Monday, December 10, 2012

The Happening that Blazed Headlines Across the Nation: Riot on Sunset Strip.

Continuing the acid mania theme of a couple of posts back......In the thirties and forties, Hollywood's Sunset Strip was the glittering playground of movie stars, moguls, and mobsters.  By the mid-sixties, it had become the locus of the new music of the counterculture, with clubs and bars like the Whiskey a Go Go, Pandora's Box, and the London Fog providing a venue for the giddy ascent of The Doors, Arthur Lee's Love, and the Mothers of Invention.  Square local residents and business owners attempted to curb this growing saturnalia, and in 1966 a strict 10:00pm curfew and amped-up loitering laws precipitated a famous riot, in which hippies clashed with police, and Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson were cuffed and arrested.  Within six months, American International Pictures released an exploitation flick based on the incident called Riot on Sunset Strip.  It starred Aldo Ray and the delectable Mimsy Farmer; the title track was a great stomper performed by the Standells (listen here.)  I doubt it's any great shakes, even by bad movie standards, but the trailer is enough of a gas to justify its existence:

With the community welfare foremost in mind, the trailer asks "Do you know what acid can do to an inexperienced young girl?"  This, apparently.  Mimsy Farmer went on to cultivate a more androgynous look, and moved to Italy where she starred in Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet, and Barbet Shroeder's far more clued-in counterculture movie More.  The curfew riots on Sunset Strip also inspired this song, which I hadn't heard for donkey's years:

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