top of page

Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, September 28, 1975. Grateful Dead, Golden Gate Park, Lindley Meadow. Copyright: © Greg Gaar, All Rights Reserved. OpenSFHistory - Greg Gaar / wnp73.0872.jpg

On January 14, 1967, the unprecedented Human Be-In gathering at the Golden Gate Park’s Polo Fields brought together thousands of young people, and the performances during the event launched Janis Joplin into her stardom. The San Francisco Oracle, the underground newspaper co-founded in the 60's by Allen Cohen and Michael Bowen, organized the Human Be-In with the intention to bring together “all the Tribes” of those rallying against the war and the counter-cultural hippies, to raise awareness of “personal empowerment, ecological awareness and higher consciousness.”

The articles on the hippie culture in the Oracle appealed to young people with themes such as “Psychedelics, Flowers, and War,” along with unusual and wild hand-drawn ads, collages, and graphics. The paper's circulation was close to 125,000.


Haight near Ashbury, circa 1967. Hippies milling in front of The Print Mint, 1538 Haight Street; Be-Jays Baby Shop, woman pushing shopping cart. Sign in window advertising a HappeningOpenSFHistory / wnp27.5953

The Grateful Dead led by Jerry Garcia was founded amidst the 60's countercultural era. Their psychedelic music would draw a devoted following of “Deadheads” for decades to come. Along with the Grateful Dead, rock and roll turned into acid rock with San Francisco-based bands like Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin, who sang with Big Brother, both lived in Haight-Ashbury and were strong vocal leads of their respective bands. 

Creative graphic posters depicting rock bands expressed the colorful psychedelic and electric music of the 60's, also standing on their own as distinctive work from the period.

references/further reading










Learn more

Below: Haight Ashbury, February 13, 1967. Bookstore front with posters/announcements. OpenSFHistory / wnp28.1270

bottom of page