Let the Sunshine In

I’ve been looking for an appropriate Memorial Day video. The best I could come up with are a couple of clips from the 1979 film version of Hair, which was actually pretty good even though only about 36 people went to see it in theaters.

This is my favorite bit; Treat Williams as Berger sings “I Got Life.”

Here’s the last scene of the film. Berger takes Claude’s place in training camp — temporarily, he thought — so that Claude (John Savage) can go on a picnic. The rest is self-explanatory.

5 thoughts on “Let the Sunshine In

  1. “Hair” was one of those formative cultural events for me, having graduated from college in 1968. When it came to Hollywood in 1969 I saw it twice, danced on stage with the cast, bought the album and sheet music, memorized it all. It gave voice to the pain and hope and rage and creativity of the era. I even used some of its music in a multi-media project I did in lieu of a term paper in grad school.

    I loved the play, er, tribal rock musical, and tolerated the movie. But you just gave back all the reasons it spoke to my generation back then. I have, for whatever reason, been very tender-hearted today, weeping at the slightest trigger. I have wept for our troops, killed or injured, for all their families and loved ones, for those slain and those who grieve on the other side of conflicts, and for human folly and wickedness in general. I weep for the world, I weep for my country.

    At the opening notes of “we starve, look at one another…” I lost it. Again. And sang along, weeping. The point that really kicked me in the gut was the line: “Listening for the new-told lies.” They are, of course, the same old lies, told to generation of generation. Cheney’s graduation speech was enough to induce retching, a symptom of the poison being spewed forth for our consumption.

    Sometimes we have to go where it is uncomfortable. Thank you for taking me there this evening. For the Dead. For the Living. Let there be peace.

  2. Fond memories of Hair. First my parents got tickets for my brother and I to see it on Broadway when we were teens, which I thought was about the coolest thing they did other than my mom lending me money to fix my roadracing bike (when she must have been worried sick about me racing). Then I went to an anti-war rally in Central Park where the cast of Hair appeared and sang (and Shelley Winters, bless her heart, one of the earlier “adults” to say these hippies are not all bad and in fact were right about the war).

    Then the movie. I liked it. But the bit that hit me most was when Treat was marching with his group into the belly of the plane to go to Vietnam. I found myself involuntarily pushing myself back into my seat as if I was being dragged in there myself, and I got the weirdest goosebumps feeling. Man was I happy it was just a movie, cause it didn’t feel like it.

  3. Do you remember the three of us seeing “Hair” in San Francisco in the early 70s?

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