reply

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