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Biographical essays discuss the spirit of volunteerism sweeping the nation, the author's experiences with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and his counseling in children's hospitals
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Legendary hippie Wavy Gravy presents 49 goofy and sometimes gripping autobiographical vignettes on everything from Woodstock to Janis Joplin's infectious laugh to the charitable Seva Foundation, using his own life and distinctly wavy sense of humor to get people to ``dare to struggle, dare to grin.'' ``What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000.'' This sunny if unrealistic announcement, blasted through the loudspeakers at Woodstock, became emblematic for Gravy as, over the years, the toothless, grinning founding father of the still-thriving Hog Farm commune came to represent humanitarian and spiritual action as a fun pursuit, a prankster path. Here, Gravy describes some of the strange and extraordinary encounters that changed a bright but reasonably straight young comedian named Hugh Romney into the cosmic clown with the bizarre moniker (allegedly coined by B.B. King). There's the time Gravy gave the psychotropic drug DMT to Lenny Bruce; the drug, Gravy says, literally blew the comedian out his hotel window but, even as he fell, Bruce supposedly yelled, ``Man shall rise above the rule.'' Or the time, years later, when Gravy bandied with charismatic Tibetan lama Ch”gyam Trungpa and updated the ancient riddle about what comes first, service or enlightenment. ``Do you know that man?'' a follower asked Trungpa. ``That man is self-explanatory,'' answered the lama. Through decades studded with friendships with fellow countercultural icons (Ken Kesey, Ram Dass, etc.), Gravy has apparently perfected his heart and his humor. Here, however, it's his moving stories of his tireless work with ill children that best demonstrate his mushy, generous, exuberant heart. The man who once ran a pig for president has become a seasoned do-gooder, and this enjoyable if unabashedly sentimental collection may well succeed in convincing readers that working to ease suffering in the world can be a wonderful trip. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Proselytizing without preaching, Wavy Gravy (ne Hugh Romeny and perhaps best known as chief of the Please Force at the Woodstock music festival) puts forth his simple message of comedy and caring in a delightful collection of essays whose message is simple: life hurts only when you don't laugh. Gravy presents a mishmash of Buddhism, '60s political issues, advice on fund-raising and eulogies to Janis Joplin, Lenny Bruce and Abbie Hoffman, among others, and does so with such a sense of balance and humor that his occasional tendency to slide into aging-hippie doublespeak is incidental. His description of his work as a counselor in children's hospitals is particularly poignant, while his account of his own suicide attempt is darkly playful ("death bit down, found me wanting, and spat me back into the world"). Soap bubbles, garbage, various causes and one unique political campaign (in which Gravy runs for a city council seat in a clown costume) are all part of this romp through what's left of the counterculture.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110312078382
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0312078382n