Around 1967, my friend Bob Easton and I talked about the ending of the “old consciousness.” It truly did seem like the dawning of a new age, and we thought the world with soon catch up with our countercultural concepts. Well, a lot of us did go off and build houses, or start organic farms, or get politically or ecologically active, etc., but it just didn’t make it out to the mainstream. Many of the baby boomer movers and shakers of the age dropped their worship of the planet for the worship of wealth. Greed replaced Green, and we ended up 30+ years later with a murderous, anti-ecological, wrong-in-every-possible-way government. Did you see Cheney’s black hat at the inauguration? Puh-leeze! Someone said his arm is about to fly up, like Dr. Strangelove’s. It was an emotional day for me, I have to admit. I’ve been waiting so long for this. To see this beautiful man, and his beautiful and strong and smart wife, and beautiful little girls, with his cool and intelligent demeanor, and to have played that music on Sunday, I mean: Stevie Wonder, Usher and Shakira; Herbie Hancock, Sheryl Crow and Will. I. Am; Mellincamp backed by a kick-ass choir; the ecstatic look on Pete Seeger’s face as Bruce Springsteen played backup. Ooo-weee!
To see that moment, with the reign of darkness ending, was just a bit overwhelming. It is a goddamned different consciousness, yes it is! I know I’m naive. I tend to fall in love — with people, places, animals — and am not daunted by past disappointments and failures, and so I’m overboard optimistic about the future. Just to be moving in the right direction. We got a prince for president.
Jon Carrol, the very fine and often funny San Francisco Chronicle columnist wrote something about Al Green’s version of A Change is Gonna Come, and I looked it up on YouTube and here is just an amazing performance, from 1995. Somebody say Oh Yeah!