Edward Albee (b. 1928) wrote The Zoo Story, his first play, in 1958. The following year he began to write The American Dream, which was produced in New York in 1961. In a preface to the published text of the play, he summed up the theme of his work: "an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, emasculation and vacuity; it is a stand against the fiction that everything in this slippling land of ours is peachy-keen." In 1962 he received a Tony and the Drama Critics Circle Award for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He has received three Pulitzer Prizes: for A Delicate Balance in 1967, Seascape in 1975, and Three Tall Women in 1994.
Joan Baez (b. 1941) gained attention as a folk singer in 1959 when she made an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. Her first album was released later that year. By 1962 she was the subject of a Time magazine cover story. She was active in the civil rights movementmarching with Martin Luther King, Jr., and refusing to allow discrimination policies at her concerts in the Southand in 1965 she helped finance the first march on Washington, D.C., in protest of the war in Vietnam. She married the antiwar activist David Harris in 1968. They have a son, Gabriel, who was born when his father was in jail for resisting the draft. Harris and Baez divorced a few years later. She has continued to perform and record and to support Amnesty International, famine relief, and the reform of immigration policies.
Alice Cooper (b. 1948) is known as the father of "shock rock." Born Vincent Furnier, the son of a Protestant minister in Detroit, he gained attention for onstage antics that included simulated executions, chopping up baby dolls, performing in heavily made-up drag, and using a live boa constrictor or a chicken as part of the act. By the early Seventies, however, his band was being praised by the critics for its music, and their records frequently appeared on the hit charts. Cooper began performing regularly in Las Vegas and became a TV game-show personality. He continued to tour with his band through the Nineties.
Dao Dua ( ? -1990) was born Nam Nguyen Thanh. He was known as Dao Dua, the "coconut monk," because his vegetarian diet consisted largely of coconuts. It was said that Dao Dua studied chemical engineering in Paris when he was a young man. He began studying Buddhism when he returned to Vietnam, and he became a teacher. In the mid-1960s Dao Dua and his followers established a religious community on Phoenix Island, in the middle of the Mekong River. His teachings included ideas from Buddhist, Taoist, and Christian sources, and at the height of the Vietnam War he had attracted some 3,000 followers. Phoenix Island became a haven for Vietnamese peasants and American soldiers fleeing the war. Dao Dua was jailed repeatedly by the Saigon government for preaching pacifism and the peaceful reunification of North and South Vietnam; following the war he was jailed again by the Communist government.
Bob Dylan (b. 1941), the most significant popular musician and songwriter of the 1960s, was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota. He left Minnesota for Greenwich Village in 1961, and the following year legally changed his name and made his first album, Bob Dylan, which consisted mostly of folk standards. His next two albums, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963) and The Times They Are a-Changin' (1964), established him as the voice of a generation. In 1965 he began using an electric guitar and ushered in folk rock. Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and Blonde on Blonde (1966) are widely considered to be perhaps the best rock albums of the decade. In 1968, he released John Wesley Harding, a spare, acoustic recording that anticipated country rock. He spent several years in semiretirement, and then made an album, Blood on the Tracks (1975), that is among his best, and that inaugurated an ambitious tour he called the Rolling Thunder Revue. He has continued to tour regularly, and to record. In 1988 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Award for the Performing Arts. In 1998 his album Time Out of Mind won a Grammy for album of the year.
Gloria Emerson (b. 1930) reported from South Vietnam from 1970 to 1972. In her earlier posts in Paris and London she covered a wide range of stories, from civil wars in Northern Ireland and Nigeria to French couture. She received a George Polk Award for her reports from Vietnam. She is the author of Winners & Losers, a book about the war and its effects on Americans, which won a National Book Award in 1978. She is also the author of Some American Men (1985) and Gaza: A Year in the Intifada (1991). She taught journalism as an honorary fellow at Princeton University. She has never returned to Vietnam.
The Fugs, the first "underground" rock band, was formed in New York City in 1965 by two poets, Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, who performed with various back-up musicians in Off-Off-Broadway theaters. The lyrics to their songs were satirical and obscene. They recorded their first album in 1965 and made several subsequent records, including It Crawled Into My Hand, Honest (1968) and Golden Filth (1970), a compilation of previous work. They disbanded in 1969 but re-formed in 1984 and have continued to record.
George Harrison (b. 1943) was the lead guitarist for the Beatles. He also sang and composed many of the group's best-known songs, including "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes the Sun." He became interested in Eastern religions, and played a sitar on the Rubber Soul album (1965). In 1970, following the breakup of the Beatles, Harrison recorded a three-record set, All Things Must Pass, which was the number one album on the charts for six weeks. In 1971 he organized two highly successful concerts to benefit the starving population of Bangladesh. He continued to record, and in the late Eighties joined Bob Dylan and others on the best-selling Traveling Wilburys album.
Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, and attended Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied psychology. He was the publicity director for the Worcester branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and, later, chairman of the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. He then became field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1964 he was arrested for taking part in the Freedom Summer in Mississippi, and in 1966 he moved to the East Village in New York City, where he opened Liberty House, a store that sold handbags, dolls, and dresses made by a cooperative owned and run by blacks in the South. He was soon involved in hippie culture and specialized in staging "happenings," like the event in the spring of 1967 in which dollar bills were thrown onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Later that year he led antiwar protestors who surrounded the Pentagon and attempted to levitate it. He helped found the Yippie movement, and during the protests that took place at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago he was arrested for having the word "fuck" on his forehead. In his testimony at the trial of the Chicago Seven he explained that he was "tired of seeing my picture in the paper and I know if you got that word, they aren't going to print your picture in the paper and it also summed up my attitude about what was going on in Chicago." Hoffman was released on bail following his conviction in the Chicago trial. In 1971 he and his wife Anita had a son who they named america. In 1972 an appeals court overturned the Chicago Seven convictions, but the following summer Hoffman was arrested for participating in the sale of three pounds of cocaine to undercover agents. He spent six weeks in prison before raising bail, and in late February 1974, before his trial began, he disappeared. He had plastic surgery to alter his appearance and lived for a while in Mexico and Canada, eventually moving to a remote hamlet in northern New York, the home of his companion, Johanna Lawrenson. He lived there as Barry Freed, a writer and activist in the campaign to protect the St. Lawrence River from destructive dredging by the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1980, explaining that his cover was about to be blown, he appeared on television with Barbara Walters and identified himself. He was sentenced to three years in prison on the drug charges and for jumping bail. When he got out of prison, he became a lecturer on college campuses. He was the author of several books, including Revolution for the Hell of It (1968) and Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (1980). He committed suicide in 1989.
Janis Joplin (1943-1970) grew up in Port Arthur, Texas. In the early Sixties she began singing folk music in coffeehouses in Beaumont and Houston, and in 1966 moved to San Francisco, where she joined the band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin developed a raucous, blues-based singing style, and her appearance with Big Brother at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967, where she sang a version of Big Mama Willie Mae Thornton's "Ball and Chain," received both critical and popular acclaim. The following year the band's album Cheap Thrills rose to number one on the charts. Joplin left Big Brother and formed two successive bands, the Kozmic Blues Band and the Full-Tilt Boogie Band. She died of a heroin overdose while she was recording Pearl, which was the number one best-selling rock album for nine weeks in 1971. Joplin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
John Lennon (1940-1980) was, along with Paul McCartney, the principal songwriter for the Beatles. His compositions include "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," and "A Day in the Life." In 1963 he married Cynthia Powell, a classmate at the Liverpool College of Art, and they had a son, Julian. They were divorced and in 1969 he married the conceptual artist Yoko Ono. The following year the Beatles broke up. He recorded many songs with his wife, including the anthem "Give Peace a Chance." Lennon took a five-year hiatus from music starting in 1975, when his son Sean was born, and resumed recording in 1980. He was working on the posthumously released Double Fantasy album when he was murdered in New York by a deranged fan.
Paul McCartney (b. 1942) was the bass guitar player and, with John Lennon, lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the Beatles. His compositions include "Penny Lane," "Eleanor Rigby," "Let It Be," and "Yesterday." Following the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, he formed another band, Wings, with which he toured and recorded until 1980. His wife, Linda Eastman, sang and played keyboards for Wings. He made a series of successful solo albums after Wings disbanded, and in 1991 his first classical composition, Liverpool Oratorio, was performed. He was knighted in 1997 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
David McReynolds (b. 1929) graduated from UCLA in 1953 with a degree in political science. In 1957 he joined the staff of Liberation magazine, and three years later went to work for the War Resisters League (WRL), a pacifist group formed in 1923. Throughout the Sixties the WRL organized antiwar demonstrations, assisted in the burning of draft cards, promoted acts of civil disobedience at Army induction centers, and aided men who resisted the draft. In 1969, McReynolds published a collection of political writings, We Have Been Invaded by the 21st Century, which included an essay in which he gave an account of his homosexuality. He continued to work as a leader of the WRL, which trains people in methods of civil disobedience, publishes pacifist literature, and organizes community groups. He retired in 1998.
Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), a pioneer environmental sculptor, was born in Kiev and raised in Rockland, Maine, where her father was in the lumber business. She moved to New York City in 1920 and studied at the Art Students League. She subsequently studied with George Grosz and Hans Hofmann, and in the Thirties worked as an assistant to Diego Rivera when he was preparing his murals for Rockefeller Center. She worked in relative obscurity until the late Fifties, when she was included in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art. The Sixties brought her international fame. She represented the United States at the 1962 Venice Biennale; had shows in Europe, India, Japan, and Iran; and in 1967 was the subject of a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She had several important corporate and civic commissions in the Seventies, including the Louise Nevelson Plaza in lower Manhattan.
Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998) published a handbook on raising children in 1946 that had sold nearly fifty million copies by the time he died. The first edition, which was titled The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, opened with the advice "Trust youself," and went on to encourage demonstrative familial love and to discourage the kind of ascetic, regimented behavior that earlier experts had advocated. Dr. Spock was the preeminent childrearing guide for the parents of the Sixties' generation. Spock grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended Yale and then the Columbia University medical school. He was a resident in pediatrics and also in psychiatry. He opened a private pediatrics practice in New York and served as a psychiatrist in the Navy during World War II, while he was working on his first book. He gave up his practice in 1947 and taught child development, first at the University of Pittsburgh and then at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland until 1967, when he retired. He was a prominent opponent of the war in Vietnam and the draft, and from 1962 to 1967 was co-chairman of SANE, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. In 1968 he was convicted of conspiracy to aid and abet violation of the draft, but the conviction was overturned on appeal. In the 1970s he ran for president, and later vice president, as the candidate of the People's Party, a coalition of left-wing organizations. In 1976 he divorced his first wife, Jane, whom he had married in 1927 and with whom he had two sons. His second wife, Mary Morgan, collaborated with him on Spock on Spock: A Memoir of Growing Up with the Century (1989). He was the author of many articles and eleven other books.
Ringo Starr (b. 1940) was the drummer for the Beatles. He was also the lead vocalist on many of their songs, including "With a Little Help from My Friends" (1967). After the breakup of the group in 1970, he played on the Plastic Ono Band album recorded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. He has made many solo albums and appeared in films and on televison. In 1989 he formed a group called the All Starr Band, and has toured extensively with various incarnations of it.
Twiggy (b. 1949) was born Leslie Hornby in a working-class suburb of London. In 1966 she became a model. Her career prefigured those of the "supermodels" of the Eighties and Nineties, and in 1967 she appeared on the cover of Newsweek as a pop culture phenomenon. She was five feet six inches tall and weighed only ninety-two pounds. When asked if her figure was the thing of the future, she replied, "It's not really what you call a figure, is it?" She made her acting debut in 1970 in Ken Russell's film The Boy Friend, for which she won a Golden Globe award. In 1983 she was nominated for a Tony for her work on Broadway in My One and Only. She continues to appear on stage and television and in films. She starred Off Broadway in If Love Were All in 1999.
Viva was born Janet Sue Hoffmann in upstate New York. In the late Sixties she became a close friend of Andy Warhol's and a central figure in the Factory. She appeared in a number of Warhol's films, including The Loves of Ondine (1967), Lonesome Cowboys (1968), and Blue Movie (1968). Viva was married to the French filmmaker Michel Auder and has two daughters. She is the author of two autobiographical novels, Superstar (1970) and Baby (1975), and is at work on her memoirs. She lives in Malibu, California, where she paints landscapes.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was the emblematic pop artist of the Sixties. In the Fifties he had a successful career as a commercial illustrator, and a small parallel career in the world of fine art. His first solo exhibition, in 1952, was of drawings based on the writings of Truman Capote. Then in the early Sixties he began producing silk-screened images derived from the consumer culture, most notably the Campbell's soup cans he exhibited in 1962. Warhol became famous, and his reputation increased with startling speed. In 1964 he rented a loft on 47th Street in New York that he painted silver. This was the first "Factory," and for several years it was where the art world met the drug and homosexual subcultures, and where celebrities, intellectuals, musicians, hustlers, and drag queens gathered. Warhol produced a remarkable number of paintings and films during this period. Early in 1968 the Factory was moved to a more antiseptic loft on Union Square, which became the offices for Andy Warhol Films, Inc. On June 3, Valerie Solanas, a woman Warhol knew slightly, shot him several times in the stomach with a 32-caliber revolver. She was the founder and sole member of an organization called S.C.U.M., the Society for Cutting Up Men. Warhol's liver, lungs, esophagus, stomach, and spleen had been punctured by bullets and he almost died. He turned his filmmaking enterprise over to an assistant, Paul Morrissey, and by the early 1970s was engaged primarily in producing commissioned portraits. He was also involved in video and television projects. He died following gallbladder surgery in New York early in 1987. After his death, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established, and under its aegis the Andy Warhol Museum, the nation's largest single-artist museum, opened in Pittsburgh in 1994.
Edgar Winter (b. 1946) played keyboards and saxophone with his older brother, Johnny Winter, when they were teenagers in Texas, and was part of a jazz group. He collaborated with his brother on the album Second Winter in 1969, and later formed his own bands, Edgar Winter's White Trash and The Edgar Winter Group.
Johnny Winter (b. 1944) is an albino blues-rock guitarist who grew up in Beaumont, Texas, where he organized his first band when he was fourteen. He spent several years playing in bars in Texas, and in 1968 signed a million-dollar recording contract. He had several hit records before briefly retiring because of a heroin addiction. In 1973 he recorded a new album, Still Alive and Well, and later produced records for Muddy Waters and played in Waters's band.
Frank Zappa (1940-1993) was a composer, band leader, guitarist, and producer with a broad range of musical interests. He became known as the leader of the experimental rock group Mothers of Invention in the mid-1960s, but as he explained to an interviewer shortly before his death, "I never had any intention of writing rock music. I always wanted to compose more serious music...but I knew no one would play it." The Mothers of Invention released their first album, Freak Out!, in 1966. Each cut was part of what Zappa called "an overall satirical concept," and the band's live performances included dadaistic theatrical effects and scatological humor. Zappa was an important influence on progressive and experimental rock music. He made more than sixty albums, and his classical chamber and orchestral compositions were performed in Europe and America. He established his own record company in the 1970s. In the 1980s he was a prominent defender of First Amendment rights, and testified before Congress against the censorship of song lyrics. He died of prostate cancer.