Is that the whole truth about who the "flower children" were? Not remotely. Sure, it's become fashionable of late to deride or mock hippies. (And what future generations don't, at some point, make sport of the previous generation's counter-culture?) But too often, we focus on the mildly irritating hippie sins - the smelliness and lack of hygiene, the preference for noodling around on the electric guitar when a good old-fashioned power chord would do, their tendency to wear tie-die outside of a "Groovy '60s"-themed fraternity party.
But among these simple, goofy, free-spirited naifs who just wanted free love and Peter Max posters lurked some seriously messed-up, dark individuals. People who couldn't really handle the trip, as it were, and ended up freaking out the establishment, often in the worst possible way. Some by creating genuine havoc in people's lives. Some by committing some seriously atrocious, baffling crimes. And others just by reminding us that even an upbeat movement based around Jefferson Airplane songs and headbands could still inspire angry, mean-spirited sickos.
So here's a list of the true hippie scumbags, the worst of the worst that the Age of Aquarius had to over. Far out, man.
Luke Chrisco (aka "Skye Oryan") captured the imagination of the world when he was caught hiding inside a porta potty (INSIDE) at a Boulder, Colorado, yoga festival, where he was watching women...take care of business. As if just attending a yoga festival weren't bad enough.
You see, Skye was living in the woods in France a few years back (like you do...) when he got the idea to hide in a ladies' locker room and spy on the women therein. "These chicks started showing up that I never had a chance with. But I figured at least I can see them change or something," he explained to the Daily Camera. He didn't then add the phrase "like a boss," but I think we can safely assume he thought it.
In addition to his Boulder Yoga Festival escapade, Chrisco has admitted to drilling holes in restrooms all around Colorado, including several at the University of Boulder, and, in general, just being an massive perv.
When local TV station FOX31 Denver asked him to explain himself, he explained "I was at the yoga festival, doing a little bit of yoga, and I’m just seeing all these goddesses. It seems crazy, but I just felt like I was being blessed by their energy, even though it was unintentional."
But it's not just that he likes to watch women poop, you see. It's a RELIGIOUS observance..."I wanted to start a new goddess religion. I always wanted to be a pimp or create a church of porn or a church of tantric, someplace people could be spiritual but also instinctual."
I'll tell you what's instinctual. Throwing up a bit in my mouth even thinking about this creep. Moving on!
Cutler was the tour manager and stage manager for some of the biggest names in rock in the late 1960s and early '70s, including the Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones. Traveling with the Stones during their 1969 tour of America, Cutler was instrumental in planning a concert to be held in Northern California's Altamont speedway.
Though the stories and remembrances of the events that preceded Altamont varied, what was never in doubt was that (1) Cutler was one of the primary people responsible for planning the event and (2) a day-long riot broke out, culminating in the Hells Angels biker gang brutally stabbing a man to death within feet of the stage.
According to most reports, Cutler hired the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels to provide security for the concert, "security" in this case consisting of sitting along the stage and drinking free beer. Good plan! I mean, BEER! That's a substance that has never once contributed to a large crowd situation getting out of control. What could possibly go wrong?
Things got off to a rocky start, with some members of Jefferson Airplane being attacked on stage. It was so chaotic by late afternoon, the Grateful Dead refused to play and left. (Bear in mind, one of their most popular songs is about piloting a locomotive while doing cocaine.)
Once the Rolling Stones took the stage, things took an even darker turn. During the song "Under My Thumb," an 18-year-old guy in a green suit named Meredith Hunter pulled a gun on one of the Angels, and wound up getting stabbed five times. He died. The Stones kept right on playing, closing down the set with a perhaps-in-retrospect-poorly-chosen "Street Fightin Man."
There has been a lot of back-and-forth in the years since Altamont about who was actually to blame for what happened. The Angels? Cutler? The Stones? Regardless, the fact that Cutler has been so remiss to express actual remorse about what happened - preferring instead to distance himself from the entire scenario - and that he was apparently central in the decision to bring a bunch of drunk Hells Angels into the mix, qualifies him for hippie scumbagdom in my book.
Plus he named his autobiography "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which is totally lame and predictable and trite for a guy who actually worked with the Stones. I mean, come ON. Whassamatta wit choo boy?
see more on Sam Cutler
Paul David Addis
You may remember Paul Addis (codename: Tangelo Starfish, probably) as the doofus who lit the Burning Man on fire too early at the 2007 Burning Man event. Yes, he suffers from premature inflagration. It affects dozens of men annually.
Addis kind of denied being the culprit for a while, and sort of half-tried to sell the whole think as a "prank" afterwards. (Ah, the old "set fire to the thing a whole bunch of people were excited about setting fire to a little later" bit. I love that one.) Finally, he decided that he was really a Burning Man activist, protesting how, like, you know, the Black Rock's CHANGED since the '90s, bro, and it was all like commercial now.
More likely explanation? The guy's a compulsive pyromaniac and repeat attempted arsonist. Here's Laughing Squid's coverage of his pathetic attempt to burn down San Francisco's perfectly lovely Grace Cathedral. OK, he was more standing next to it, angrily, with some low-grade explosives. Hey, he's used to burning things that were designed to be burned, okay? Give the guy some time to warm up. (See what I did there?)
What kind of sad individual feels the need to screw around with Burning Man? Those people are already screwing around! It's not like you're upending a World Trade Organization conference, doofus. It's a bunch of artists and wannabe artists comparing shoulder tats and driving decorated Autopia cars around in the 200 degree New Mexico heat for a week. You think interrupting those kinds of shenanigans actually makes you some kind of rebel? Why not just break up the local 3rd grader's handball game and call it an afternoon?
Yes, yes, Crosby Stills & Nash have some great songs. But David's not even the most talented guy in the band (and I'm not even talking CSNY!), and he's got some serious splainin' to do on a whole raft of other charges.
- He almost single-handedly ruined The Byrds
Back in his Byrds days, Crosby was notorious for his lazy, half-assed live performances, his insufferable need to be the center of attention and for his inane political diatribes between songs. While recording the album "The Notorious Byrd Brothers," he got butthurt about the band's refusal to include some of his cheesier odes to free love hippiedom (one of them about menage a trois and called, guh, "Triad"). Finally, he became so impossible to work with, the remaining Byrds Roger McGuinn and Michael Clarke kicked him out of the band and replaced him on the album cover with a horse.
- He likes to do drugs and then drive around with weapons in his car
In 1985, WHILE ON PROBATION for drunk driving, Crosby was involved in a hit-and-run accident. (Surprise, surprise, he was the one who hit and ran. In this case, it was a fence.) When he was arrested, police found a pistol and cocaine in his car. He must have really hated that fence!
Nearly 20 years later, in 2004, Crosby left an ounce of marijuana, rolling papers, two knives and a .45-caliber pistol in a hotel room and was arrested when he came back to get them. (As Oscar Bluth taught us, you never leave a little bud behind.)
Then there's the whole chronic womanizing/having 2 kids and then putting them both up for adoption thing...But there's other hippie scumbags to get to and we could be here all day.
#164 on The Best Rock Vocalists
#213 on The Best Singers of All Time
#790 on The Greatest Minds of All Timesee more on David Crosby
First off, before we even get into his real crimes against humanity, it must be said that John Phillips is responsible for not just one but TWO of the most irritating, cloying, self-satisfied hippie anthems ever recorded. He wrote BOTH "California Dreaming" AND "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)." That alone basically merits inclusion.
But there's more, so much much more.
- That mustache
- He blew pretty much every shot he had at success after the dissolution of The Mamas and the Papas by being a drug addled f**k-up
- He worked tirelessly on a musical called "Man on the Moon" (later simply "Space") which received some of the worst reviews of all time and closed after 1 performance. Years later, he accused George Lucas of ripping him off with "Star Wars."
- He got a liver transplant in 1992 and then WASTED A SECOND SHOT AT LIFE BY CONTINUING TO DRINK HEAVILY! When asked about it, he said he was just "breaking [the new liver] in." It should have been reclaimed on the spot.
- Finally, in her book "High on Arrival," his daughter Mackenzie Phillips alleged that he had raped her when she was 19, and that they afterwards carried on an incestuous relationship for a decade. Mackenzie also told Oprah Winfrey that John had injected her with heroin and cocaine, and that she only broke off the relationship because she got pregnant and feared the child might be her dad's.
Sing it with me now! "All the leaves are brown...and the sky is gray..."
#327 on The Best Rock Vocalists
#96 on The Best Folk Bands/Artistssee more on John Phillips
A surprising number of people involved in the Vietnam anti-war movement made the strange leap from "war is wrong" to "killing people who support war is right." An odd bit of logic, that. But little things like reason and common sense didn't deter Bill Ayers from holding a "War Council" in Flint, Michigan in 1969, with some fellow student radicals (a breakout of the large lefty organization Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS). There, they decided that the best way to have their voices heard was violent, armed struggle. Yeah, that's the ticket, yeah...
They called themselves the "Weathermen," a reference to a Bob Dylan lyric, meaning they could have just as easily wound up being "The Leopard Skin Pill Box Hats," a much better name. The Weathermen started their terrorist careers in style, by blowing up several of their own members (including Ayers' girlfriend) with a nail bomb that accidentally went off during assembly. They even went on to actually bomb some buildings that didn't actually contain them at the time - including NYPD headquarters, the US Capitol and the Pentagon. (Just like Bin Laden...what's that they say about great minds?)
Ayers stayed hidden "underground" until it was clear he wasn't going to be arrested for anything. Then he and some other Weathermen wrote a book which they dedicated to, among other people, Sirhan Sirhan. Yes, the guy who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy. No, I don't know why they'd do that either.
Then, for a long time, nothing interesting happened. Finally, because Ayers happened to meet Barack Obama at a few random meetings while Ayers was teaching at a nearby college, America almost didn't elect its first black president.
Thanks for everything, Bill Ayers, you massive massive scumbag.
Also Rankedsee more on Bill Ayers
Donald DeFreeze was so evil, he became the model for Stephen King's character Randall Flagg, who's basically a stand-in for Satan. Let me repeat that: A horror novelist used this real man as a model for the Anti-Christ. Intense.
DeFreeze was the founder of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a nasty militant group from the '70s most famous for kidnapping wealthy publishing heiress Patty Hearst and compelling her (brainwashing her?) into joining their bats**t cause.
DeFreeze had learned about the Black Power and black militant movements while in prison for stabbing a prostitute. (Hooray!) He escaped prison in 1973 (apparently by just casually walking out, leading some to believe it may have been a reward for his turning police informant while inside) and kicked off his new club by killing a well-liked Oakland school superintendent. (The victim, Marcus Foster, was planning to distribute ID cards to students. What a narc.)
Two of DeFreeze's collaborators were arrested for the killing, so he decided to kidnap Patty Hearst and do a prisoner exchange, cause that's a a totally non-delusional plan that probably was going to work. When it didn't work, the SLA demanded instead that the police give lots of food away at some random locations. That didn't work out so well either - the food distributions tended to cause a riot-like atmosphere and violence - so the SLA instead just inducted Hearst into the group and renamed her Tania.
With Hearst (er, Tania) now in tow, the group committed a daring, stupid bank robbery during which 2 people were shot. Then they moved to LA and, I swear this is true, committed a daring, stupid shoplifting-of-some-socks that resulted in their hideout being discovered. What followed ranks among the largest police shootouts in history.
DeFreeze and a number of other SLA members were killed. Hearst escaped but was later captured and claimed she had been drugged and brainwashed into participating in the robberies.
see more on Donald DeFreeze
Infamous killer cult leader and all-around wackadoo Charlie Manson spent most of his early life terrorizing people and acting generally like a rabid psychopath. He stopped just long enough between brutally sodomizing people and brainwashing large groups of women into killing for him to listen to a few Beatles songs and dream of his own never-to-be rock star career.
Manson was in San Francisco preaching a weird mix of "flower power" hippie philosophy along with Scientology he picked up in prison and his own weird brand of nutjobbery when he started to amass a significantly-sized group of followers (most of them ladies). Hey, acid is a hell of a drug. Together, this ill-fated collective set off (as hippies were wont to do) into an old school bus - complete with cliche psychedelic decorations - and toured around the US, eventually winding up in Los Angeles.
Manson and his posse of women lived in Pacific Palisades with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, before eventually moving out to the now-infamous Spahn Movie Ranch in Topanga Canyon.
The rest is now pretty well-known. Manson kept getting kookier, believing that the Beatles song "Helter Skelter" predicted a coming race war in which he was meant to take part. Eventually, he and his followers killed a whole lot of people - including the actress Sharon Tate, the wife of film director Roman Polanski, and supermarket executive Leno LaBianca - in a series of crimes as inexplicable as they were gruesome.
After he was finally, finally, finally caught, Manson spent the next few decades acting like a massive deranged creep in interviews, and somehow got several famous musicians to for some reason cover his inane songs. He had carved an X on to his forehead during his trial and then later turned it into a swastika. Cause why not? I guess?
A fellow inmate even set him on fire in the '80s and he survived. Isn't that how it goes? Little kids die of cancer every day, and Charlie Manson survives a prisoner literally setting him ablaze. It's enough to make you want to tune in, turn out and drop on. Or something like that...
#52 on Celebrity Death Pool 2015
#35 on Celebrity Death Pool 2012
#26 on Celebrity Death Pool 2014see more on Charles Manson