In Which I am Interviewed on the Radio by the Author of Spaced Out

Listen here for a wide-ranging 38-minute radio interview with me by Alastair Gordon, author of Spaced Out: Radical Environments of the Psychedelic ‘60s (2008, Rizzoli), in which he featured illustrations from my books Living on the Earth and Being of the Sun, which I co-wrote with Ramon Sender. Alastair Gordon also interviewed Ramon Sender for this radio series, which was part of Art Basel Miami Beach 2008; you can listen to his interview on the same page. You can pick up a copy of Alastair’s wonderful book here.

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, on KPFA Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, on Derk Richardson’s show Hear and Now. You can listen to the show from the internet; here’s the link.

web sized-Concert poster-5 stars.jpg

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. 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 Ramon Sender, 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 the 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.

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