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CITY JOURNAL Flashback APRIL,1967 [ BY JOE LEARY ]


After all the hype and weeks and months of planning and wrangling with Vancou- ver City Council, the much-anticipated Stanley Park Easter Be-In almost didn’t happen and appeared to be on the verge of cancellation.


An item in The Province dated March 25th, 1967 declared that the Park Board had said ‘No’ and the be-in—scheduled for the following day—was not to be. The event was to have included grandstands for about 5,000 people, along with balloons, face painting and an “ampli- fied sound system for folk- singing bands”.


For the uninitiated, ‘be-ins’ were gatherings of hippie types, reflecting the ever-


growing counterculture move- ment of the era.


And since this was the ‘Sum- mer of Love’—ushering in the


arrival of the sex, drugs and rock and roll generation—it was almost a given that the square and un-hip city council of the day wouldn’t jump on board and give their support.


As West Coasters, our cultural land- scape was clearly influenced by the heady psychedelic scene emanating from San Francisco—the hippie movement of peace and love was in full bloom and it flowed freely in Vancouver.


Veteran broadcaster Terry David Mul- ligan was a popular CFUN disc jockey in 1967 and recalls the overall mood sur-


PHOTO: TERRY DAVID MULLIGAN WITH JONI MITCHELL AROUND THE TIME OF THE STANLEY PARK EASTER BE-IN.


round- ing


that Easter weekend event and the be-in concept. “For me it wasn’t any


one moment but a general feeling of belonging to ‘something’ and a driving need to change the world around me,” says Mulligan. “Adult Vancouver liked the way things


were, so the ‘be-in’ became a celebration and a statement—with a soundtrack sup- plied by the bands of the day.” That lineup of bands included local


rockers Seeds of Time and folk/rock sing- er Tom Northcott, whose melodic version


TIME CAPSULE – APRIL, 1967


FOR A WHOPPING $239, YOU COULD PURCHASE AN ADMIRAL 23” CUSTOM BLACK AND WHITE TELEVISION SET AT ANY OF WOSK’S FIVE VANCOUVER- AREA LOCATIONS DURING THEIR AN- NUAL EASTER SPECTACULAR SALE.


ON STAGE, ISY’S SUPPER CLUB WELCOMED MOTOWN RECORD- ING ARTISTS. MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS AND ON THE RADIO, TOM JONES WAS ENJOYING YET ANOTHER TOP TEN HIT WITH ‘THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME’.


of Donovan’s ‘Sunny Goodge Street’ became one of the first psychedelic pop hits to originate out of Vancouver. With considerably fewer people than an- ticipated, the Easter event was celebrated in an orderly fashion by only about a thousand hippies.


And while police peacefully observed the gathering in the Ceperly Park picnic area that day, what stirred most public opinion and comment was the overall ap- pearance of this new youth movement. Beards and long hair were commonplace among the celebrants—and of particu- lar interest was that fact that both boys and girls wore earrings and necklaces and were thus identified as being a “new breed of beatniks”. As for Mulligan’s involvement in the Eas- ter Be-In: “I think I MC’d,” he struggles to recall, “but that day is a tad fuzzy…”


18 VANCOUVER VIEW April 2012


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