HARRY: Baltimore’s Underground Journal debuts (1969)

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HARRY, Vol 1 No 1 (November 13, 1969)

Scanning through the microfilm rolls of the “Underground Newspaper Collection” in the Enoch Pratt Central Library’s Periodicals department,  I came across the very first issue of “Harry: Baltimore’s Underground Journal” from November 13, 1969. The bi-weekly publication sold for 25 cents an issue, with a 26-issue subscription going for $4 dollars. – Tom Warner (Baltimore Or Less)

HARRY: born by Caesarian section in 1969.

HARRY: born by Caesarian section in 1969.

HARRY, where subscriptions were cheaper than dope!

HARRY, where subscriptions were cheaper than dope!

Panhandlers, Flower Children ARISE: Enter the Labor Market, Earn a Living, Get Rich and Retire to Strawberry Fields Forever!

Panhandlers, Flower Children ARISE: Enter the Labor Market, Earn a Living, Get Rich and Retire to Strawberry Fields Forever!

The First Annual Read Street Festival: Mt. Vernon's mini Woodstock.

The First Annual Read Street Fun Festival: Woodstock comes to Mt. Vernon.

This debut issue features a report on the first Read Street Fun Festival, where the musical acts included “Greg Omar Kiln” (could this be the same Charm City rocker who later moved to San Francisco and enjoyed pop chart success as the Greg Kiln Band with Billboard #2 hit “Jeopardy“?), Mike Hunt (a band whose name makes me think of the femme-punk catchphrase “Mike Hunt Stinks” – a slogan I recall former WOD and Gerty bass player Shirle Hale used to sport on her baseball cap), and “Dave Taylor Jewish Twoish.”

A few years later, the 1972 Read Street Fun Festival would see the debut of Great Pooba Subway (their name was a spoof of Grand Funk Railroad), a performance-art rock troupe founded by future Marble Bar rocker David Wilcox (aka “Steptoe T. Magnificent” of The Alcoholics, Problem Pets and Chelsea Graveyard).

Following are some ads from Harry that reflect its hippie/counterculture times.

The Psychedelic Propellor on Read Street/

The “mind expanding” Psychedelic Propellor on Read Street where one could buy “things!”

Fatty Arbuckle’s Cafe, 1300 N. Calvert Street: home of the Peace symbol.

Come to Middle Earth, 218 Read Street.

Many of the establishments seem to be in or near Mt. Vernon, specifically on Read Street. As blogger David Roberts Crews, who lived through those times, recalled,”That Baltimore was a fantastic place in time to shop, eat, hangout in Mount Vernon Park, happily walk the busy main streets and side streets and further off to the side streets and interesting alleys and safe sidewalks there, whilst marveling at the fantastic old architecture all around” (D.R. Crews, “Hip Shops in 1965-1968 Baltimore, Beatniks, Mods, and the Psychedelic Propellor“)

Flower Power days on Read Street.

Flower Power days on Read Street.

See also:

A Short Guide to Baltimore Underground Newspapers (1968-1970)” (Baltimore Or Less)

The ‘New’ Harry (May 1991)” (Accelerated Decrepitude)

This entry was posted in 1960s, 1970s, 70s Rock, Decades, Festivals, Media, Mount Vernon, Music, Neighborhoods, Roadside Attractions, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to HARRY: Baltimore’s Underground Journal debuts (1969)

  1. Hi to Dave Wilcox (and brother George)…and to Pat Moran, and Chuck, and to all surviving member of the Countercultural Revolution in Baltimore. To all former
    Marble Bar denizens, hope that all is well and you can still have a Natty Boh on a Summer’s evening. Cheers to all who remember the Read Street Fun Festival and
    those happy hippie days. I remember Abe Sherman,. I worked at the Wild Indian for a
    guy named Steven Lickstraw(SP?) Also at Lookinglass Clothing on Franklin Street.
    Hung out with David Brubaker of Da Moronics .There are things that I miss about Baltimore, all gone now, as I live in Europe and watch what is happening from afar.

  2. Kate says:

    We would cut school and take the Number 8 bus downtown from Towson to hang out on Read St. The Leather People (a leather shop there) had a scraps bin where you could get leather pieces for cheap–we bought them and made pouches for hash pipes. HARRY has a special place in my heart–The White Bicycle (a head shop in Towson) carried the paper, and in the personals i answered an ad from a “gay girl” who wanted to meet “other gay girls”.

  3. Read Street was special. I had a shop there in the early 90s but the 60s/70s vibe never came back. We tried.

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