Which just about sums up the truth about the counter-culture — the very dark side of the moon.
The following year, 1970, is remembered for the untimely deaths of two of my favourite rock stars, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
I remember once meeting a self-consciously ‘hip’ woman, a little older than me, who boasted that she’d never set foot anywhere near her children’s primary school. In 1971, I went to report on a school in the poorest part of Liverpool, run by hippie Left-wingers who let the children run riot.All that came back to me when I read the extraordinary story yesterday of how ‘archetypal hippie chick’ Susan Wynne-Willson, 69, had been cleared of historical child cruelty in a compelling court case that set her children against each other.One daughter called her a ‘monster’ and said the siblings were so scared of her they tried to kill themselves.She said it herself: ‘I know my hysteria and shouting and arguing . Her life summed up the anarchy and devil-may-care hedonism that was the spirit of the age.But it was when she became a mother — five times over — that the hippie lifestyle clashed horribly with the basic requirements of family life. Her life at the heart of the drug-fuelled counter-culture seems to have involved squatting in squalor with squabbling children out of control, or bunking off to India to meditate with her guru — just like The Beatles when they went to see the Maharishi. What this perturbing court case has illuminated is the darkness behind the hippie dream.