Stephen Gaskin, a Marine combat veteran and hippie guru who in 1971 led around 300 followers in a caravan of psychedelically painted school buses from San Francisco to Tennessee to start the Farm, a commune that has outlived most of its countercultural counterparts while spreading good works from Guatemala to the South Bronx, died on Tuesday at his home on the commune, in Summertown, Tenn. He was 79.
Its founder dies, but a hippie commune is still thriving in Tennessee.
Frank Michels writes: “Some of the same acts that had played at Woodstock were there at the Atlanta Pop Festival. I remember seeing Grand Funk Railroad (Mark Farner took his shirt off) and Ten Years After (Goin’ Home!), but the thing that really blew my mind was standing at the lip of the stage, stoned, on the Fourth of July, as fireworks went off and Jimi Hendrix played his ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ That really made an impression on me, and I knew in that moment that someday I was going to stand on a stage and play guitar too.”