Linda Lovely’s Journal – January 1966.

Voices from the Haight #2


The original Linda Lovely has given me permission to post portions from her letters and journals of the Haight-Ashbury period. The photo above was taken about a week before these entries begin…

January 1, 1966 Saturday

Last night was cold and frosted.  I kept trying to get into the bathtub – always someone wanting to use the toilet.  Cold water and cramps and Rolling Stones full volume.  Menthol cigarettes, my trip for the new year, velvets and bangs and opera hose.

Cold, icy Haight Street.  Michael, Diane, Chris and me four abreast to Psychedelic Bookstore.  Books and every record the hip society demands and the proper splashy paintings and the proper Ravi Shankar music.  And paisley.  This is a year for paisley…proper paisley.

Party on Fillmore Street.  Sunset Strip cellar.  Micheal’s face pulling and pinching together tight.  He tolerates the place, puts on a front of enjoying himself.  Diane with a baggy camel coat knife eyes everyone through her glasses with one lens gone.  Plastic turned up frames and missing one lens she darts her eyes about never missing anything chewing on wisps of metallic hair.  She appears frumpy to me all night, the coat, the shoulder strap leather bag, the low heels and glasses and her face never is consistent with the rest of her.  Her face defys you to come to any conclusions whatsoever about her.  She dares everyone to judge her at all.  She is without expression most of the time.  You never know what she might be thinking.

Then to the Matrix and watched the Charlatans, George Hunter dancing and springing about the stage looking like the devil himself.

January 10 Monday

Flu.  True humor begins when a man ceases to take himself seriously. (Pablo – Steppenwolf)


Chris brought me a canvas.  I have been begging for oils and canvas for months.  Now – why do I panic?  It frightens me just to think of painting on that huge black empty space.

January 16, Sunday

A delightful Golden Gate Park day and inside De Young Museum I go.  Lost in the paneled rooms and stained glass windows and Saint Peter statues – everything so old – I for the first time Wow I really believed.  Comprehended the time, the years, medevil religious feeling was there and I let it take me for hours (just a visual and down in the stomach between my ribs trip.) A feeling of hushed reverence for everything I saw.  And for everything I saw – a window or tapestry – there was music in my mind to go with it.  And a castle or German sitting room or candle burning church.

This final ability for involvement is due to grass, I am sure – the involvement with sun shining through an 18th century chandelier, just digging it for the longest time is like on grass crawling inside a string quartet or Beatles music, nothing else exists and so whatever I am concentrating on I feel, see and am wholly and completely.  To do this on will or spontaneously is a great thing to me.  You know, I’ve always been too hung up with me before to even begin to go beyond to anything else.  Even a movie.  I gave so little attention to in the pre-days, the dog days.

Awareness of self first always but not to stay on that trip for 20 years.  Aware of self, dig self, work with self – then jump out of self and be free.


3 thoughts on “Linda Lovely’s Journal – January 1966.

  1. “Aware of self, dig self, work with self – then jump out of self and be free.”

    Man, I read that and a big piece of the whole ugly self-centered world suddenly came into some kind of perspective. Amazing words, Linda.

    I think it had less to do with the herb than the focus that came from the herb and actually helped point in a different direction. It pointed against self, the place we get trapped in and, alas, few of us ever leave. Being free is about leaving ourselves behind.

    From a Christian perspective, from which I try to work, this means giving up the notion that I am the center and that I am somehow in control. Being free, for me anyways, means letting go and allowing for someone bigger than me to make the action happen. That doesn’t mean I don’t argue with God on a regular basis. Every chance I get, I argue. I guess I don’t mind losing.

    But it’s more than just relinquishing the supposed control. It’s about what we do with this freedom. How do we direct it? How do we decide?

    Focusing on self is a hollow activity, destined to take us deeper and deeper into ourselves, rather than away from ourselves and into a whirlpool that just sucks us back into ourselves.

    Moving out from ourselves into the space of the spirit, into the places of the rest of humanity, takes us into relationships with people and places and things that fulfill them and, as a result, fulfill us. In a way those old Kristofferson words do hold true. Freedom is about nothing left to lose. Nothing to lose because it’s already been thrown away.


  2. I found this site interesting and will come back for more. I was there painting “the people” in 66 and 68, I Lived on 21 Baker Steet. Some of these paintings are on my website: “Gypsy Joe”, “The Veteran of 300 Acid Trips”, “The Friend”and “Louise, The Housekeeper of the Grateful Dead.” A unique era that impacted a generation. Are you still writing, Linda?


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