The Doors at the Retinal Circus in Vancouver (Dante’s) 1967

On Davie street in Vancouver in the late sixties there was a very edgy club that supported local artists, and brought in great bands. It was Dante’s Inferno for a bit and the same year the Doors played it changed to the Retinal Circus. Click on the YouTube below and like it if you do, and subscribe if you Care

It was within walking distance from my place in the West End and I was a regular on weekends. The promoter Roger Schiffer was very active in helping the youth be heard in Vancouver civic politics who, had what could best be called a repressive attitude toward what they called hippies and peaceniks.

Tom Cambel’s antagonism toward Hippies and despise of the emerging drug culture led him into direct conflict, resulting in the 1972 Gastown Riots when riot police, acting on his orders, broke up a peaceful “smoke-in”. He also tried unsuccessfully to ban The Georgia Strait, then a young counter-culture newspaper. The picture below is the alt gov meeting on the sidewalk outside of Vancouver City Hall The Doors in 1967 and the Velvet Underground in 1968 fueled that West Coast counter Culture and was fed by the mantra love not war. The music was great, The vibe fueled a revolution.

Another of the revolutionary bands playing the Retinal Circus was probably one of the most revolutionary bands in history. They were spawned in the Art studios of Andy Warhol and Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground were a force. A couple of nights of madness is what that was like and you could get stoned just from being in the room,

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