Did It! :: A Jerry Rubin Player

In the last years of the 1960s, pop culture and revolution felt synonymous. "The late 1960s-early 1970s were an era when on a college kid’s dorm room, there would be a poster of both Mick Jagger and Angela Davis," said author Pat Thomas last week when we spoke with him about his book covering the rise of political provocateur Jerry Rubin,  Did It! From Yippie To Yuppie: Jerry Rubin, An American Revolutionary.

In his own way, Jerry Rubin was a rock star. The revolution may not have been televised, but it was certainly soundtracked. Following our long-form interview, Thomas offered up this Rubin-themed mixtape, featuring songs the defined an era, and Rubin's renegade spirit:

It was pure coincidence yet simply part of the synergy of the 1960s, that during the week of late August riots on the streets of Chicago, the Beatles released “Revolution” as a single (at the beginning of that tumultuous week) and the Rolling Stones released “Street Fighting Man” as a ‘45 as the protests wound down five days later. Talk about iconic bookends!

While just shouting out the slogan, “Yippie!” was part of the soundtrack of the era, Jerry Rubin was closely aligned with many of the musicians of the day. Protest singer Phil Ochs become a friend early on, while an unknown Rubin was still marching across the UC Berkeley campus in 1965. Ed Sanders, co-leader of the infamous Fugs was part of the Yippie conclave when they started up in ‘67. Rubin encountered Bob Dylan in ’65 and again in ‘72 trying to rope the legendary bard into street-level political activism without success, and most infamously, it was Rubin who introduced the band Elephant’s Memory to John and Yoko which resulted in the Lennon’s double-album of protest songs Some Time In New York City,  in which Rubin is mentioned twice in various song lyrics and was responsible for some of the subject matter, such as the song “John Sinclair,” about the manager of the MC5.

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