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)
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.
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“)
“A Short Guide to Baltimore Underground Newspapers (1968-1970)” (Baltimore Or Less)
“The ‘New’ Harry (May 1991)” (Accelerated Decrepitude)
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