Having grown up during the mythical 60’s and experienced first hand the exhilaration loosed on the land (hey, I was at the Alternative Media Conference held at Godard College in the summer of 1970) of an unbridled and uninhibited press,I am pleased to have a copy of On the Ground: An Illustrated Anecdotal History of the Sixties Underground Press in the U.S. edited by Sean Stewart (PM Press)
As the title makes clear this is an anecdotal survey of those bright, shimmering moments (1965-1969) when there was, seemingly, a viable counterculture—before the eventual co-optation of those hopeful dreamers.You may recall names such as John Sinclair,Abe Peck, Art Kunkin, Paul Krassner, Emory Douglas, John Wilcock, Bill Ayers, Spain Rodriguez, Trina Robbins, Al Goldstein and Harvey Wasserman. And images of pages from Basta Ya, Berkeley Barb, Berkeley Tribe, Chicago Seed, Helix, It Ain’t Me Babe, Los Angeles Free Press, Osawatomie, Rat Subterranean News, San Francisco Express Times, San Francisco Oracle, Screw: The Sex Review, The Black Panther, The East Village Other, and the grand father of them all The Realist.
Paul Buhle in On The Ground’s preface opines.
There may never again be journalism so intimately connected with its readers, removed so little by money, neighborhood, hair styles or marijuana possession. It is difficult to imagine any readers and cultural creators so much further distant from each other than those connecting on the web. Then again, the underground press, in its pursuit of freedoms, has left a mark or sign of hope to all future writers and artists in every possible format.For many readers, the current volume is the best introduction…
Currently reading The American Spy by Olen Stenhauer (Minotaur)