Thursday, November 24, 2011

1967 Ads Revisited: The Group Image at the Palm Gardens

First, I'll recycle a few quotes from my June 2010 post on the Group Image.

From :

The band played for two years in various locations in Manhattan, NYC, including its own productions/shows at the Palm Gardens, and the Cheetah Club, shows with the Grateful Dead in Central Park and the Fillmore East, and other outdoor shows in parks such as Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. It was part of a larger group of artists by the same name, who participated with light shows and various other activities. Various other artists such as Tiny Tim and Wavy Gravy participated in the shows from time to time, as did the Diggers and other "alternative live style folks." After it disbanded, Leon Luther Rix went on to play with many artists including Bette MidlerBob Dylan, and the show Rent. Doug Metzler went on to play with Country Joe and The Fish. Sadly, Paul, who played double-necked rhythm guitar, and occassionally other instruments as well as back-up vocals, died in an accident in 1967, not long after the band broke up.

Abbie Hoffman briefly discusses a Tompkins Square protest-happening they played at in this 1988 New York magazine article, but whoever transcribed the interview misheard Abbie and thought he said "the group Image," with no capital G--as in, just Image.

From Time Magazine's "Youth: The Hippies" article, July 7, 1967.

Work Trip. The new-found trip of work and responsibility reflected in the Morning Star experiment is perhaps the most hopeful development in the hippie philosophy to date. Other hippie tribes are becoming aware of the work trip as well. New York's Group Image, an aggressive agglomerate of some 50 East Village hippies—many of them from the Middle West—turns out everything from silk-screen prints to psychedelic artifacts and a deadly serious, tidily edited magazine called Innerspace. The tribe's seven-man combo plays to packed and palpitating houses at such uptown discotheques as Cheetah and Trude Heller's Trik. Other New York tribes, like Pablo and the Third World, produce light shows for discos and department stores, run their own shops, where they make jewelry and pottery with a medieval dedication to craft and quality. [Read more:,9171,899555-9,00.html#ixzz0q4g2ZdL9 ]

Some links that have cropped up since I wrote that post:

Dangerous Minds post from Sept. 2011.

RareMusicShop post.

Photo from an Abbie Hoffman book.

Perfection of Perplexion post.

Member Ray Merry's memories.

New York Times article scan from June 9, 1967, reporting on a show at the Central Park Bandshell with the Group Image and the Grateful Dead.  "A combo called the Group Image--five electric guitars plus drums--achieved a sound at times that suggested a derailed freight train plunging over a cliff."

1967 article from the first issue of the Avatar, Boston's underground newspaper.

Google Books excerpt from Sixties Going on Seventies by Nora Sayre.

Google Books excerpt from Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties by Sara Davidson.

"New York 'Hippies' Find Wonderland," a June 21, 1967 article from the Nashua (New Hampshire) Telegraph (via Google News).  "The Group Image is the most ambitious and vigorous of the families. It has its own rock band beginning to play uptown discotheques for $2,000 weekend fees, a graphics shop that does the band's publicity and subcontracts work for other firms, a darkroom, an interest in the publication of a psychedelic magazine and even a corporate name--Group Image Enterprises."

Bio and photo at a Portland music website.

A couple of weeks ago, reader IM left a comment on that earlier post which sheds some light on the Palm Gardens: "I found a 1939 photo of part of the Palm Gardens at (the first of the two photos). The sign out front says "Palm Garden To Rent for Balls Receptions Entertainments Conventions etc. Large Stage" and more that's too small to read. According to Certificates of Occupancy going back to 1922 the second floor was a balcony. I'm guessing in 1967 it was the same building considering it had been a dance hall for so many years. Whatever was there in 2004 was torn down and replaced by a 42-story luxury condo tower. sigh..."

Now, on to the ads and clippings.

4/13/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

6/8/67 issue.

6/15/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

6/22/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

6/22/67 issue.

7/13/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

7/13/67 issue.

7/20/67 issue.

8/3/67 issue.

8/10/67 issue.

8/17/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

8/17/67 issue.

8/24/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

8/24/67 issue.

8/31/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

9/7/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

9/7/67 issue.

9/21/67 issue.

9/28/67 issue.

10/12/67 issue.

11/16/67 issue.

11/23/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

11/30/67 issue.

12/7/67 issue.

12/7/67 issue.  The Group Image may not have been involved with this shindig.

12/7/67 issue.

12/14/67 "Scenes" column excerpt.

12/21/67 "Scenes" column excerpts.

12/21/67 issue.

12/28/67 issue.

Other mentions in the '67 Voice:

5/4/67 issue:  "New Sound to the East: Living Out McLuhan"--a profile of the Group Image.  Includes a dark photo, and a description of a show they did at the Balloon Farm, which apparently was the last event held there before its closure and conversion to the Electric Circus.

6/8/67 issue:  "The Youthquake and the Shook-Up Park"--confrontations between hippies and police in Tompkins Square.  The Group Image and the Grateful Dead are mentioned.

9/7/67 issue: "Scenes" mentions an upstate pot bust involving some Diggers and Group Image members.

9/21/67 issue: "Scenes" mentions that the Group Image designed the sign for the Digger Free Store.

10/19/67 issue: "Love: A Groovy Idea While He Lasted."  In the wake of the East Village's most notorious hippie double murder, the dark side of life in the area is examined. "Like generations of Lower East Siders before them, the Group Image wants to move to the country."

Flash forward a few years with this NPR feature on Will Hermes' Love Goes to Buildings on Fire.

EDIT 1/14/2012: IM at "They're Dancing in Chicago..." (a Grateful Dead venues blog) did a terrific post on the pre- and post-Group Image eras of the Palm Gardens building.

1 comment:

IM said...

Just posted my history of Palm Gardens at

Let me know what you think!