Throughout this summer, a look back 50 years at the Summer of Love in 1967.
The date is July 5, 1967. The Summer of Love is well underway.
On that day reaching the top of the hit parade in America was “Windy” by The Association, the group that made history being the first band anywhere to open a rock festival – the now historic, Monterey Pop Festival.
Author Daniel Weizmann explains how “Windy” made it all the way to #1 in the new book 1967: A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love:
“‘Windy’ was written by a young folksinger named Ruthann Friedman from the San Fernando Valley.
“What a cheery, groovy song!, But more importantly, a beautiful example of the way an original species of American spirituality had trickled down from Emerson and Whitman, through Henry Miller and the Beats, and into the popular culture—a 45 about a kind of spirit nymph, floating through urban chaos. Not a book of poetry or prayer, not a treatise or essay. A little vinyl 45. You could buy it at Wallichs Music City in Hollywood for under a buck.
“Is Windy a real woman? Is she the breeze itself? She delivers rainbows, flashes storms against falsehood, hides under stairways, sweeps through the city, and takes flight above the clouds, above everything. And that’s not all. Her main recurring maneuver is that she ‘reaches out to capture a moment.’
“This is what makes ’67 such an unusual year—a never-before and never-since year. Such ideas about cosmic consciousness were always present among kooks and intellectuals, but in ’67 they had infiltrated the machine, traded by teenyboppers and filtered through transistor and car radios by way of little spinning Trojan horses.”
“Although Ruthann Friedman won’t reveal the identity of ‘Windy,’ she tells us that he was another singer/songwriter, and not ‘a freewheeling Haight Ashbury Hippy’ as often reported. Friedman says of the song: ‘I have heard so many different permutations of what the song was about. Here is the TRUTH. I was sitting on my bed – the apartment on the first floor of David Crosby’s house in Beverly Glenn – and there was a fellow who came to visit and was sitting there staring at me as if he was going to suck the life out of me. So I started to fantasize about what kind of a guy I would like to be with, and that was Windy – a guy (fantasy). The song took about 20 minutes to write.'”