Sections Above and Below This Page:

named Kerrens, standing next to a crowd of newsmen. Kerrens had made a quick reputation on the streets in the Haight as a brutal, Iying prick, and Rohan knew this. He really let it fly in a good, solid, five-minute tirade, which he closed by promising the cop he was going to build a harassment-brutality case against him that wasn't only going to get him kicked off the force, but also give his wife grounds for divorce. Emmett enjoyed the at-the-drop-of-a-hat performance and so did Rohan. The cameras had recorded every moment of his displayed outrage and the cop's embarrassment for the six o'clock newscasts. It was plenty slick.

The Frisco Angels wanted to repay the people of the Haight for having come through with their brothers' bail. The club wanted to throw a party and Angel Pete talked about it with Emmett. They decided to have one in the Panhandle on New Year's Day and they did. It was called the New Year's Day Wail! and the Angels bought beer, which they gave away to everyone, and paid for the PA system. Emmett arranged for an eighteen-foot, flatbed truck to be used as a stage. Since it was early Sunday afternoon, Emmett had to go wake up Big Brother and the Holding Company, as well as the Grateful Dead. Pearl cursed his being to infinite damnation, and Jerry Garcia suggested he go play Russian roulette with a loaded automatic, but they came and he played his beautiful guitar licks and she sang her trashy soul out for the people.

It was a great day and a hell of a party--the first free rock-concertparty in any city park put on solely by the people for themselves. By late afternoon everybody was high and happy. The cops came, saw the way everyone looked wasted, and split, muttering something about the absence of a park permit. The crowd shouted a goodbye after them: "The parks belong to the people! The parks belong to the people!" Even so, Emmett believed the cops would have vamped, if the music had continued past dark. But the bands had to gig at the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms that night, so there was no music. None that was played over the loudspeaker system, anyway. The "Wail!" ended with the falling sun and the Angels rode off on their scooters and everyone else drifted away, smiling with the feeling of having had a good time.

Emmett got loaded after he returned the truck, and bedded down with Natural Suzanne--a high-hipped, eighteen-year-old Michigan girl with sharply etched cheekbones, who dropped out of Antioch to live in the Haight-Ashbury. She had been staying with Emmett for a few weeks and they both liked it. The past three months, since the [end page 263]


Creative Commons License
The Digger Archives is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0