George Harrison visits Haight-Ashbury
By California Historical Society

Image by Grant Jacobs

#Onthisday 50 years ago George Harrison of the Beatles visited the Haight Ashbury neighborhood to experience the hippie counterculture he (and the rest of the world) had been reading so much about  The visit, however, wasn’t exactly what he expected. At the time, he was asked what he thought of the Haight Ashbury community during the Summer of Love. His response? ” ‘Wow, if it’s all like this, it’s too much,’ Harrison answered.”

Later, in an interview, Harrison noted he thought the Haight “would be something like King’s Road (in London), only more. Somehow I expected them to all own their own little shops. I expected them all to be nice and clean and friendly and happy. Instead, he said, he found the hippies “hideous, spotty little teenagers.” He further noted, “I went there expecting it to be a brilliant place, with groovy gypsy people making works of art and paintings and carvings in little workshops. But it was full of horrible spotty drop-out kids on drugs, and it turned me right off the whole scene.”

Harrison’s visit to the Haight (and his response to the community) has been debated to this day. He later supported the Haight Asbury Free Clinic with proceeds from a concert.

Read more about Harrison’s historic visit to the Haight below:

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