Sophia Rose’s video collage of Alicia’s books and art, with Alicia’s song 1966

Sophia Rose, very creative herbalist, writer, photographer, designer, life artist, and my good friend, assembled this video collage of art from my books and photographs of me and my communal friends in the early 1970s in Northern California, to a fragment of my autobiographical jazz waltz, “1966.”  You can savor Sophia Rose’s divine herbal and artistic offerings at La Abeja Herbs.

Videos, plus a magazine article with photos, all by Hikaru Hamada during my summer 2015 Japan tour

Kaorico Ago Wada’s portrait of Alicia Bay Laurel at Cafe Millet, near Kyoto, on June 13, 2015.

Here‘s a link to Hikaru-san’s article and photos in the magazine he founded in the 1970s and has edited since then.

Here‘s a link to a video he made of my performance at Art Cafe Naksha in Awajishima of a famous old peace song, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” on July 11, 2015.   I tell the story of the song (at some length) before I sing, but, once I begin singing, people join me, and, in the instrumental break, and to the end of the song, everyone gets up and dances in a circle, echoing the lyrics: “…and the people in the streets below were dancing ’round and ’round…”

Here is a link to a video he made of my performance at Modern Ark Pharm Cafe in Kobe of my song Beautiful, Beautiful, June 28, 2015.

Here is a link to a video he made of my performance at Modern Ark Pharm Cafe in Kobe of my song Paisley Days, June 28, 2015.

Many thanks to you, dear Hikaru Hamada!

In Which I am Interviewed by Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on her Internet Radio Show

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I met Laura Theodore online via LinkedIn’s Vegan and Vegetarian discussion group.  Laura is a jazz vocalist with an impressive resume and a unique voice, who also hosts vegetarian cooking shows on television, radio and the Internet.

I pitched myself to her as a guest on her internet radio show, telling her I had recorded one (well-received) jazz/blues CD, and I’d also written and illustrated a book that had been a best seller in the 1970s, is still in print in English and in Japanese, and was recently selected as one of the 101 most influential American cookbooks of the 20th century by the Fales Library at New York University.

She bit.

So, here is the link to our phone collaboration last December, a show first airing today, January 31, 2013.  Not sure the sound track is still working (as of 03-20-21).

Alicia Bay Laurel Radio Interview on FM YOKOHAMA December 15, 2010

On December 15, 2010, FM YOKOHAMA’s beloved radio personality Mitsumi aired her interview of me on her show “Ine! Good for You!” She translates my answers to the interview into Japanese, but you can still hear some of what I said in English. If you speak Japanese, you will have even more fun listening to the show. It’s 17 minutes and 14 seconds long.  You can listen to it here.

Taping the interview for LA Artstream

Tonight Jack and Kay Enyart brought me to the Downtown Artists Space in the Los Angeles Downtown Arts District to record a webcast interview for Art With Enyart, Jack’s bi-monthly show for LA Artstream.

Meet Jack Enyart, animation artist/writer/agent/consultant, my friend since junior high school, and host of the show, and Jonathan Jerald, producer of LA Artstream, Mark Walsh, our director, and Kay Enyart, soon to be head of the pattern-making department at the Pacific Design Center’s Academy of Couture. Jonathan turns out to have visited or lived almost every place I have visited or lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 60s and early 70s. Amazing that we never met before.

Twilight in the first floor of the Downtown Artists Space.

DAS’ classic artist loft kitchen

I sit with Jack on the set for soundcheck. I am wearing the Living on the Earth illustration print dress that Tokyo fashion designer Aya Noguchi made for her autumn line in 2007. The interview was fun, and, at the end, I played on guitar and sang “Sometimes It Takes A Long Time,” one of my original songs from my CD What Living’s All About.

Two November Concerts in the San Francisco Area with Joe Dolce!

Joe Dolce and I, along with Nick and Tanya Alva, did a live radio interview and performance at 10 PM PST, Thursday, November 13, 2008 on KPFA Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, on Derk Richardson’s show Hear and Now, followed by two concerts in the next two days, one in Sebastopol and one in San Francisco.

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Joe Dolce and I are friends from our commune days in the early 1970s. He lived for a while at Star Mountain, the music commune I started in 1971 with the money from the Random House advance for Living on the Earth. We also both lived on Maui in the 1970s.  He’s been living in Australia for nearly 30 years now, but we’ve been in touch by email, and he visited me in Hawaii four years ago.

Recently Nicholas Alva created the Morningstar musical, based on the story of Morningstar, the first Open Land commune, which begat Wheeler Ranch (where I wrote Living on the Earth), which begat Star Mountain (where I met Joe Dolce). Nick solicited original music from people who lived on those communes, and selected some of mine, some of Joe’s, some by Ramón Sender Barayón, and some by Lou Gottlieb, the founder of Morningstar, philosopher, and comedian/bass player of the Limeliters.

Joe, Nick and I cooked up the idea of this concert by email, and I insisted that Nick reprise Joe’s and my songs from the show with the original cast (in full hippie regalia) as a grand finale. And so it is.

Do come if you’re nearby, and please forward this blog post to any of your friends in the Bay Area who might want their minds expanded over that weekend.

My Hawaiian Hanukkah Song Rides Again!

My Hawaiian Hanukkah song, Festival of Lights, has been getting some airplay from podcasters this year. You can listen to it here.

Festival of Lights was podcasted on Washington Travel Cast 12-01-07

Festival of Lights was podcasted on EdÂ’s Mixed Bag 12-15-07

Festival of Lights was podcasted on Podcast Ping 12-17-07

Festival of Lights was podcasted on Power Ogg 12-18-07

Festival of Lights was podcasted on Becoming 12-20-07


Panel Discussion on Northern California Communes at the CSA Conference

Arthur Kopecky and Alicia Bay Laurel at the panel discussion at the CSA conference.

Listen to the panel discussion.

Alicia Bay Laurel, Ramon Sender, Delia Moon and Arthur Kopecky, four authors who each lived in more than one commune during the late ‘sixties and early ‘seventies in northern California, discuss the significance of those communities at the 30th annual conference of the Communal Studies Association, an international group of scholars who present papers on communal societies of many eras and locales.

Ramon Sender, Delia Moon, Arthur Kopecky at the panel discussion.

The panel is chaired by Timothy Miller, a much-published author on communal societies, professor at University of Kansas, and founder of the Communal Studies Association. The panel discussion took place on September 30, 2006 at the Marconi Conference Center in Marin county, California, a site which was once a commune run by Synanon.

Interview on Radio Free Phoenix

Friday, January 26, 2007. I visit Andy Olson and Cheryl Sweet at Radio Free Phoenix, their home-based local and internet radio station, for an interview.

Andy Olson is a veteran DJ of the early 1970’s FM radio revolution, which, he told me, played a big part in creating the singer/songwriter phenomenon of those days. The commercial stations on AM wouldn’t play the thoughtful, political and psychedelic music that was born of the consciousness boom of the late 1960’s, but a bunch of maverick DJs used the unwanted FM bandwiths of the time to promote these songs. After they proved there was a large listening audience for the new singer/songwriters, the big labels began to pick them up and the commercial stations began to play them.

Andy and Cheryl in the recording studio of Radio Free Phoenix.

However, now that a few media megaliths own the great bulk of the radio stations and play only whatever the big record companies are promoting, a similar revolution is taking place on Internet radio.  Maverick DJs are playing “indie” music,  that is, self-produced recordings by singer/songwriters that do not conform to the commercial norm.  That’s me.  Thanks to artist Tracy Dove for giving a copy of What Living’s All About to Cheryl Sweet last summer, and to DJs Andy Olson, Cheryl Sweet, Liz Boyle and Miss Holly King for playing four cuts from the CD ever since.

Andy told me that, since many commercial stations simply computerize their programs and no live DJ actually chooses or comments upon the music, in-studio radio interviews with musicians rarely air. But on non-commercial station programming and on Internet radio, the DJs and hosts welcome all kinds of content, including live interviews.

Considering the service that independent stations render to the community, they ought to be well-funded. However, most are running on scarce donations and volunteer work. Cheryl works nights as a cardiac nurse in a local emergency room, in addition to hosting her own radio show and, with Andy, raising four children. The station owes its continuation to her efforts.  Andy predicts that with the expansion of “wi-fi” (wireless internet connection) to cover entire cities, Internet radio will one day be as ubiquitous as conventional radio.  (Note from 2021: he was right!)

I loved being interviewed by Andy Olson and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to us. Click here to hear a podcast of it.