News & Politics

Psychedelic Art Group Feuds with Psychedelic Venue


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
August 17, 1967, Vol. XII, No. 44

By Howard Smith

It was their big chance. The management of the Electric Circus was impressed with the Group Image as they played to thousands in St. Mark’s Place Saturday night, and offered them an audition, in the form of a free dance, Sunday afternoon.

The psychedelic tent was overflowing the next afternoon, but the Image was irked. The air was off and the bathrooms were locked. They paused to tell the audience that “the Electric Circus sucks.”

That blew the audition, but the band played on, pausing occasionally for another insult. It was getting pretty raunchy.

But the Circus had the last word. A hastily lettered slide flashed onto the screen behind the stage. It read “The Group Image Sucks,” and the Image, amidst a forest of erect middle fingers, packed up and left.

The war in Vietnam will cost $25 billion this year. And it isn’t fun — not for the Vietnamese who are being bludgeoned nor the Americans who are being bled. Without the help of Univac, the multi-billion dollars figure suggests some interesting possibilities.

If we take the money were going to spend this year and divide it equally among the men, women, and children of Vietnam, it would enrich each by $1500. A family of four would get $6000 or about 15 times the normal Viet family income. A profligate Vietnamese could have a ball and a cautious one 20 years of social security.

Or maybe it could be distributed in another way. Give the country’s 12,500 hamlets a million dollars each, and there would still be $12.5 billion left for the cities. It might cause inflation, but inflation hurts less than napalm.

It is simply a matter of creative warfare. Do you think the North Vietnamese could hold out against a deal like that…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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