Lisa Rovner’s Interview of Alicia Bay Laurel for “Wilder” Magazine’s Summer/Fall 2013 issue

Illustrated with art from Living on the Earth. Lisa is a skillful interviewer!

I am happy to say that I’ve now watched Agnes Varda’s joyously surrealist film about her uncle, my artist mentor, Jean “Yanco” Varda, many times. I also linked it to the page in my online store for the blue on blue t-shirt I designed with the Living on the Earth houseboat pages, which arose from my years living at Gate Five, Sausalito. I made a black and white version of the t-shirt as well, with the movie link there too.
Here’s where I found these pages online:

Interview podcast and tea party with herbalist/skateboarding goddess/millennial bohemian, Bianca Scott

Podcast: November 2021 interview of Alicia Bay Laurel by herbalist/skateboarding goddess/millennial bohemian Bianca Scott, broadcast on Spotify.

Writes Bianca: “Alicia Bay Laurel, a pure child of the revolution. We seek the truth as we discuss Alicia’s journey of peace, love, freedom, poltergeists, acid and spirituality. We share our thoughts surrounding The Cockette’s pink velvet cock and balls of sexual anarchy to the power Media has over innocent human beings. For the first time on LifeFlux, I drank tea picked out by my guest. Who would have thought ginger tastes so good in hot water? It was a dream come true to speak with such a bright soul who’s book, Living on the Earth, gave light to my journey just a few years ago. Purchase Alicia Bay Laurel’s handwritten and illustrated, award-winning books and music CDs at If you are human, these books are meant for you. Cheers!”

Jessica King’s video of the Zoom launch event for the movie, Living on the Earth – The Musical, and for the book, Being of the Sun

Artist Jessica King created and hosted the Zoom launch party for Living on the Earth – The Musical, and the book, Being of the Sun, on the autumnal equinox, September 22, 2021.

A diverse group of Alicia Bay Laurel’s friends joined the party and shared their stories. Alicia opened the event by singing the autumn equinox chant from Being of the Sun, accompanying herself on a zither. Here is Jessica’s film of the whole gathering!

The woman in the cover photo is California digital graphic designer and fine artist Karen Tsugawa, who coached Alicia over Zoom , and collaborated with her in creating the digital page layouts of the new editions of Living on the Earth and Being of the Sun, as well as the two book trailers, among other digital design projects.

Natural Born Alchemist podcast interviews Alicia Bay Laurel about Being of the Sun

In this recently recorded one-hour podcast, I am interviewed by Alex of “Natural Born Alchemist” about the book, Being of the Sun, which I co-wrote with composer/philosopher Ramon Sender Barayon, and the historic and cultural movements that surrounded its birth.

Listen to the podcast here.

Alicia interviewed at the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Academic Conference, 2017

Today I received a link to a recently completed video of a 20 minute interview with me about my time living on hippie communes, conducted by Kip Baldwin of S.O.U.L Documentaries, and recorded at the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Academic Conference in downtown San Francisco in the last week of July, 2017.

Loved this interview, Alicia! You are always so observant and articulate, it’s such a pleasure to hear our experience at Wheeler’s Ranch encapsulated so accurately. It was all about taking the cement out of our lives, with the abrasion of man-made accoutrements removed … no street lights, no sidewalks, no lawns, no rules… and we found a natural order was already in place, buried by Man’s heavy footprint. We could see at night by moonlight, we could sense a gathering, and it grew on its own, which is the way I remember sweat lodges… mostly on full moons… ( Helene dancing) and more… friendships still bonded today… though some important clairvoyants have moved on… would love to see you…

Sally French
Fine Artist
Kalaheo, Hawaii

I wanted you to know that your S.O.U.L. interview brought tears to my eyes.  Tears of joy, not sadness.  Incredible that you are still able to tell the story.  And the interviewer really didn’t get it, in my opinion!  Blew me away that your cousin was married to John Fahey as he has always been one of my favorite guitar players and most people don’t even know about him.

Barbara Light Lacey
Singer-songwriter and Author
Dallas, Texas


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.

Kimberly Hughes article about my 2013 Japan Tour

06-29-13-Japan-Kyoto-Cacao Magic-ABL laughs w guitar onstage

Below is Kimberly Hughes’ interview/article for the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, which she created during my 2013 Japan tour. I met Kimberly in 2012 when she worked with me interpreting for me at several of my concerts, and we’ve been good friends ever since.

The photo was taken at my 2013 concert at Cacao Magic (a vegan café in Kyoto that specializes in raw organic cacao treats). I am wearing organic fiber clothes created by my friend and collaborator, fashion designer Kaorico Ago Wada for her organic fiber, fair trade clothing company, Little Eagle.

U.S. artist and author brings timeless message of natural, sustainable living to Japan

Alicia Bay Laurel was barely over twenty when her self-illustrated book “Living on the Earth” — often referred to as a “bible” among those seeking to live in harmony with nature — became a best-seller in the United States in 1971.

The book included tips on everything from canning food to making handmade soap to stitching shoes — all knowledge that was essential for outdoor living among those, like Laurel, who had joined the back-to-the-land movement of the day.

Far from being out-of-date, however, the book continues to resonate among those who crave a simpler way of living within today modern, chaotic world.

Now 64, Laurel — who is also an accomplished guitar player and singer — is presently on tour in Japan to promote her two latest CDs, sign books, and share stories of her fascinating life growing up in the U.S. during an era of collective living and large-scale social movements for peace and justice.

Laurel’s swift rise to author fame surprised herself as much as everyone else. “I had moved from Los Angeles to a hippie commune in northern California in the late ’60s, and, as a city girl with no outdoor skills, I decided to interview residents to get their advice for living in nature — which I then compiled into a hand-written notebook together with my illustrations,” she told an audience packed inside a cozy venue in Kunitachi, western Tokyo.

“At first, I didn’t even know how I would go about making a single photocopy of it — much less imagine that it would go on to be published and reach international fame.”

The Japanese translation of “Living on the Earth” was published in 1972 by Soshisha Ltd., which also went on to release her next book, “Being of the Sun” — which Laurel describes as her first work’s “spiritual sequel” — as well as her three books for children.

Laurel toured Japan for the first time in 1974, where her artistic muse found deep inspiration. “Right away,I noticed that the entire country shared an advanced sense of design that permeated even the most humble and commonplace objects,” she recalls. “I also noticed that ordinary transactions were conducted with a sense of awareness and decorum that I had not previously encountered anywhere else.”

Her connection to the country was renewed in 2005, when outdoor magazine Be-Pal sent a journalist to interview her in Hawaii, her home for some 25 years. This was followed by introductions to the environmental nonprofit organization Artist Power Bank, who invited her back to Japan to perform at its events and hold workshops — and its sister project Kurkku, a complex of environmentally sustainable businesses that organized the first of her yearly tours for Laurel in 2006.

Following the 2011 disaster in Tohoku, both organizations also helped coordinate an initiative to raise funds for survivors by selling T-shirts and other goods at their music concerts that featured Laurel’s trademark flowing line designs.

Laurel is presently on a two-month tour of the archipelago, where her itinerary includes some 30 performances across 12 prefectures, as well as an art retreat on the island of Niijima, a sacred shrine tour in Okinawa, and a performance at a farm on southern Chiba’s Boso peninsula.  She is also collaborating with numerous other artists and performers, including Kaoriko Ago Wada, owner/designer of the natural clothing design company, Little Eagle, and Hawaiian reggae band, Inoue Ohana.

Laurel’s message of reconnecting with nature has found an eager audience in Japan, where people inevitably line up in their dozens for a chance to speak with her following her performances. One man told her that he and his wife had home-birthed all three of their children using advice from “Living on the Earth,” while another woman said that Alicia’s message reminded her of an earlier era in Japanese history when worship of the sun goddess Amaterasu was a common practice.

During a performance last month at Beach Muffin Café, located along the shores of Zushi in Kanagawa Prefecture, Laurel swapped her guitar for a zither and began performing a series of songs from “Being of the Sun.” She explained that the tunes were in fact chants— each of which expressed reverence for a particular natural cycle, such as a time of day or a particular season.

“Mountains, wind, ocean and sun are teachers,” reads an excerpt from the book. “Lessons abound for the observant.”

During a recent performance held at an art gallery in Tokyo’s Daikanyama district, which also hosted an exhibition featuring illustrations from “Living on the Earth” that had been framed in driftwood, Laurel told the audience, “I strongly support the ‘hydrangea revolution’ movement in Japan, where people have taken to the streets to call for an end to nuclear power. We in the United States have much to learn from the Japanese people in this regard.”

In an interview with the Mainichi, Laurel commented, “Sustainable technology has been around for a long time. We don’t need fossil fuels or nuclear power, which are used only because they are enriching the 1400 billionaires of our planet.”

Asked about any advice she had to share with those seeking to revive the passion and spirit of earlier eras, she said, “Vote with your wallet. Avoid buying products made by companies that pollute the planet and/or violate human rights, and support politicians that try to stop these companies from doing so.”

“Also, volunteer,” she concluded. “Whether it’s helping with childcare for single working mothers or organizing clean-ups of polluted places, there are thousands of necessary things to be done to make this a more sustainable and just world.”

Alicia Bay Laurel’s Japan tour will conclude on August 4th [2013]. For more information and a schedule, visit her website at

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

Jazzy Vegetarian.png

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).

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.

I Meet Yoshimoto Banana

September 29, 2009

I come to Kurkku’s complex in Haragyuku for an interview by Switch Magazine, that will be a conversation between me and Japan’s beloved novelist Yoshimoto Banana (last name first is customary here, and her first name is pronounced BAH-nah-nah.)

In spring 2008, Kurkku hosted the first of what became four art shows of the original drawings and page layouts of Living on the Earth. I was delighted to hear that Banana-san had purchased my self-portrait that appears on the epilogue page of the book. She’s 15 years younger than I am, and the book was a favorite of her childhood. So, she said, she felt almost in a dream to purchase this drawing she had gazed upon so long ago.

Fujii-san, a rock and roll producer who is a friend of Banana-san’s and a friend of Keisuke Era’s (he’s the director at Kurkku) offered to introduce me and Banana-san, and Switch Magazine offered to document this event. So, here we are: Takeshi Fujii, Yoshimoto Banana, me, Miho Kawaguchi (writing for Switch), Kaori Miyagi (translating for me) and Kengo Tarumi (taking photos for Switch).

OMG! We showed up wearing the SAME EXACT T-SHIRT! It’s the Being of the Sun illustration licensed by Aya Noguchi (fashion designer and owner of Bed and Balcony) last year for her summer line.

But that wasn’t the only coincidence. After the interview was over, Banana went out to the street and there stood our dear friend in common – Sandii Manumele, vocalist extraordinaire and hula teacher of hundreds of Tokyo students, including Banana. Sandii rushed upstairs to see me and we had a happy group hug.

I had last seen Sandii at a huge rock concert memorial for Donto in Okinawa City in 2006. She danced and sang in the show, and I sang one of my songs, too. We became instant friends.

Sandii choreographed the hula for Donto’s classic song “Nami,” which women all over Japan love to dance. I just recorded “Nami” on my recent CD, Beyond Living, both in the original Japanese lyrics, and also in a Hawaiian and English translation. I was happy to present both Sandii and Banana with signed copies of my new CD.

Here‘s Banana-san’s blog about the same meeting (in Japanese).