Now that's a song I bet a lot of baby boomers identify with in a rather different way today than they did back in the late 60s. Who here remembers the musical HAIR? Very good, I'm glad to see so many hands. The show's official title was "Hair - An American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" and it was all that and a bag of...well, never mind. Let's just say it wasn't chips. Perhaps these days the only songs anyone remembers are "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (The 5th Dimension), and the title song "Hair" (The Cowsills). And maybe "Good Morning Starshine" (Oliver) and "Easy To Be Hard" (Three Dog Night). Oh, and I think "Frank Mills" survived total obscurity too, but I don't recall at the moment who recorded it. That may seem like a goodly number of songs, but there's so many more aren't heard any more. I was something of a "Hair" devotee way back when. I had both the original Broadway cast recording (acid green and orange) and also the pink one, done by (as incongruous as it may sound) The Royal Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. Both records had most of the same songs, but each had some good ones the other didn't. Between these two, I think I had everything covered.
Speaking of covered, "Hair" was infamous at the time for including nude scenes in the some of the productions. Many venues banned the nudity part, but other more progressive ones went for it. I saw "Hair" in Detroit, with the Detroit cast, in 1970. While I'm pretty sure there wasn't any nudity in that one, I honestly can't remember. But I didn't exactly have front row seats, so if there was any nakedness on stage, I probably wouldn't have gotten a corrupting peek at anything. Gee, all that censorship for nothing. Of course, the wealthier kids who had close-up seats would have been damaged forever.
Anyway, here's a link that will give you the history of the show, if you're into it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_%28musical%29 As you'll see, the original Broadway cast is to modern popular music what SNL is to subsequent sitcom and comedy movies - a real talent farm.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klObyJY1W_I This is one terrific video, and obviously done recently. Great voices, and a nice touch at the end - the kids meet up with a "slightly older" James Rado (one of the creators of Hair) at the end. The 5th Dimension's version was a more commercial "hybrid" of two "Hair" songs. It was good, but this is the way "Hair" purists like me like to hear it. Peace out.
Later that same day... I thought I'd put this little post script here for those (like me) die-hard trivia nutjobs. The full title of the above-linked song is "The Flesh Failures/Let The Sunshine In." Here is a link for the lyrics to the Flesh Failures part, which will help you decipher the layers. http://www.guntheranderson.com/v/data/goodmor1.htm
If you are a Mensa-level trivia buff, you will probably already be aware (sigh - I had to look it up) that the underlying lyrics are from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Here's a link for that, too. Scroll down to Lines 112-114. http://www.clicknotes.com/romeo/T53.html In conclusion, I guess having a production done by the Royal Shakespeare Festival wasn't so incongruous after all...
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.