INTERVIEW: Re-Considering the Source (Gordon Kennedy Talks More About Eden Ahbez and the California Nature Boys)

The last time I spoke to author Gordon Kennedy, his book Children of the Sun was out of print. To date, it remains the authoritative text on the California Nature Boys and the transference of alternative culture from Germany to the deserts and shores of California during the early 20th century. Recently, Kennedy’s book was reissued.…

Happy Summer Solstice!

Here’s hoping for a new summer of love and thinking back on the original one in 1967… Behold! A version of “Nature Boy” by Grace Slick, lead singer of that seminal San Francisco psychedelic act, Jefferson Airplane. This version is by her original band, Great Society. Enjoy!

“Full Moon” Fever

Following the recent use of Eden Ahbez’s “Full Moon” in the FX series Fargo, there has been a wave of interest in the song and the album it originally came from: Eden’s Island. Of special interest for us here are the new covers of “Full Moon” on YouTube. The first I noticed was a straight poetry…

NEWS: ‘Eden’s Island’ LP Reissued on Vinyl

If you’ve bid recently at eBay on an original 1960 Del-Fi pressing of Eden’s Island, then you probably noticed its final price-tag hovering right around two-hundred bucks. And if that’s too rich for your blood, then here’s some good news: Captain High Records just reissued it to 180 gram vinyl. One of the nice things about this…

NEWS: Book Anthology Features Chapter on Lost Ahbez Music

It’s been a little dry for news around here lately… So I am happy to announce a new book—titled Bohemian Highways: Art & Culture Abide Then Divide Along the California Coast (Guardian Stewardship Editions)—which features a 20-page chapter penned yours truly (Brian Chidester) on Eden Ahbez’s lost sheet music. The book will be available through…

When Eden Met Rod

It’s been a few months since poet Rod McKuen (1933-2015) passed away and it seems only fitting that the Eden’s Island Blog pay tribute to his influence on the world of spoken word recordings, of which Eden Ahbez also partook. A few days ago, I typed in a search box the words “rod mckuen” and “eden ahbez,” and…

NEWS: Ahbez Contemporary Moondog Gets Documentary Film

For those inclined to 1950s proto-hippies, news of a documentary about Moondog—the great NYC composer, street busker and early counter-culture guru—is cause for celebration. See the link here. It is not known whether Eden and Moondog ever met, though Ahbez—during his stay in NYC in June 1948 to promote “Nature Boy”—wrote an unrecorded song titled “The…