Ahbez = First Hippie?

Well, sure, it’s long been bandied about that Eden Ahbez was amongst the very first counter-culture gurus, or hippies… though don’t tell Walt Whitman that!

Now we’ve dug up a bit of early recognition.

The below comic strip was found in a 1972 issue of the Long Beach Press Telegram; it may, in fact, have been syndicated, as it was in the back of the newspaper, along with the rest of the funny pages.

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Exactly how much recognition did Ahbez get for his contribution to the flower-power movement? Maybe more than you think, according to Ahbez’s friend and engineer, Dave de la Vega.

Ahbez cut a pair of singles for de la Vega’s Elefunt Records during the 1970s, and, remembers the engineer, “Ahbez was an icon… everyone wanted to meet him.” (Beach Boy Brian Wilson and UK folk singer Donovan were amongst those who did then.)

It’s too bad that, just as the counter-culture reached something of a post-Woodstock peak, Ahbez couldn’t have done like Moondog—his East Coast counterpart—and cut a few albums during the prime-psych era.

Either way, it’s nice to see this small bit of evidence that the era recognized his contribution!

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