Speaking at the Berkeley Barb Reunion

I’ve been honored with an invitation to speak at the Berkeley Barb 50-year anniversary reunion, which is next Wednesday and Thursday, 8/12-13. What a week it’s going to be.

The Berkeley Barb was one of the original members of Underground Press Syndicate, the first nationwide network of countercultural underground newspapers. The Barb, founded in 1965, was the voice of the Berkeley community, which was the epicenter of the counterculture.

The week-long celebration begins on Sunday 8/9 with an art opening at the Art House Gallery (2905 Shattuck from noon to 3) featuring the work of Berkeley Barb artist Patricia Oberhaus and photographers John Jekabson and Harold Adler, all of which I’ll miss unfortunately because I won’t be arriving until Monday 8/10.

But I’ll be there on Wednesday 8/12 for the party and the concert with radio pioneer Scoop Nisker and live performances by Country Joe McDonald, Jef Jaisun, and Sal Valentino at the Freight & Salvage at 2020 Addison St. in the heart of Berkeley. I’m told it holds over 400 people; that may not be large enough to hold everyone who wants to attend so if you’re in the area and want to attend show up early. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 7 p.m.

On Thursday 8/13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Berkeley Main Library will host a day of speakers and panels in their community room. Legendary feminist comix illustrator and pioneer Trina Robbins will give the opening keynote, on women and their adventures underground; and Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld (Dr. Hip) will give the closing keynote, on sex, drugs, and health. Trina, I’m honored to say, was a contributor to the It Aint Me Babe history in my Voices from the Underground Series. Dr. Hip was an underground press syndicated columnist (which meant everybody used his column and no one paid him) who dispensed sex advice in a Dear Abby format. I read him regularly because East Lansing’s The Paper, another history in my series, was one of the papers that published his column.


I’ll be participating in the second of two panels, along with Peter Richardson, historian of Ramparts magazine and the Grateful Dead; and Seth Rosenfeld, chronicler of the FBI-Ronald Reagan war against student radicals in the sixties.

And more. It’s going to be an incredible event.

Main events conclude Friday 8/14 with an all-day festival of films from or about the era.

Kudos to the organizing committee for creating this event: Gar Smith, Diana Stephens, Raquel Scherr, Judy Gumbo, Ray Riegert, John Jekabson, and George Csicsery—though I know lots of other folks have made major contributions.

And if you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.