Thursday, February 10, 2011

Aw yeah, more Psychedelic Love Temple info......

I received an Email from "Harry", with some additional information on the San Souci Temple, or as most people know it, "The Psychedelic Love Temple", as David Mann depicted it in his '68 Roth poster painting.

Harry's perspective comes from being a resident close to the Temple in that time period, and I thought you'd like to read what he had sent me. Thank you Harry, it was most appreciated!
"Hi, I did a google search for the San Souci Temple in L.A. and found your article. I lived 3 blocks from the Temple & remember it very well. I was only 12 or 13 at the time, but the hippies never hassled me about being there. I remember going up on the roof and watching bands play in the stage that was built into the central circular cavity of the Temple. There was a circular glass roof that allowed natural light into the shaft and one of the triangular panes was broken. I would lie on my belly and watch the fun happening downstairs. Many famous people visited and played at the Temple. Jimi Hendrix played there, as did The Santana Blues Band as they were known back then. Santana would come down from Frisco in a bus that the band used to get around in & it had Santana Blues Band painted on the side. You can imagine my delight when their firt album came out in ’69 under the now familiar name of 'Santana' ."

"As you mentioned,'The Trip' was filmed there and I remember the Love & Sex painting on Ardmore Avenue right in front of the Temple. Being that I was only 12 or 13, I wasn’t quite ready to take the acid and other drugs that were freely offered to me. It was because I was the youngest person there that I’d go up to the roof and just watch the things going on downstairs. My older brother met his future wife at a Temple party."

"The Baron’s took over shortly after I began going to the Temple and they ran it into the ground. The hippies were all very groovy, full of acid and love. The bikers were kind of abusive control freaks who always wanted to chase me & my friends out. We had ties to a notorious L.A. street gang called, 18th Street, and we considered raiding the Temple and putting a hurt on the Barons. "

"As you correctly stated, there really wasn’t much of a police presence at the Temple. The city did manage to shut it down and left it boarded up & abandoned. It was eventually torn down in the 70’s and the lot sat vacant for years. An old friend of mine dropped acid and sat on the vacant hill where the Temple sat and meditated on the good old days there. His band often played at the Temple. From Google Maps, it looks like apartments were eventually built on the site."

"Now about the Temple’s actual location: it was located on South Ardmore Avenue, in what later became the 'Koreatown' section of L.A. Koreatown’s main streets are Olympic Blvd., Western Avenue & Vermont Avenue. Ardmore Avenue is located between Western & Vermont and the Temple was just south of Olympic Blvd., closer to 11th Street. It was pretty much smack in the middle of inner city L.A. By the early 70's the black migration out of the inner city to Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley had begun. The Korean’s began arriving & buying up houses and businesses in the early 70’s. Being that the area was economically depressed. They got everything cheap & the city was glad to make the revenue when taxes were raised because of all the new Korean businesses."

"Being that this all hit me out of the blue, that’s pretty much all I have for you at this time. Feel free to write with any other questions you may have.
Thanks for your on-line write-up, it was great to see my old stomping grounds after all these years!"

While I was out for the David Mann Chopfest last December, I had a chance to talk to Droopy some more about the time he spent at the Temple, and he related being there one night when a guy fell through the dome, got up, and walked away afterwards! I wonder if that was the cause of the broken triangle in the dome Harry referred to?

You can check out the earlier posts that I've done on the Temple here:

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