The Summer of Love

The Summer of Love

By: Jaime Frey 

The summer of 1967 was a revolutionary moment in pop-culture history, coined as the “Summer of Love” by attendees and reporters alike. Hundreds of thousands of proclaimed “flower children” called to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out” flocked to Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco to celebrate peace, love, psychedelic drugs, and rock’n’roll. Unlike any movement before its time, this crowd’s love for music truly fostered a community, leaving no individual to go unfed. This musical era was so influential that it inspired thousands of people to join this community, abandoning their careers, families, and homes in pursuit of following their favorite bands in San Francisco. 

The music of this era was unlike anything that had come before. Drawing inspiration from genres like the blues, folk, and jazz, the Summer of Love fostered a period of experimentation in music, ultimately culminating in the psychedelic rock genre. Guitars were prominent among the beats of songs, and the lyrics were deep and heart-wrenching, which at times, provided political commentary. Some of the bands of greatest popularity among the crowd of flower children in San Fransico included the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Mamas & The Papas, Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and The Beatles. These artists paved the foundation for the contemporary genres we know and love today.  

The late 1960s to early 1970s marked a revolutionary period when society, livelihood, traditions, and perspectives endured vast changes, as countercultural movements pushed by the nation’s youth succeeded in influencing societal norms. Embedded in the lyrical chorus of the band, The 5th Dimension’s, smash hit song “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”, many of the themes and trends prevalent among the ’60s-’70s can be characterized by the Earth’s orbit in “the Age of Aquarius.” Astrologer Susan Miller explains that the Age of Aquarius denotes that the phenomenon occurs when the earth moves backward into the sign of Aquarius. While the precise dates of the Age of Aquarius are highly debated within the astrological community, Miller expresses her belief that the onset of Aquarius rulership began in 1957, with the launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, into the Earth’s orbit. 

Under this philosophy, the Age of Aquarius evoked nonconformist movements such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Second Wave of Feminism, and the Antiwar Movement. Alternatively, astrologer Doug Egan proposes that the Age of Aquarius began around the 1780s, as this period fostered the discovery of Uranus—the planet of Aquarius rulership, as well as the American and French Revolutions, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the Scientific Revolution. While the timeline of the Age of Aquarius may be unclear, the themes and characteristics evoked by Aquarius placements remain clear: humanitarianism, nonconformity, idealism, rebellion, individualism, and expansion of consciousness. Following the Age of Pieces, which denotes a time of religious dominance, it’s no surprise that the Age of Aquarius evoked such drastic changes throughout society.  

As many astrologers have indicated, the Earth is currently amidst another Age of Aquarius, which some believe had arrived in 2021. The future will likely bring forth an abundance of changes due to the questioning of traditions and growing non-conformist ideals. In proper celebration of the recurrence of this celestial phenomenon, the Island Team has drawn inspiration from the Summer of Love, resurrecting art, fashion, and musical trends to reinvent the summer of 2022 as the Island Summer of Love. To celebrate the Island Summer of Love, we have composed a playlist including iconic psychedelic rock classics from 1967-1972, along with one featuring contemporary songs from artists that emanate similar funky tunes and good vibes.