Rescued. Fillmore kids 1967.

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Probably from the first roll of Perutz 120 I shot with Rolleiflex. Jefferson Square, San Francisco, July. butterphoto©1967. I lost several negatives over the years, including this one. This print was done in LA, 1968. Either in a friend’s enlarger or at LACC, where I was a student in Photography 101. It survived to be scanned and re-edited. The paper texture is distracting. Still I’m happy to have the image.

Watch Out for the Bummer this Summer, Dude! A psychedelic memoir.

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Harry Reasoner, Art Linkletter, LIFE Magazine, TV news creating the 1967 Hippie Invasion. Reagan–“They are just being complete fools.”

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The so-called Summer of Love in 1967 was actually the end of a bummer in San Francisco. In retrospect, if any San Francisco Summer could be called Love, 1966 was it.

I’d spent most of the summer playing gigs around New Mexico and southern Colorado with my band, eternal nothings.

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During a break in “touring” I went to San Francisco for a week to visit my brother, Jerry.

Premiering this summer, the 50th anniversary flashback. Baron von Butterfield’s Bad Behavior: The Frisco Years 1966-1967. A psychedelic serial memoir. Rancho Mantequilla followers and Facebook friends– Beware THE BUMMER! This Summer!

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butterphoto©1967

Nixon creates Controlled Substance Act in 1970 making acid possession a felony rap. Bottom line: yes LSD can cause psychotic reaction, especially if you are arrested on Haight Street after the Human Be-In, peaking on the free Owsley handed out by your roomate in Golden Gate Park. Ever ride a paddy wagon like a surfboard while leading a sing-along of Yellow Submarine? Ever try to break out of jail by running around the walls of the drunk tank? Ever kiss a mugshot photographer? Thank you Kosmic Bail Fund, Chet Helms, Brian Rohan for getting younger butter out of there. It was a bummer, dudes. Watch out for THE BUMMER!

 

McAllister Street, San Francisco, 1967.

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Fillmore and McAllister was action central for pimping, prostitution, drugs and, half a block away, a 1910 time machine of second-hand stores, soul food dives, beer bars, before redevelopment tore most of the funkiest and best old-time neighborhood down. Replaced with stuccoed plywood box apartments. The Fillmore died. butterphoto©1967. First printing, 2016.

I bought a pre-WWII Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 for $65.00, a cheap light meter and 20 rolls of Perutz b&w film at Adolph Gasser’s on Geary, from salesman Gene Saunders, who I later worked with at that store when I moved back to SF permanently in 1973. Gene worked for Ansel Adams as a printer and was a pied piper of photography at Gasser’s. Willie, my friend who’d been a photo student at SF Art Institute, took me there after I expressed interest in his Dorothea Lange book from NY Museum of Modern Art. The McAllister Street photo above was one of the first I made with the Rolleiflex, thus becoming a photographer 49 years ago.

I never printed any of these at the time. Had a fun day looking through my 60’s box, scanning and editing. I was inspired by Terry Manning’s photos of Dr. King in Memphis, taken hours before the murder. Terry had never looked at or printed the photos he took in 1968 until 2015. It reminded me to take a look at my own forgotten work. I am thankful that Willie and Gene Saunders got me hooked on photography. The pre war Rolleiflex is a great portrait camera, with an excellent Zeiss f3.5 Tessar lens which allowed me to get sharp focus and fine grain images the minute I walked out of Adolph Gasser Camera, hopped on the Geary bus at 21st Ave and hopped off taking pictures at Fillmore St.