About

This site is operated by me, Brian Chidester, as a way of reaching out to those who knew Eden Ahbez personally, or simply love his music. As for myself, I am currently working a biography about Ahbez’s life, and plan to share some of my findings as I tread along the research path.

Now that you’ve found me, check back often!

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27 thoughts on “About

  1. A friend, Michael Ward, national park ranger, has written a well-researched biography of Stan Jones life and has recently signed with a publisher. We are currently searching for photographs/permissions/credits, and in which Stan Jones appears with Eden Ahbez on your blog is one we would like to include. Could you please provide permission, source, credit info, plus an electronic version of this photo? Any help here? Please email! Thank you so much.

  2. Hey Brian, amazing blog. I’m taken by Eden, truly the first hippie ever…
    I’d love to license “NatureBoy” for a project I’m music supervising, but having problems tracking down the copyright holder. On ASCAP, they list a place called Golden World Publications, but no email or contact info. Curious if you have any leads, would be a huge help…
    Again, nice work on this blog, which I will read through when I’m off the clock!
    Joe Rudge

      • Hi Brian,
        I, too, work as a Music Supervisor trying to reach Geraldine Janowiak for Golden World Music & the US rights to the song, “Nature Boy”. I would very much appreciate if you could send me a direct line, please?
        Thanks so much, Brian!

        Nancy Severinsen

      • Hi Nancy… I have the same number as everyone else for Golden World. I spoke to Geraldine (Gerry) back in June and she said she was moving her office and would reconnect the same number in July. If it hasn’t happened, I’m not sure what to tell you. There may be other Janowiaks in the Palm Springs area that you can find in the White Pages or on Facebook. Gerry is quite elderly. Her husband, David Janowiak, passed away in 2012. He was Ahbez’s longtime accountant. They were left a portion of the composer’s publishing in the will for their help in getting him owed royalties and full publishing to “Nature Boy” in 1983 and ’92.

  3. Brian~ I’d like tho have a quick convo…met & knew “Ahbbi” briefly but in the larger pic was part of the Wayne Shanklin ‘extended family’, for many years, J.R. Shanklin was my best bud and producer, etc., …all kinds of rich & meaningful history. Oh and yes, Abezs’ music, particularly “Nature Boy”: I happen to consider to be one of the very best quintessential musical expressions and delineation/explanation as to our existence in ‘this illusion’. Pls have a quick [scan] look at my Twitter timeline and you’ll grok what I mean.
    Cheers, Dion [“P6”] Smith

      • Brian–
        You have my direct [this] email.
        Sure, we could talk on the phone.
        Don’t rmbr much abt. Abbi per se, but I was certainly “around”, in those days:
        Gold Star recording studios [Stan Ross], Wrecking Crew, Wayne Shanklin [Sr. and Jr], Toni Fisher…lots more I’m surely forgetting.
        Landline in Burbank CA:
        818-767-4111 …needs a human being nearby to pick up, othr`wse a directline callbk #, pls.
        –Dion / Palladin6 [Webb]
        http://DionSmith.net

      • Not sure this is transmitting…
        Here ’tis 1 more x.

        Brian–
        You have my direct [this] email.
        Sure, we could talk on the phone.
        Don’t rmbr much abt. Abbi per se, but I was certainly “around”, in those days:
        Gold Star recording studios [Stan Ross], Wrecking Crew, Wayne Shanklin [Sr. and Jr], Toni Fisher…lots more I’m surely forgetting.
        Landline in Burbank CA:
        818-767-4111 …needs a human being nearby to pick up, othr`wse a directline callbk #, pls.
        –Dion / Palladin6 [Webb]
        http://DionSmith.net

  4. Hi Brian, I just saw a photograph a friend of mine took and thought I spotted Eden Abhez in the background. I’d like to share it with you and see what you think, but I didn’t see a contact with an email listed on this blog. It was taken in april 1981 at oki dogs on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood, Prob directly south of the Hollywood sign. If you’re interested in seeing it let me know how to get it to you.

    Thanks,

    Pete Ross
    banjopete@smart.net

  5. Hi Brian. I’m the niece of Emil Zimmerman, one of the members of the ‘nature boy’ group, you can him in several photos in the book ‘Children of the Sun’. My Dad briefly hung around with them while in California as well and I remember him talking about Gypsy Boots & Eden. I’m trying to find any information about my uncle, particularly find out what happened to his wife, I think her name was Sandy (like mine) although I’m not sure if they were married or not. My uncle died in South America but no one knows what he died from. If you know of any information that could help me I would appreciate it. I have a couple of photos of my Dad on Muscle Beach at that time and next time I visit my mother I’ll take another look at the old photos and see if Eden is in any of them. However, slim chance since my mother probably threw anything away to do with my uncle as she didn’t care for the nature boy lifestyle.

  6. Hi Brian,

    My dad’s friend, Steve, was a friend of Ahbey’s and I was wondering how I could get in touch with you to talk more about him. I have some private questions to ask.

    -Sam

  7. I’ve got some interesting information about the history of hippie culture in Southern California that will be a great addition to all this research.

    One place in particular that is interesting is called Freedom Hill near Tujunga. Follow the link below to a story about “Freedom Hill Henry” – scroll down and have a look at the photo of his son in 1924!

    http://wesclark.com/burbank/henrys.html

    Much of the roots of all of this wave of thinking comes from an author named J. William Lloyd – his books “The Natural Man” and “Dwellers in Vale Sunrise” are good places to start. The main character, Forest Westwood, and the “Tribe” he created were recognized as proto-hippies by a UC Santa Cruz researcher in the early 1970s.

  8. Well I used spotify streams to compare. The bandcamp streams sound much better. Please throw away all of my comments if possible.
    Could you tell me which musicians played on that record? (you can reach me over at: geoff at home dot nl.

  9. Hey Brian!

    I’m planning a podcast episode feature Eden’s Island – would love to know what research you’ve found on it and Eden himself!

    • Hey Bob,

      Good to hear from you. If you want to do a book that contextualizes “Nature Boy,” I’m all for it, and will help as I can. My own book is not narrative-driven (it’s a biography), so I don’t think the two would intersect. I hope all is well.

      Brian

  10. Hi Brian,

    I would be more than happy to do a little pro-bono researching work for this project, as I’m a huge Eden Ahbez fan. I’ve mainly worked on fiction so far, but would love to discuss this further if you’re interestd.

    Cheers,

    Zander

  11. Hi Brian, I’m a swiss artist, actually working on the german Lebensreform and Monte Verità movement. I recently discovered Eden Ahbez’s music… and fall in love! Is there any biography about him? And what about your work about Ahbez? Thanks for your answer (and also for your web-site!).
    Simon

    simonkroug.com

    • Hi Simon… I’m glad you found my site and that you are digging into the Lebensreformers. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help in your research. Regarding biographies on Ahbez: no, there is no full bio as yet. There are, however, a few short pieces that dip into his music and context. Roy Behrens wrote a pamphlet titled “On Nature Boy Spelled Backwards,” which details the four year pen-pal relationship between himself and Ahbez in the early 1960s. There is also “Bohemian Highways: Art and Culture Abide Then Divide Along the California Coast,” which has a 30-page chapter on Ahbez’s unreleased music, written by me. I’m also working on a full biography of Ahbez right now and am co-directing a documentary film about him as well. Thanks for checking in. Best, Brian.

      • Thanks Bryan for your kind answer. Please, let me know when your book about Eden is on sale!
        I’m working on an artistic happening about Ahbez, which I’d like to take place in a little alpine cabin…
        Best Regards,

        Simon

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