Laguna Beach Patch Revisits Town's Acid-Laced Past

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Rosemary and Timothy Leary with the Brotherhood's John Griggs circa 1968
On Dec. 6, my book Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and Its Quest to Spread Peace, Love and Acid to the World, came out in paperback. To celebrate that event, my friend and former OC Weekly colleague Rich Kane, editor of the Laguna Beach Patch, has put together a fun video of yours truly dropping by all the local spots that were critical to the town's former reign as Orange County's LSD central.

We visited the former Pacific Coast Highway location of the Brotherhood's famous metaphysical boutique Mystic Arts World, which mysteriously burned to the ground in June 1969. 

(It's vacant now, but based on the signage, the latest tenant was some kind of kinky clothing store). Then we dropped by Laguna Canyon Rd. and Woodland Ave., to check out  "Dodge City," where Timothy Leary was arrested in 1968, and which police probably raided at least once a week during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Next was a spot in South Laguna where Peter Amaranthas, an unarmed, 20-year-old Brotherhood member, was killed by an Orange County sheriff's deputy. Our final destination: Sycamore Flats, a grassy bowl at the top of Laguna Canyon near the 73 toll-road where some 30,000 hippies gathered a three day rock festival that started on Dec. 25, 1970.

For whatever groovy reason, both LAObserved and Huffington Post picked up the item, but to watch the actual video, click here.

Great work, Rich! And who was that on the sitar, by the way?

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Edwin Earl
Edwin Earl

Someone wants to contact Nick Schou to talk about Laguna Beach and some facts you go wrong in your book. And he has some photos of that time that might be of interest. But your site sucks, as it makes it impossible to send email to the Author from the site. Can you tell us how to get in touch with Nick Schou??? He lived on Woodland Drive, was at the Christmas concert, has a lot of great stories if you want to talk to him.


A have a friend who attended the Sycamore Flats concert and went psychotic on some bad LSD -- or fantastic LSD, I can't remember which. Took a massive bolus of thorazine to return his sanity. Happy times.


Not true, but email me at garellano at ocweekly dot com and I'll forward your message to him!

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