The Hippie Trail: now available to pre-order on Amazon UK

The Hippie Trail: a history, 1957-78

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Easy Jet in-flight magazine article on the Hippy Trail

Sharif provided some help and info for¬†Andy Hill’s Easy Jet in-flight magazine article on the Hippy Trail (click link for pdf file)


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Ain’t Going to Goa by Alabama Three

This song has been around for a while but it has only just been brought to my attention. It’s an anti-hippie song which reflects a more conservative approach to the 1960s, to spirituality etc. Posted here for info only.

I believe I’m gonna
Shut down my chakras, shift Shiva offa my shelf
Take down my tie dyes, my Tibetan bells
Cool down my karma with a can of O.P.T.
Ain’t no call for Casteneda in my frontline library.

There’s one thing I know, Lord above,
I ain’t gonna go,
I ain’t goin’ to Goa, Ain’t goin’ to Goa now
Ain’t goin’ to Goa, Ain’t gonna Goa now.

Ain’t dancin’ trance, no thanx, no chance to tranquilize me.
Ain’t sippin’ no smart bar drinks, you, that don’t satisfy me.
Dosing up my dharma, with a drop of gasoline,
I ain’t down with Mr. McKenna, tantric mantra talkin’ don’t move me.

I don’t need no freaky, deeky, fractal geometry, crystal silicon chip.
I ain’t walking on lay lines, reading no High Times put me on another bad trip.
Timothy Leary, just check out this theory,
He sold acid for the F.B.I.
Well, he ain’t no website wonder, the guru just went under,
You can keep your California Sunshine.

‘Cause the righteous truth is, there ain’t nothing worse than
Some fool lying on some Third World beach wearing
Spandex, psychedelic trousers, smoking damn dope
Pretending he gettin’ consciousness expansion. I want
Consciousness expansion, I go to my local tabernacle
An’ I sing with the brothers and sisters

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Book Cover

It looks very much like this will be the cover of our book! ūüôā


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British Academy workshop on interdisciplinary research

History researcher Dr Maria Nita (left) displays our poster at yesterday’s British Academy workshop on interdisciplinary research. We’ve achieved much of what we set out to do on the Hippy Trail. We interviewed dozens of really interesting and lovely people. We’ve provided a resource (this forum), which will be ongoing, and will allow ex-travellers to continue to share their experiences and reconnect with old friends. And we’ve published some of our research, with more to come next year. This project has inspired us to continue research into this era so we’ve started a new project called¬†‘A Social History of Pop Festivals: Woodstock, Glastonbury, Altamont, Isle of Wight’. We’ve set up a new blog on that subject and it will be up and running soon:¬†

hippy-trail-a1-maria-nita-%282%29 british-academy-poster

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You Say You Want a Revolution? (exhibition at the V&A)

You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970

What : Exhibitions

When : 10 September 2016- 26 February 2017

Where :  Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

EXHIBITION: This major exhibition will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century alongside fashion, film, design and political activism. The exhibition considers how the finished and unfinished revolutions of the time changed the way we live today and think about the future.–Records-and-Rebels-1966—1970/dt/2016-10-07/free/2

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New book forthcoming

Good news! Manchester University Press have offered Sharif and I a contract to publish our hippy trail book in HC with a follow-up PB version. It’s likely the HC will be published late this year or early next year. The title is still to be confirmed but the working title, for now, is Journeys to Nirvana: a history of the Hippy Trail, 1957-78.

As you can imagine, we’re both very happy. Many thanks to all who helped us on the journey, including but not limited to those who consented to be interviewed, who completed a questionnaire, who contributed to the conference, sent us photos, and contributed to this blog. We will acknowledge as many of you as possible in the book itself.

Brian & Sharif

8 May 2016

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Tourists, travellers and the hippy trail — a talk by Prof Sharif Gemie


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Former drug smuggler turned author Howard Marks dies (BBC)

Former drug smuggler turned author Howard Marks has died at the age of 70.

Marks, from Kenfig Hill, Bridgend county, announced last year he had been diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer.

Jailed in the US in 1990 after being convicted of smuggling cannabis, he recalled his exploits in a best-selling autobiography, Mr Nice, which was later made into a film starring Rhys Ifans.

The father of four stood for election to Parliament in 1997 on a single-issue ticket of reforming cannabis laws.

Marks also regularly toured a one-man show in which he recounted stories about drug smuggling and his time in prison.

Revealing his illness in January 2015, Marks said he had “no regrets” about his life.

His drug smuggling began in the 1970s after he graduated from Oxford University with a degree in physics.

In 1988, he was arrested in Spain as part of a US Drug Enforcement Agency-led operation and extradited to Florida. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and released on parole in 1995 for good behaviour.

As well as the film version of Mr Nice, Marks had cameo roles in the movie Human Traffic and appeared on TV including on the BBC quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

He also collaborated on songs with the Super Furry Animals and made appearances at the Glastonbury festival.

A sequel to Mr Nice, Senor Nice, came out in 2006, and five years later Marks published a crime novel, Sympathy for the Devil.

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New documentary

Clare Handford is making a feature length documentary for the BBC about the hippy trail. It will be told entirely using archive from the time and master interviews with those who did it as well as local people in key locations along the route. If you would like to contact Clare to share your experiences, her email address is clarehandford (AT) gmail (DOT) com

(In case you don’t know, I’ve listed the email address in this format to avoid spam. Replace the¬†(AT) and (DOT) with the correct symbols when emailing.)

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