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Subject: How much was the hippie movement truly a specifically boomer thing?

Written By: SiderealDreams on 06/22/14 at 10:44 pm

We often associate hippies with the baby boomers. However, most of the best-remembered musicians of the hippie era were actually late members of the silent generation (Hendrix, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, etc.). So were hippies as much (if not more) a thing of the late silent generation as (or than) the boomers? I recently read that the average age of Woodstock attendees was about 22, which would mean that the average Woodstock-goer was born in 1947, firmly within the boomer camp. However, I've also read that the general range was from about 15 to 30; anyone older than 23 who attended would have belonged to the silent generation. It seems that it wasn't until the very late 60's and early 70's that boomers begin to dominate rock music (Ozzy Osbourne and Robert Plant, for example, were both born in 1948). So to what extent was the hippe movement a boomer thing and to what extent was it a late silent generation thing (and, consequently, to what extent was it both)?

Subject: Re: How much was the hippie movement truly a specifically boomer thing?

Written By: yelimsexa on 06/27/14 at 9:40 am

Woodstock had lots of staying power beyond its initial audience. Those who weren't old enough to attend or lived to far generally purchased the album based on the movie that came out the following year. This was before the PG-13 rating, so probably 10 year olds saw the movie and purchased the album, putting this at people born in 1959-60 near the end of the Boomer generation. My mother born in 1954 had that album when it first came out in 1970, though she was raised in a somewhat conservative family and was fairly mainstream. Yes, the original hippies were on the Silent/Boomer cusp, but the youth tied to their "older siblings" caught on to it; the "flower children" are practically ALL Boomers. This is similar to how '80s trends are started by tail-end boomers but get passed on to the Generation X crowd to enjoy. Most of the late silents are associated with the first generation of Rock and Roll, basically the beat generation that were Elvis' target audience and consisted of the juvenille deliquents. They could get into some of the early Beatles but many saw their psychedelic period as to risque. Still, the late silents would have passed the "Don't trust anyone under 30" test, though I'd consider them the periphery demographic.

Subject: Re: How much was the hippie movement truly a specifically boomer thing?

Written By: BayAreaNostalgist1981 on 07/25/14 at 11:25 pm


We often associate hippies with the baby boomers. However, most of the best-remembered musicians of the hippie era were actually late members of the silent generation (Hendrix, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, etc.). So were hippies as much (if not more) a thing of the late silent generation as (or than) the boomers? I recently read that the average age of Woodstock attendees was about 22, which would mean that the average Woodstock-goer was born in 1947, firmly within the boomer camp. However, I've also read that the general range was from about 15 to 30; anyone older than 23 who attended would have belonged to the silent generation. It seems that it wasn't until the very late 60's and early 70's that boomers begin to dominate rock music (Ozzy Osbourne and Robert Plant, for example, were both born in 1948). So to what extent was the hippe movement a boomer thing and to what extent was it a late silent generation thing (and, consequently, to what extent was it both)?


Yeah, I've thought about this alot too. I think people born from 1936-1945 are kinda transitional between the very old school jazz age silents and traditional boomers - i.e. smoking weed and listening to loud rock music. They had more history under their belt, but were generally still young enough to be into pop culture during the late 60s Woodstock era, especially the more youthful ones.

My dad (who had me a bit later in life) was born 1938 and he was very much into the pop culture and music back then. In fact I'd say he's more of a Beatles/Stones/Motown fan than an Elvis fan.

You'd even have the occasional "old old person" who was really youthful and hip (like Dick Clark, b. 1929) but that was probably more an exception. I'd say anyone born before 1935 would have a harder time keeping up with the huge changes going on in the world and with pop culture, especially if they already had families and careers by then.

Subject: Re: How much was the hippie movement truly a specifically boomer thing?

Written By: Howard on 07/26/14 at 6:24 am

My dad (who had me a bit later in life) was born 1938 and he was very much into the pop culture and music back then. In fact I'd say he's more of a Beatles/Stones/Motown fan than an Elvis fan.


My Father was born 1941 and he was very much into the Doo-Wop music of the 1950's.

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