Tuesday, April 21, 2009

San Francisco in the 70's



The 1970's in San Francisco really was an odd decade, though I didn't see it as a signifigant decade at the time.

When you think that not only on the world stage was there Patty Hearst and the SLA but also all the people who went down to South America with Jim Jones and drank the killer Kool Aid, and the Zebra murders and Harvey Milk and then there was Werner Ehrhard, the creepy guy pictured above who formed a personality transformation cult called EST.. His followers got to clean his big Victorian house. I admit they look like they're all happy in the picture.

This former car salesman, Werner Ehrhard, was very popular at Snazelle Films, where I was working. Even my boss signed up with him. Suddenly weird little mottos were appearing on other people's desktops, sayings of Werner Ehrhard. I remember there was one woman especially devoted whose name was Cyndra Ravelle. She wore dresses unbuttoned almost to her waist . Bet she didn't have to clean the bathrooms. There was definitely a feeling of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" to the whole thing.

Ehrhard still has followers. I poked around a site with lots of quotes.

Here's one of his quotes: "Icing mud pies requires energy. Icing mud pies requires work. It's work remembering which mud pies are iced. It's work maintaining icing."

Actually a kind of funny quote, but the est philosophy seemed decidedly unfunny and self absorbed. Unfortunately I can't find the link to the quote I just posted. It must be the icing is getting in my way. Or melting in the rain, or something.

And the Mitchell brothers opened a sex club that had tracks in it, an x rated laff in the dark style ride with surprise porn events as you went around a corner in your little car. I never saw this but sure wondered about it.

13 comments:

prb said...

And now my 20 year old son goes to concerts at the same place on O'Farrell that was once the habitue of said Mitchell Brothers. Theirs was a weird scene. Remember the fratricide in Corte Madera c. 1991? If the era was not over before that shooting, it certainly was afterward. Lord....

Namowal said...

"Icing mud pies?" what a loon!
Then again, maybe he could explain that wacko "Cake out in the rain" song.
I think the self-absorption of some pop psychologies cause more harm than good. Not that having feelings is bad, but "getting in touch with" them to the extent that you're dwelling on how you feel and why you feel that way and whose fault it is etc... ...that's asking for trouble.

An x-rated Laff-in-the-Dark? Ha! That's original. I wonder if it got vandalized be partying riders?

stray said...

funny connection with the cake melting song!!! although I looked up est on wikipedia, and it said he got ideas from Alan Watts, and I loved reading A.W.'s books.

Mean Jean said...

Didn't Gaye Talese or somebody do a book or article on the sex/orgy camp or whatever? I remember reading about it.

All that psycho-babble stuff was so earnest and intense. Provoking you to reach a point of near insanity so you could be more fulfilled and creative and lead a happier life...if you recovered from the experience.

Linda said...

I went to EST! My boss (in TN) strongly suggested it. I had to drive to Atlanta 2 weekends in a row. I got to stay in a nice hotel, but alas, no icing, no refreshments AT ALL.

Sally said...

Linda, are you serious? Was Herr Erhard there? I think there've been a number of books written about him, and many lawsuits. He learned a lot of it from scientology. And yes, prb, the Mitchell Brothers fratricide was so weird...

stray said...

Linda, I thought you went-- but you really liked it, though, didn't you? which boss was it (email me later, i think i know). Seems like one of our mutual friends went, too, and said that you should never use the word "but" -- too negative -- only use "and." is that true?

Linda said...

Yes, I'm serious!!
(No, Herr wasn't there.)
I really had high hopes for it--that I would be transformed into a normal person.
I don't remember about the "but's"!

mimi Pond said...

The New Age and psychobabble drove me away from the Bay Area in 1982. I thought Cyra McFadden's excellent book "The Serial" (serialized in the Chronicle) savaged the whole thing brilliantly. God those people just make me insane. It was so much crap! But I do like that someone named Cyndra Ravelle worked at Snazelle Films.

Sally said...

Mimi, Do you think "The Serial" would still be good to read, or dated now? I'm also wondering about "Tales of the City" which seemed dumb to me at the time, but?

Glenda Glayzer said...

I stumbled across your blog while doing research and just had to pop off. I'm an original cast member of BEACH BLANKET BABYLON - in the show from the time it opened at Fugazi Hall in 1975 until I got tired in 1979.

You really brought back some memories.

Sally C said...

Glenda, thanks so much for stopping by. Somewhere at home I have a picture of you taken by my friend Janet Fries. All Best to you! Sally

Glenda Glayzer said...

I've got a blog, too. Nobody ever visits and I'm just writing into the void, but please drop by to check out what I've done since the 70s.

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