As my artist pal Daniel used to say, affecting his best Southern cop twang, “We got a hippy problem.”
Topanga Canyon was ground zero for hippies in the 1960s, and it never quite shed the mantle. Back then, the Manson family was camped out in their psychedelic bus down at the Rodeo Grounds, Neil Young was couch surfing and Gram Parsons and Bernie Leadon twanged out new songs while Jim Morrison “let it roll, baby, roll” up at The Corral roadhouse (yes, that roadhouse).
Today, the canyon much like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco is more of a destination attraction for young hippies, the way affluent yoga students travel to Mysore, India, to pretend they like being ogled by old gurus. You see them walking barefoot and braless along the boulevard, guitars slung over the shoulders, sipping their chai teas and smiling a lot. Sometimes they even still hitchhike and carry signs like “Make love, not war.” More