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"For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not of ourselves."

Ripe for Change and Heart Revolution

by David Hoyt

Jesus People Revolution, Part 3

The Haight District, San Francisco 1966

Large Victorian homes used as boarding-houses by Irish immigrants and students in earlier days – now housed incoming ‘Hippies’. The atmosphere on the streets was charged with energy. Music and the smell of incense and pot wafted onto the streets from shops and apartments. Those moving into the area were care-free, friendly and often high. Donovan’s words fit the mood with accuracy.

 “They call me mellow yellow, quite rightly.
Born high forever to fly - wind velocity nil
Wanna high forever to fly.
They call me mellow yellow, quite rightly.”

Months earlier Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick had a chance meeting at a gig that drew over a thousand people at a San Francisco dance called, ‘A Tribute to Dr. Strange’. The hair was flowing, and the majority were dressed cheerfully in colorful discards plucked from thrift stores. LSD was in plentiful supply. Many who were present shared the same thought: “I didn’t know there were this many of us.”


Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin were two music artists to make a huge imprint on this era. Janis hooked up with Big Brother and the Holding Company for a two-year run that was explosive, as Jimmy scrambled resonant minor chords and notes into a sound unequaled. Both rocked their way to stardom. Bill Graham and Chet Helms had a promoter’s field-day – booking these two and others to The Filmore West, Winterland and Filmore East.

Janis Joplin

Country Joe and The Fish, The Doors, Quick-Silver Messenger Service, The Grateful Dead, Dylan, The Airplane with Slick and many more came to play.

Crowd Fine Art Print

The ‘Human Be-In’ in January 1967 was the spark that lit the flame. At Golden Gate Park’s Polo Field over thirty thousand showed up partaking of Owsley Stanley’s ‘White Lightning’ LSD, psychedelic music and the words of Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary and others. News of this Be-In and the upcoming ‘Summer of Love’ echoed for months in advance throughout the national media. There couldn’t have been better advertising. Across the nation students couldn’t wait for the school year to end to check it out – and Haight-Ashbury was the target on the map.

In anticipation of a large influx of people into the Haight, ‘The Council for the Summer of Love’ formed.  I was asked by a Buddist friend to join and did. The Diggers, The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, The Family Dog Commune, Church Leaders and others united to attempt to provide emergency food, crash-pad housing and address hygiene issues.  

No one knew how many would come, so the media poked fun, calling it ‘The invasion of the Flower Children’. And come they did--from all over the United States and Canada wearing rainbow colors and psychedelic scarves around their necks, walking down the street six deep.

The nation was ripe for change. The ‘Watts’ riots and assassination of President Kennedy several years earlier and ongoing war was depressing. ‘Love and Peace’ was a noble slogan, but almost as soon as the party began the streets changed. The drug called Speed became an epidemic as a new population of street urchins emerged asking, “Spare change, man?” Walking the streets at night was no longer safe and hearing gun shots was common.  “Where do we go from here?”    

[ To be Continued ]

Read previous articles in David Hoyt's "Jesus Revolution" Series:

Part 1: Jesus People Days

Part 2: A Cry Rushed Upward to a Place Called Heaven

David Hoyt

Dave Hoyt and his wife Ginny reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He grew up a troubled teen in Los Angeles. In 1966 he moved to San Francisco’s ‘Haight District’ seeking truth and God. Reaching a crisis of belief in Eastern Religions – he turned to prayer and came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. He went on to be an early participant in the Jesus People Movement in the USA and Europe. He continues as a follower of Jesus Christ.

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Last Update: 2017-07-24 17:35