The Power of the Pill in the late 60s

“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” Mary Dore’s documentary of The Women’s Movement

06 March 2015 | By Reverend Irene Monroe

I’ve always contended that the Pill was one of the main contributors to many if not all of the upheavals of the 60s, not just the women’s movement that got started then. When Margaret Sanger, who felt that women should be allowed to pursue sex with the same sense of abandon as men, combined with Dr. Gregory Pincus, a biologist expert in mammalian birth, combined to create a birth control pill as easy to take as an aspirin, it changed the game entirely.  Many women recognized the power of being able to change their reproductive cycle from random chance to a matter of choice, and all the ways they could exert it on the world around them, especially socially. In the 60s, before the scourge of HIV and the lack of incurable, and possible life-threatening sexually-transmitted disease, this change introduced what was considered in many places a scandalous return to the sexual freedoms of the Garden of Eden, pre-fall.

As young men from the Midwest, we began to notice this new attitude when we were hired to work for a year doing shows at a ritzy topless night club in San Francisco’s North Beach, original home of the West Coast beatniks. Women were the instigators now. The saying “men proposed, women depose” wasn’t always true. The girls could also propose and decide the outcome of sexual encounters. Females taking off their tops in San Francisco was no longer hidden in sleazy strip clubs populated by lonely men in raincoats, but featured in the heart of the City’s nightlife. Audiences were filled with ‘date night’ couples, men in suits and women arrayed in top couture come to view the Topless Insurgency.

Four miles south of us in Haight Ashbury, the Peace and Love movement flourished, however it seems obvious to me that  ‘free love’ would have drowned itself in a sea of offspring if the ability of the girls and women there had been unable control pregnancy. Much of that movement was driven by the ethos of women, that love could conquer all, who wouldn’t have been able to take that leadership role if not able to postpone childbearing.

However, as the author of this article, points out, it wasn’t all romance either.

“March is Women’s History Month and Mary Dore’s documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry helps us celebrate, remember, and cheer one of our most vilified sheroes of the last century, The Women’s Movement.

Zooming in on the years 1966 to 1971, Dore excavated the archival images of the birth of the movement. She captures the spirit, soul and fire of these fiercely courageous, brilliant and badass feminists who were fighting for the very same issues we fight for today – our right to control our bodies, and our struggle for freedom and equality. We stand on the shoulders of these mighty warriors.

And who said feminists aren’t any fun? Dore documents the hilarity, excitement, outright boldness and scandalous moments of the movement.”

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/discover-bold-brilliant-badass-feminists-60s060315#sthash.mSRFc4l9.dpuf

YouTube Videos of Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ songs

(Update from post in March 2011 – larryjdunlap.com/ljd-blog) An amazing thing has happened on YouTube. One of the things we all mourn is the loss of one the first music videos ever, which we did in Hawaii for “Look Back in Love” in 1968, the song was supposed to become our first big, national hit. Not only did it feature the band, but also the Hawaiian girl I met there and later married, (Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s, Book 2: Enchanted). I finally located the cinematographer who shot it but he told me it was lost in a fire.  It appears that there are many modern admirers of the band who have taken our music to YouTube. While noodling around on the web I somehow got to a wikipedia page that mentioned Jan Hutchins and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and then a link to a YouTube video (below) that was weird. But first things first. Here is the first video to kick this montage off …

Look Back in Love

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SEE ALL THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Continue reading…

The Girl Who Named 3 Dog Night – June Fairchild

June_Fairchild-gazarri_dancers.com

June Fairchild (Wilson) 1971

Larry J Dunlap – https://larryjdunlap.com/ljd-blog/

I never met June Fairchild, though I first heard about her in 1968, and even then I didn’t know her name. Her given name was June Wilson and she was born in Manhattan Beach, California. Like many of the young beautiful girls of the 60s, she wanted to be a movie star. During the years she was with Danny Hutton of “Roses and Rainbows” fame , she took the fateful step of joining the Screen Actors Guild, discovering that someone had already taken that name. Danny, apparently suggested Fairchild for her stagename and that was accepted. June is famous for naming as well. When she read in a National Geographic that Australian Aborigines defined how cold nights were in the Outback by how many dogs you needed to sleep with to keep warm enough to survive she told Danny that’s what he should name his new band. If it was really cold, it was a three-dog night. It stuck and Three Dog Night when on to a memorable career.

It appeared that June would go on to a memorable career too, as she worked in several movies and danced on Hollywood A’ Go Go TV show with a troupe called the Gazzari Dancers,  though they have no official connection to the Gazzari’s night club where we and many, many other 60s band played. Somehow, in someway, in a haze of drugs and alcohol, she fell through the cracks. The Manhattan Beach prom queen, famous go-go dancer, actress with a brilliant life and future fell all the way down to a skid row cardboard box in downtown Los Angeles. The mean, mean streets of rape and beatings.

Floyd Sneed, pictured here with June last September, was who told several of the guys in our band that some people had come in to see us, as we sat around a table at the

Floyd Sneed with June Fairchild

Floyd Sneed with June Fairchild

Rag Doll night club in North Hollywood in 1968. But they’d missed us, it was our night off. Floyd had been playing our off-nights with an excellent little trio called “Heat Wave,” and we’d become friendly. Especially with our drummer Leonard. One night Leonard asked Floyd, who held his sticks like hammers, about his unusual style and Floyd said, “African Lighting, baby, African Lightning.” He explained that even when the people who came to see us discovered we weren’t playing that night, they stayed anyway and then asked him if he’d like to audition for this new super group they were forming. “Three lead singers,” he’d said. “I told you guys I wanted to play in a group like yours, and look what happened?” I can’t remember for certain but I’m pretty certain it was Reb Foster, one of Three Dog’s managers, and Danny Hutton.

When one of us asked what the name of this hot new super group was, he said Three Dog Night, Leonard, puzzled, wanted to know what that meant. Floyd shrugged. “I dunno. Danny’s girlfriend read something about how many dogs you gotta sleep with on a really cold night, but,” Floyd grinned, and leaned back in his chair. “How can guys in a band called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves question anyone else’s wacky name?”

June died of liver cancer last Tuesday, at the age of 68 in a convalescent home. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-june-fairchild-20150219-story.html Two of her high school girlfriends rescued her several years earlier from the streets to get her to come to a reunion. Though life was difficult her living on social security disability she remained living in small downtown hotels doing her best. It may not be the newest story of the high-flying 60s, of the time and place, but it reminds me of the pitfalls and dangers my friends and I saw take down so many. There’s a donation site for June at http://www.gofundme.com/JuneFairchild I’m going to go donate to it in our group’s name. For June, and for many others who burned so bright and fell so far in those days of music and love.

Part Three final draft of TWLitN Complete

Things We Lost in the Night, coverThings We Lost in the Night, a memoir of love and music, Part Three of Five, final draft is finished, and available to beta readers. If you aren’t a beta reader and wanted to be, just let me know. Parts One and Two are available now. One slight caveat, I still have a couple of people helping me edit the Hawaiian English Pidgin in some of the chapters, so that will change as I get back edits from them. In the meantime – Aloha.