New Buffalo Commune, Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, 1967
Tommy Masters teaching Prince to harness, Truchas, New Mexico, 1970
Barry McGuire (Eve of Destruction), Patty, and Ever, New Mexico, 1967
Janis Joplin with Big Brother and The Holding Company, Lagunitas, CA 1967
Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In festival, San Francisco, 1967
Bob Dylan, Los Angeles, 1965
Photographer Lisa Law's story is one among thousands of personal narratives that made up the cultural fabric of America in the 1960s, when Americans were wrestling with such issues as civil rights, the environment, personal freedom, nuclear arms, and the Vietnam War.Americans in that era faced many controversial issues-from civil rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear arms, and the environment to drug use, sexual freedom, and nonconformity.
Lisa Bachelis grew up in Burbank, California, in a middle-class family that shared liberal social and political ideals. As a high schooler in San Francisco, she was drawn to North Beach and Sausalito and their colorful bohemian communities--artists, musicians, and writers who rejected conformity, challenged the civil and art establishments, and experimented with many forms of personal expression, including dress and drugs.
In 1964, at age twenty-one, Bachelis became personal assistant to Frank Werber, manager of the Kingston Trio. He gave her a 35-mm camera and asked her to photograph musicians for his record company. That year she met Tom Law, her future husband, who was road manager for the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Soon Lisa Bachelis and Tom Law were living with friends in a group house, a mansion they called "the Castle." Their home was a stopping place for many creative individuals moving in the Los Angeles artistic scene. Owners Tom Law, his brother, actor John Phillip Law, and a friend rented rooms to young artists, musicians, and actors to defray costs. Many of their guests-including Bob Dylan, David Crosby, and Andy Warhol-became celebrities of the counterculture.
In 1967 Lisa and Tom Law moved to San Francisco, joining thousands of young people flocking to the Haight-Ashbury district. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, mysticism, and religions outside the Judeo-Christian tradition. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one's consciousness.
The Laws lived in several groups of poets, musicians, artists, and idealists. These communities experimented with redefining family structure, the relationship between work and leisure, and the role of their community in the world.
"Fifteen of us lived together, one room per family, and a kitchen and a communal room. I can't say that I enjoyed that kind of living. It always seemed that women ended up doing a lot more chores than the men. The men played music, smoked the herb, chopped wood and repaired vehicles. The lack of privacy was a test. Now we could be healthy, happy and holy."
Experience additional photography by Lisa Law on the Web:
Smithsonian National Museum of American History: Virtual Exhibitions
Lisa also served as a consultant for NBC's The '60s
Purchase or license her image:
Buy her book with 159 images--> 'Flashing on the Sixties' - 4th edition:
Lisa Law SQUAREBOOKS
'Interviews with Icons, Flashing on the Sixties'- Lumen Press
directly from Lisa by contacting her at cybermesa.com
All photos ©1999 Lisa Law
Contact Lisa Law
Baron Wolman Robert Altman Lisa Law Gene Anthony Michelle Vignes