Jun 6, 2013

April 14, 1968: Greynolds Park, Miami


They arrived in everything from Cadillacs to wheelchairs.
From as far as Wyoming and as near as across the street, they just happened by Greynolds Park Sunday for what they predicted would be the state's largest "massive Easter love-in."
Some hippies drove to Dade from Tampa just for the happening; some were student hippies from northern colleges, visiting in South Florida for the Easter vacation.
More than 3,000 of them made the scene, just a few hours after Easter sunrise services had been concluded in the North Dade park.
By mid-afternoon one corner of the park was a carpet of guru shirts and flowered blue jeans.
The quiet of a Sunday afternoon was broken only by an occasional discordant note on a guitar or the clicking of "peace beads," as one of the be-beaded people shifted listlessly.
A Dade sheriff's officer squinted at the haze of smoke drifting skyward and said, "We know they're smoking it; you can smell it in the air, but we're not going to make any arrests for possession of marijuana; there's only two of us and thousands of them."
"Most of them dress pretty crazy, but so far they've all been pretty peaceful," he said as a bikini-clad girl in rose-colored glasses wandered by.
Just when the happening began to drag, a six-man combo from San Francisco climbed up on a makeshift stage. The Grateful Dead were about to liven things up for the hippies of Greynolds Park.
While the group hauled its three-foot Chinese gong onto the stage for the first number, the drummer took home movies of the crowd.
A blonde in an ankle length robe distributed the latest issues of the Libertarian Watchdog, an underground newspaper banned a few weeks ago from Coral Gables. Most didn't read it - just sat on it.
A motorcyclist wore Army fatigues with a yellow daffodil in his lapel. A bearded teenager wore a stylish gunny sack. One youngster wore nothing at all, but no one objected to the infant's simple attire.
"It's just like church, some people come because they believe and some come just to show off their clothes," said Mike Pinera of Tampa, a member of a little band called the Blues Image.
Dale Robertson, a Fort Lauderdale plasterer during the week, leaned on a carved wooden walking stick his wife had given him as an Easter gift.
"Some people think the folks here are weirdos, but I think they're just ordinary people," he said.
He added, "My wife is here and we would have brought the baby, too, but I think five months is too young for something like this," he said.

(by Mike Turner, from the Miami Herald, 15 April 1968) 

Thanks to jgmf.blogspot.com

* * * * * 

An edited version of the article was distributed nationally by the Associated Press: 


Hippies arrived for the Easter love-in riding in everything from limousines to wheelchairs.
The flower children, male and female, wore their hair long and mostly uncombed. One, just an infant, wore nothing at all but no one seemed to mind.
Long flowing gold robes, peace beads, men's shorts slashed off roughly above the knee, guru shirts, even a gunny sack, were the nonconformist costumes for the hippie Easter parade.
One motorcyclist wore army fatigues with a yellow daffodil in his lapel. Flowers were painted on clothes and even on skin.
"It's just like church," said Mike Pinera of Tampa, member of a band called Blues Image which played at the love-in. "Some people come because they believe and some come just to show off their clothes."
More than 3,000 made the scene in a corner of Greynolds Park where the acrid smell of marijuana smoke drifted upward.
A Dade County deputy squinted at the haze and said: "We know they're smoking it. You can smell it in the air. But we're not going to make any arrests for possession of marijuana. There's only two of us and thousands of them."
At first the quiet of a Sunday afternoon was broken only by an occasional guitar or the clang of a three-foot Chinese gong. When the happening began to drag, a six-man combo from San Francisco called The Grateful Dead climbed onto a makeshift stage and added cool sounds to the love-in.

(AP story from the Colorado Springs Gazette, April 16 1968)
Thanks to Lost Live Dead

See also http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2009/12/greynolds-park-love-in-north-miami.html


  1. The reporter, alas, is much more interested in the clothing of the crowd than the music played. The Grateful Dead were likely only mentioned because of their colorful name.

    The timid response of the Dade County police to the unaccustomed gathering of thousands of pot-smokers is similar to the reaction of the San Francisco police to the first Be-In...
    Attitudes had hardened by the following year, though, as a scheduled Miami festival featuring the Dead in April '69 was canceled by paranoid authorities in the wake of the infamous Doors show there. "It's this underground pop music," said one; "I don't think our community could stand another affair such as that!"

    The Dead were in town that weekend in April '68 to play a run at the club Thee Image, and to record at Criteria Studios. The studio sessions were unfruitful, and the club shows forgotten due to the lack of tapes; but the Dead naturally took the opportunity to play a free show at a convenient park love-in.
    The event left such an impression, Greynolds Park continues to hold commemorative love-in parties to this day, albeit without the Dead.
    (The Blues Image played there again this year, though.)

  2. The announcer for the 5/23/69 Big Rock Pow Wow show gives this introduction:
    "1968, Easter. The first group to ever play at the Love-In in East Greynolds Park was the Grateful Dead. They're the ones who blessed East Greynolds Park. And they're back with us. We basically started off just having a concert with the Grateful Dead, and we wound up with a whole festival."

  3. http://s909.photobucket.com/user/good22stuffhere/library/Greynolds%20Park?sort=3&page=1
    has a lot of pictures from this event


    1. Neat!
      The band in the photos isn't the Dead... Blues Image, I presume?

    2. that's why i stated "from the event"
      I have no clue to who the band is.. no idea about how the Blues Image looked like.. sorry

  4. I added the longer original article from the Miami Herald that the AP story was edited from. Unfortunately there's nothing more said of the Dead, just more description of the people at the love-in.
    The first song with the "three-foot Chinese gong," I presume was Morning Dew, though possibly the Dead might have blasted the peaceful hippies with Viola Lee Blues too. It's interesting that a drummer was filming the crowd!
    I'm struck by how little attention the reporter pays to the music (much more to their clothes, or lack of). He describes it as a quiet afternoon, "broken only by an occasional discordant note on a guitar or the clicking of peace beads." As soon as the Dead get onstage, they're dropped from the narrative! Perhaps the prospect of listening to Grateful Dead music was too much for this reporter, and he left. (It's also noticeable that he doesn't describe anything anyone's doing, aside from smoking, sitting on papers, wandering or "shifting listlessly." You'd think it was the dullest love-in ever, from this report!)

  5. This show isn't even listed at http://www.deadlists.com/. It's been a pretty good resource but doesn't seem to get updated much of late.

    1. Actually it hasn't been updated in almost three years; and even then it was missing a lot of shows from the early years. But even so, it's still better than any online alternative.