Reports of the death of the Counter-Culture since the 70's have apparently been greatly exaggerated. The popularity of the "grunge" i.e. "hippie plus industrial", "blunt" and other reefer related t-shirt motifs, openly pro-pot AND pro-pot legalization bands (Cypress Hill, Spin Doctors, Pantera, too many to mention) all point to a sea of change in youth culture which recalls for some (while in actuality far outstriping) the much-ballyhooed 60's. For anyone who actively attempted to function creatively during the Dark Days of the "Hip to be Square" 80's, this is good news indeed! From "just say no" (contracted, reactionary, negative) to "just say KNOW" (open, exploratory, positive) today. Nowhere is this Sea of Change more apparent than at today's festival-concerts.
The early 90's will be remembered as the era of FESTIVAL-styled concerts, inspired directly by the success of three years of Lollapaloozas and probably indirectly by the past two decades' festival scenes which grew up around the Grateful Dead tours. From the H.O.R.D.E. Festival (featuring Blues Traveller) to W.O.M.A.D. (featuring Peter Gabriel, an array of excellent musicians and a wild cybernetic "technology village" called Future Zone) to the proliferation of Rave Happenings and Rainbow Gatherings, a trend has been established which should continue blossoming in a thousand different, wonderful, unpredictable ways well into the 90's --IF the authorities don't get it in their craw to try and nip the above good times in the bud. Indeed, one might get the impression from THE ROC that the only musical/cultural forms and gatherings that the authorities are interested in suppressing are rock or rap related. No so, mon ami! Whether you're a Techno Raver for World Unity or Gatherer for Global Rainbow Convergence you'd best be keeping at least one eye on you and your posse's trance-dancing asses, as the following items testify:
RAVES 2 B BANNED IN U.K.
British musicians are mobilizing to fight the Criminal Justice Bill which includes a provision banning unlicensed gatherings of more than 10 people at which music "wholly or predominantly characterized by repetitive beats" is played --in other words effectively outlawing the U.K.'s burgeoning Rave Culture. (The bill would also give police officers the right to stop and search anyone within five miles of any "possible source of disturbances.") Frighteningly, the bill is said to be virtually certain to pass into law later this year. Among the musicians railing to oppose the bill is the folk rock band the Levellers who has sponsored billboards and handbill advertisements alerting the citizenry about the bill in recent weeks. We look to work with R.O.C. UK in helping fight this insidious piece of legislation in the days ahead. Stay tuned...
RAINBOW FAMILY FIGHTS FOR RIGHT TO GATHER
The Rainbow Family, which has been gathering on public land for more than 20 years has been harassed by federal, state and local authorities all along (the Family's cleanup crew was arrested at the North Carolina gathering in 1988) yet the Rainbow just keeps on happening on different public lands (sites decided upon by consensus at a yearly Tribal Circle) every year since 1973. The biggest threat to date to future Rainbow Gatherings, however, may come in the form of Forest Service amendments to sections 251 and 261 of the code of federal regulations, which may be published in the Federal Register as early as February of 1994. One amendment would include a clause putting use of public land by the timber, mining and grazing interests ahead of the right of the people to gather. Another clause says that the government will have no time limit in declaring whether or not to grant a permit. (A Texas judge had ruled in 1988 that the government had to issue permits within a reasonable amount of time.) The most obvious breach of the First Amendment in the new Forest Service regulations, however, is the requirement of permits to "allow" people to "post, affix or distribute literature" on Forest Service land! The implications of these new regulations for the future of our freedoms of assembly, speech and, yes, religion are immense. R.O.C. urges all concerned to organize to pressure their Congresspeople to put the kibosh on 251 and 261 of the code of federal regulations. For more information, literature, as well as updates on where the regulations stand, contact: