Something went on last week at the Fillmore Auditorium which dramatizes the difference between the avant garde of the New Generation (the "Love" generation, if you will) and its elders.
The Fillmore Auditorium gave a party for its patrons.
Thanksgiving Eve, over a thousand regular patrons and friends and rock bands and their friends gathered at the Fillmore to enjoy an elegantly catered dinner, soft drinks and music. Free.
Bill Graham had sent out the invitations previously with a request that no publicity be given. Couples who had been coming to the hall regularly ("I know almost all their faces," Graham says) were given tickets, and the bands were asked to invite their friends.
The result was something absolutely unique in my experience in the world of entertainment.
The bands - Wildflower, the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Grateful Dead - all played beautifully, and the light show was the best I've seen at the Fillmore.
Midway in the evening, Graham went on stage and asked for a few minutes' indulgence and then introduced all the Fillmore employees, from the hat check girls to the cops. ....
The lines going past the tables of free food lasted until midnight and, like all the other evenings I've spent at the Fillmore, there was no tension, no trouble, and not even the arguments you get at a football game.
The reasons are many and complicated but they rest in the fact that a different set of assumptions is the basis for attitudes.
"It's such a beautiful thing I can't believe it," a long-haired girl said, and her bearded, suede-shirted escort added "It's just too much." ....
(excerpt from a Ralph Gleason column in the SF Chronicle, December 1966 - reprinted in Crawdaddy, issue 8, March 1967)