Recalling Abbie

Activist and provocateur Abbie Hoffman would have been seventy-six today. One of the background people of my youth and young adulthood he brought a certain cockeyed humor to deadly serious issues of the day. Working in bookstores I recall his Steal this Book bumped the Bible as the most stolen title for a brief time. Today I’m not sure how many people not of my generation have a clue as to who he was, except perhaps some Occupy folk for whom he could if one noticed stand as something of a patron saint. Or, as it turns out, as the hook to a song… Ah, sands of time…

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  • Rob Machado

    Interestingly enough I bumped into Abby Hoffman this week during some TV viewing. I was flipping through channels and came across the final few minutes of a documentary about the “hippie” movement. The segment focused on Woodstock and the POV of the filmmaker was that Woodstock represented the last grasp of the straw for the peace and love ethos pursued by so many at that time. Well…apparently Abby took the stage during the Who’s set and tried to rally the masses. Pete Townshend didn’t like that so much and whacked him over the head with one of his guitars. Abby stumbled off, high on LSD, and The Who finished their set with Pete issuing a stern warning to the next bloke who might think about walking on “his” stage. I hadn’t heard that one before but I googled it sure enough found quite a few bits on youtube telling the story.
    Coming of age in 1980 or so, Abby was well before my time.