The Cork Board

The Shears of Zorro….(birth of the Hippy Kid)


(A post prompted by redneckprincess describing her son as a “hippie kid”  🙂  )

The Chair stood in the middle of the room. The time had come, as I knew it would, and it was now or never. Or, at least, until the next time. My Dad circled the chair, snip, snip, at my brother’s head. The scissors glinting malevolently in the evening sunlight like the Shears of Zorro. The locks falling.

It was 1968. The year of Vietnam – My Lai, Civil Rights marches, Student riots in Paris, Martin Luther King Jr assassinated, The Beatles created Apple Records and gave us The White Album, Led Zeppelin’s first live gig, ………and I was not going to cut my hair.

This was also, I think, the first time I ever stood up to my Dad and said “No”. You can imagine the tension. “Alan, come and have your hair cut.”
“No, I’m growing it”
“Alan, come. Now.”
“No, I want to grow it.”
“Alan”
“No.”

……..and so it went on …..for probably about 3 or 4 minutes but it seemed more like 10 at the time. All the while, the stand-off. Eventually my Mum took my side and the chair was pushed back under the dining room table and the Shears of Zorro were put away. Silence fell.

And so it was that I grew my hair, started dressing weirdly and listening to psychedelic music, and their first born morphed into a Hippy Kid. I didn’t develop the bouncy hop of attitude but I knew where I was going. I remember I bought a chocolate brown suede/leather jacket with a bottle green shoulder yoke and cuffs that I was very fond of. I wore it everywhere. Couple this with a pair of purple loon pants and I was stunning. Loon pants back then were flares with about an extra foot of material per leg flaring out across the pavement  – not the mild versions you get today which are basically flares.

A good approximation on this lovely young lady.......but mine were WWWIIIIDDDEE

Some  Saturdays I would grab the train to London to just cruise Carnaby Street and the record stores. (One Saturday, I decided I would spend the afternoon at Highbury watching the Arsenal game. This was in the days when you could just turn up at the turnstile and just go in. I recall feeling a bit stupid when I realised that I couldn’t move because the guys either side of me were stood on my trousers !  Loon Pants !  Cool, huh ! )

Then John & Yoko hit………..”standing on the dock at Southampton…….trying to get to Holland or France..” and I would mark my presence at the town disco (what a dated word !) by dressing entirely in WHITE. I didn’t have much luck with the girls at this stage. I guess they didn’t want to be seen with someone who looked like Robin Hood during the day and a tampon at night. But I thought I was cool. I knew the Hippy Chicks would find me sooner or later.

I would wander the streets between friend’s houses carrying my Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, under my arm. My Kerouac, Ginsberg and Wolfe in my bag. Dedicated Follower of Fashion.

If only I’d kept the photos.

23 thoughts on “The Shears of Zorro….(birth of the Hippy Kid)

  1. Reminds me of dad’s college days…he was a ultra cool dude..just like you..huge handle bar moustache…bell-bottom pants and overgrown hair..lol

    When I see the movies of that gen..hippie gen…find it extremely cool..guess u had exciting times

  2. ”…someone who looked like Robin Hood during the day and a tampon at night. But I thought I was cool. I knew the Hippy Chicks would find me sooner or later.”

    Hahahaha!! Delightful! 😀

  3. You don’t have ANY photos? What a loss! I really would have loved to see you in that jacket and the Loon pants! I have some pics of boyfriends in High School (in the early 70’s) and although I don’t think anyone had Loon pants, there were still some crazy (and ugly) styles going on. We certainly had bell bottoms. W-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-DE lapels, polyester leisure suits (in very scary colors), gigantic afros . . . ah nostalgia. I’m so glad people don’t dress like that any more, to tell the truth. Those styles only look good on the young, and even then only for a little while. All those psychedelic prints and citric-acid colors were a bit hard on the eyes! Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    1. Glad you liked it, Julee. Some of the multi-colours were a bit frightening but I tried to bring a little style to my crowd 🙂 Giant afros, huh? Maybe I should do a post about my changing hairstyle through the years, not quite David Beckham, but ……nah, too silly ! Stay cool !

      1. You should! That would be a hoot. Accompanied by photos if you have them, of course. Yes, some of those afros were easily 2-3 times the size of the person’s head! Crazy.

  4. Hehehe, I had loon pants until shortly after I moved to Sheffield…they got very wet and sodden and muddy and generally icky because of all the rain! It was a lot easier to be a hippie kid in the flat-not-so-rainy Midlands! I am still wearing flares today and plaits in my hair…it’s hard to let go of some things! xxx

  5. You should see our tie-dyed baby grows! They certainly brighten up the washing line! Remind me to show you when you next visit…in the mean time, I’ll keep letting my freak flag fly if you do x

  6. Hi Al…. I remember my moms bell bottom pants… The bottom was so wide i remember telling her to stitch a skirt for me out of that… That was i guess around 10yrs back… I was more attracted to the color of those pants… She had a bright green, red n black, all safely kept in a suitcase though she never wore them… Wish you had a few pics… 🙂

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