BLAST FROM THE PAST

Christmas 1970 Laguna Beach Love-In

Photos by Mark ChamberlainOne of the Brotherhood's best-known stunts was the Christmas 1970 Laguna Beach Love-In (see Bob Emmers' "Laguna on Acid," Dec. 25, 1998). "In the days leading up to Christmas 1970, from all across the country, they came pouring into Laguna Beach: longhairs, flower children of all ages, college students, already aging hippies looking for the new Haight, families—thousands and thousands of people," Emmers wrote. "They left their cars wherever they found space, jamming downtown and the shoulders of Laguna Canyon Road, and hiked into the site. By Christmas Day, there were 25,000 people at the site—with more arriving every minute."
Acid Christmas cards
courtesy of Kent Kelly

 

Danelle Adams, then an 18-year-old Laguna resident and now a captain with the Laguna Beach police department, told Emmers: "There were people everywhere, and more of them were hiking in over the hills. Peace symbols were everywhere. Music was playing. I can remember walking up toward the bandstand and looking down nearby, and there was a couple making love. On the other side of us, there was a woman on a white horse—long hair, completely nude. People were passing joints around. I remember one guy walking through the crowd, and he put his hand out, and there was an array of every kind of pill. I don't remember what band was playing, but the singer was up there encouraging everybody to toke up."



 

Just how did the Brotherhood spread the word? Posters announcing the event were distributed up and down the coast of California, and then there were the Christmas cards. The cover of each invitation featured an illustration of—depending on how you looked at it—a butterfly, a sunset or a profile of the face of Buddha. Inside each card was the message "Let Sunshine Do," and instead of R.S.V.P., the initials "LSD....300 micrograms." A hole in the card revealed a tab of Orange Sunshine. According to Blind Faith gallery owner Kent Kelly, who provided us with his card—minus the tab of acid—thousands were sent out across the country.


A gathering of tribes: hippies at the happening.

 


A different gathering: police checkpoint for Christmas revelers.
 
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