Sad news out of Los Angeles:
The song’s creator Scott McKenzie has died in Los Angeles at the age of 73. ‘If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair’ is one of the great hippy songs of its era and defined San Francisco in the 60s.
It is much saddness that we report the passing of Scott McKenzie in LA on 18th August, 2012. Scott had been very ill recently and passed away in his home after two weeks in hospital.More beneath the flower.
It has been our pleasure to maintain this web site over the past 15 years and this is the hardest update of them all. Farewell our much loved and wonderful friend.
Gary and Raylene Hartman
When San Francisco was first released in the spring of 1967 my country was in chaos. Already reeling from political assassinations, we were bitterly divided over the escalating war in Viet Nam and hemorrhaging from acts of hatred and violence, many of which were in reaction to nonviolent civil rights demonstrations and protests.Emphasis mine.
At the same time, in eastern Europe, especially East Germany, people lived in terror of surprise midnight visits from secret police who would break down their doors and cart them off to "mind prisons". And for what offenses? Among others, for listening to decadent subversive western music, especially "San Francisco"....One thing is certain: the new pop music that emerged from those times was indeed wonderful. Never before or since, with the exception of rap, has popular music contained such sheer poetic and social power. Even at the end of the decade, when so many of us had lost hope, when the summer of love had turned into a winter of despair, our music helped keep us alive and carry us forward into a world we had hoped to change.
And so it still does.
I cannot, nor would I presume to, add much to this.
I would suggest, however, that you visit or revisit OPOL's excellent and oddly prescient diary posted four days before Scott's death. A moving work that now stands as, though obviously unintentional at the time, a fitting tribute.