In 1965, a bar owner named Max Scherr stitched together a small leftist publication he called The Berkeley Barb. The “I” key on his typewriter was broken, so he drew the letter by hand each time it appeared. On the heels of the Free Speech Movement that had rocked the city one year earlier, the amateur publisher put those principles to practice. His first issue covered FSM arrests and a protest that blocked a train carrying troops en route to Vietnam.
The film of a 1965 party at Moe’s Books that was recently discovered in the Berkeley dump was made by an Academy Award nominated screenwriter who was just starting out in the business when he shot the footage.
Berkeley, especially Berkeley of the 1960s, enjoys a reputation as a predominantly secular city. We may be less religious than the United States as a whole, but religion plays a strong and important role in Berkeley today. More relevantly for our purposes here, religious figures were fixtures on Telegraph Avenue in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (more…)
Made for TV movies have a terrible reputation. Network staples from the mid-‘60s until the late ‘80s, these anodyne films generally featured low production values (including unimaginative scoring, predictable plotting, and lazy cinematography), and were produced with built-in commercial fade-outs that sapped attention spans and (even worse) foreshadowed the imminent arrival of several minutes’ worth of ads.
John Jekabson may have missed the summer of love, but he was in the thick of the “Seven Days of May” which saw Berkeley occupied by the National Guard under a state of emergency in 1969.