Relix: Let’s go back to the beginning. Were you growing up in the same time as the other people who gained some notoriety?
Hunter: It’s funny, you know. Back in those days there weren’t a lot of people on the street, and I thought me and Garcia and Trist and people who were hanging around in Palo Alto were really unique. I thought we were the new thing. It was quite arrogant we felt that we were the legitimate rulers of the world…
Relix: Then you found out you were not alone.
Hunter: Yea, that happened the next year. All of sudden it started being more and more and more of us. It was quite a number. A friend of mine, Paul Mittig, had an experience in New Mexico. He took some DMT over to the Taos Pueblo and he somehow managed to get introduced to a medicine man. He said “Do you want to try some of my magic?” and he turned the guy on to DMT. The guy said “Hmmmm…pretty good magic,” and he said “Now, do you want to see some of my magic?” Now Paul doesn’t make things up; and he said “Sure.” He was standing there (they were in a corral) and all of a sudden a wind hit him right in the face and then a wind hit him from behind and then one from the right and then one from the left. Then a dozen white horses ran into the corral and ran around and around and around and then out of the corral. That sort of thing, in New Mexico, can happen! It can’t happen here.
How Nurse Wretched Brought Grandma to California
This is the day I took Mickey’s Grandma to the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair, when the Hunter/Comfort Band was playing. The family thought I shouldn’t even invite her out from Florida – “She’s too old; she shouldn’t get on a plane.” She was kind of incapacitated from a stroke and Mickey and I visited her, when the band had been to Florida. First the family said I couldn’t take her to the gig. But I got a wheelchair and took her anyway, and it was at that gig that Grandma said the first words since her stroke – “Oh my! And what will I do when you go?” I invited her to come back to California with me and took her to Earthquake McGoon’s, the Street Fair, all over – she had a great time and recuperated from her stroke in a wonderful way. -Jerilyn
Paul Kantner from the Jefferson Airplane behind a fence at the Haight Street Fair 1978. Paul took Mickey for a drive through Golden Gate Park one day in his 911 Porsche Targa. It was painted flat black and the ride made such an impression on Mickey, he got one himself, also painted flat black with the license plate WARP X because WARP 10 was already taken.
Steve Parish was one of the Grateful Dead quippies. He briefly worked for Quicksilver Messenger Service before coming into the fold of the Dead. He’s now with Moonalice.
Chesley Milikin, Rock & Nicki Scully and a mystery guy at the Haight Street Fair 1978. The Hunter/Comfort Band played the main stage that year.
Mickey’s Grandma Tessel at the Haight Street Fair 1978 in her customized Grateful Dead Grandma wheelchair. She had the most wonderful time that day, meeting all the hippie kids who gave her hugs and told her of their love for her grandson.
Photo Credits: Paul Kanter – Snooky Flowers, Steve Parish – Steve Schneider, Others – Ed Perlstein