COLUMN 109, SEPTEMBER 1, 2004
(Copyright © 2004 The Blacklisted Journalist)
WHO THE HELL IS STEW ALBERT? By Stew Albert, Red Hen Press: 203 pp., $16.95.
For the Youth International
Party?YIP or Yippies'the word "party? meant both political group and
outrageously good time. The Yippies
merged progressive activism and freak culture in the late 1960s.
Their most infamous "non-leaders? were Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and
Paul Krassner, but the other party animal---equally irresponsible for the chaos
and comedy---was Stew Albert. A
fierce soldier for justice as well as subversive prankster, Albert has written
this autobiography and recounted an adventure story brimming with thrills and
Albert was actively
involved in the major Yippie stunts: the showering of money onto the floor of
the Stock Exchange while stockbrokers stopped trading to catch it, the attempted
levitation of the Pentagon, and the running of a pig for President in Chicago in
1968 and the police riots that ensued. With
his pal Rubin, they enlisted John and Yoko in a "Beatle/Yippie pact? that
resulted in Lennon's radicalization and near-deportation.
Beyond YIP, he became one
of the few white revolutionaries befriended by the Black Panthers? inner
circle, he ran for Sheriff of Alameda County (and lost, but carried Berkeley),
and tripped on a beach in Algeria with Tim Leary after the latter's escape
from prison. With comrade and
folksinger Phil Ochs, he traveled to Chile before the CIA-backed coup.
When he implemented DIY egalitarianism by helping create People's Park
in Berkeley, then-Governor Ronald Reagan responded to the unsanctioned green
space by bringing in the National Guard.
He eventually sued the FBI
for harassment -- and won. Though
the "60s momentum dissipated, this memoir serves as powerful inspiration for
contemporary shit-stirrers. Motivated
by "an uncontainable need to test my bravery," Albert perfectly captures the
time when "eros and courage came together in an unbeatable combination."
FOR AS LONG AS PEOPLE KEEP LISTENING TO BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES, PEOPLE WILL WANT THIS BOOK
"A masterpiece!" --- SALLY GROSSMAN, widow of Bob Dylan's brilliant original manager, Albert Grossman.
"This book is a must-read for all rock 'n roll aficionados!"---EAR CANDY
"An essential reference for demystifying what the author refers to as: 'one of the most self-destructive binges of creativity in cultural history.'"---HAMMOND GUTHRIE, COUNTERPUNCH MAGAZINE
"Required Reading for anyone and everyone who considers themselves fans, followers, students, or those just plain curious of the Golden Age of Popular Music"---GARY PIG GOLD, FUFKIN.COM.
"I love the book. I love the way you can open it to any page and start reading and it keeps you reading. The book is just fun to read." --LEVON HELM, Drummer of THE BAND from Big Pink.
"Ellis Paul and I love your book."---RALPH JACCODINE, Ralph Jaccodine Management.
". . .perfect for our times."---WOODSTOCK TIMES
Duritz (he's the lead singer and writer for the famed
". . .a must read for anyone who loves, music, loves life, loves rock and roll."---TSAURAH LITZKY, author of The Motion of the Ocean, Baby on the Water, and Goodbye Beautiful Mother.
"I recommend it."---DOUGLAS HOLDER, IBBETSON STREET PRESS.
. .It is a fasinating, insightful read. You are such a wonderful
writer."---STEPHANIE LEDGIN, Music
"I could not put this book of yours down for a minute."---ED GALING, POET LAUREATE OF HATBORO, PA.
"Quite simply, Al Aronowitz is a living legend"---JOHN FORTUNATO, THE AQUARIAN.
"Every student and fan of The Beat Generation, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones will want to read this book"---RON WHITEHEAD, POET
"Volume One Of The Blacklisted Journalist is the kinda tome what a fella can dip into at any given point and find oneself hooked within a couple paragraphs"---DUKE DE MONDO, BLOGCRITICS.ORG.
DYLAN AND THE BEATLES: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journalist is a
golden stash box of Al's You-Are-There history of two thirds of rock's Holy
Troika"---MICHAEL SIMMONS, LA WEEKLY.
IN THIS 615-PAGE PAPERBACK, AL ARONOWITZ, ACCLAIMED AS THE "GODFATHER OF ROCK JOURNALISM," TELLS YOU MORE ABOUT BOB DYLAN AND THE BEATLES THAN ANY OTHER WRITER CAN TELL YOU BECAUSE NO OTHER WRITER WAS THERE AT THE TIME. AS THE MAN WHO INTRODUCED ALLEN GINSBERG TO BOB DYLAN, BOB DYLAN TO THE BEATLES AND THE BEATLES TO MARIJUANA, ARONOWITZ BOASTS, "THE '60S WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THE SAME WITHOUT ME."
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THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ