alicia bay laurel photo

I currently tour as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/storyteller, with eight critically acclaimed, self-produced music CDs, one all-original psych folk, one Hawaiian (half original, half historic), one jazz/blues (10 original and 2 standards), one Americana/world music (eleven songs and medleys, of which I wrote two), one of solo instrumental guitar medleys (Americana, blues, psych folk, protest songs and Hawaiian songs), one remastered 1973 archival recording of Ramon Sender Barayon and me performing our original music from our collaborative book, Being of the Sun,  a second all-original album of mostly psych folk, with some swing tunes and blues waltzes for extra color, and a live performance album from my recent concert tours in Japan.

A lot of people know me from my first book, Living on the Earth (Bookworks, 1970; Vintage/Random House, 1971; Soshisha, Ltd., 1972; Villard/Random House, 2000; Gibbs Smith, Publisher 2003) a DIY guide to sustainable living, bohemian style, that I created at Wheeler Ranch commune in northern California in the late 1960s. Besides its utility as a craft, gardening, construction, herbal remedy and recipe book, Living on the Earth  documents utopian commune life in the late ‘60s (college libraries stock it). It’s also a seminal book design with a recognizable (and much imitated) illustration style. The illustrations continue to appear on fashion and other merchandise from Japan. For some people, Living on the Earth is a source of spiritual inspiration, since it demonstrates living joyously without a lot of money and consumer goods, living close to, and protecting, nature, and living in harmony with others.

First published in 1970, it’s still in print in English and Japanese, had a Korean translation in 2005, and was released in Spanish by Kachina Ediciones in October 2017. In 2012 it was chosen as one of the 101 most influential American cookbooks of the 20th century.

In 2016-2017, my book Living on the Earth was displayed in, and sold at, three museum shows focussed on different aspects of the hippie counterculture:

You Say You Want a Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970
Victoria & Albert Museum, London

BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley)

The Hippies (history and memorabilia from the open land communes of Sonoma County in the late 1960s and early 1970s) at Sonoma County Historical Society’s West County Museum in Sebastopol CA


I’ve illustrated nine other books, five of which I also wrote or co-wrote.  I’m planning on creating more books in the years to come.  I also work as a freelance illustrator, both licensing my existing illustrations and creating new ones commissioned by my clients.

In this photo, taken in 2008 at the home of Tokyo fashion designer Aya Noguchi, I am wearing a wool jersey dress and scarf that she designed.  Both are printed with a pattern she made using the illustrations from Living on the Earth.  I am holding a Traveler Guitar, which is an electric guitar designed to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane. It can be played through headphones, making it possible to practice almost anywhere.

If you’d like to take a look at my books, CDs, and more, here’s a link to my online store.  You can also access it by the link at the top of every page that says “Shop.”  You can purchase a copy of the Spanish translation of Living on the Earth, Viviendo en la Tierra, from the publisher, Kachina Ediciones, on this page.

If you want to email me, please click the “Contact” button at the top of the pages of my website.