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as soon as it was browned and the unhurried black men felt it was ready to be eaten.

They were always monstrous affairs with thirty to fifty thousand people attending, even though they were always purposely held on a weekday to keep the crowds down. There were at least twenty-five or thirty such "parties," as they were called, which were all paid for by money hustled for whatever was needed, like the flatbed trucks, and arranged, produced and given away by Emmett, Tumble, the Hun, Coyote, the women--by all the Diggers! Everyone else simply took care of incidentals or offered their services, like the rock groups. Only a handful of intimate outsiders knew at that time that the Diggers were entirely responsible for practically every free party ever held in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco during those years of '67, '68 and early '69. Almost everyone else assumed that the rock bands, like the Grateful Dead, the Airplane or Country Joe and his Fish, put on the affairs to show people how much they appreciated and loved them for buying their albums, and also concluded that the various record companies paid the expenses for everything like the free barbecued chickens or ribs, as well as the salaries of the half dozen or so "old, nigger cooks."

The reason no one knew who was responsible was that the Diggers wanted it that way, since "free" means not copping credit. What began to make Emmett and the others bitter and crazy was that, after each of these events, some of the musicians in the bands, as well as several well-known HIP figures who considered themselves spokesmen for the Haight, made statements to the establishment and underground media which more than just suggested that they were responsible for the entire organization and cost of the celebration, because they wanted to express the love they felt for their brothers and sisters in the community, and "Blah, blah, blah!"

It was a burn all right, but neither Emmett nor anyone of the people he worked with said anything or did anything to set the record straight. Eventually, however, after all the bands made it to the big time, the one group whose manager claimed most of the responsibility for most of the free parties most of the time, found themselves in New ~ork--facing an angry East Village community who were duped by their own stupidity and plenty of publicity about "the hip people's band" into believing that the only live music this particular rock group played was always heard for free. It got to a point where the leader of the band had to make a speech [end page 411]


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