The Maze - Haight Ashbury

Bowen 1967.JPG


The Maze


“The Maze - Haight Ashbury,” on KPIX TV, first broadcast in 1967 


This extremely biased documentary is about the Haight-Ashbury district, or neighborhood, in San Francisco. It is described as the center for the growing hippie movement. The narrator, Rod Sherry, does not try to hide his dislike for the movement. Sherry says, “Some call Haight Ashbury another bohemia, like the Left Bank, Greenwich Village and others. . . . But it's more like Brigadoon: a magical land that appeared only yesterday and may be gone tomorrow. But if it lasts, the effect on the rest of society could be far reaching. And that's why the outside world must try to understand what is happening here.”


Fortunately, the documentary includes scenes of Michael McClure visiting the Psychedelic Bookshop, the Print Mint and the Straight Theater. The New Salvation Army Banned [sic] is shown, along with footage from a rehearsal for McClure’s play The Beard, which was censored for obscenity. You will see The Grateful Dead taking it easy at 710 Ashbury Street, where the band and their friends lived. You will also see Michael McClure walking though the Haight-Ashbury and chatting with artist Mike Bowen, writer Richard Brautigan and others. Those are the positive aspects of the film.


It was produced by Alan Goldberg, written by Jim Harwood and directed by Dick Williams. The music was by The New Salvation Army Banned, a play on words, and later known as simply Salvation. The band released two albums in 1968 and 1969.

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