Author Pat Thomas discusses his book “DID IT! JERRY RUBIN – AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY” in two separate videos
My longtime friend and underground culture historian Pat Thomas is seen in these video clips telling interesting anecdotes as he promotes his latest project, an expansive coffee table book for Fantagraphics Books about Yippie activist Jerry Rubin. Entitled ” DID IT! FROM YIPPIE TO YUPPIE: JERRY RUBIN, AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY “, over 5 years Thomas combed through Rubin’s own archives and interviewed many of Jerry’s co-conspirators and even some of his enemies as he attempted to paint the fullest available portrait of an oft forgotten and misunderstood rebel icon.
Pat’s book explores Rubin’s early years as a working class Jewish kid in Ohio, through his wild adventures meeting Che Guevara and Abbie Hoffman as he morphs into a long haired 1960’s protest radical who ends up high on Nixon’s enemies list. As the decade fades, Rubin transforms in the 70’s from a man openly fomenting an antiwar revolution to pursuing capitalism on Wall Street and uses Studio 54 as a platform while trademarking the term “Social Networking” long before Mark Zuckerberg is born. All in all, I bet these videos will reveal something you likely did not know.
These two videos shot were shot by me in San Francisco and Berkeley CA, at speaking enagement to promote the Fantagraphics biography ” DID IT! FROM YIPPIE TO YUPPIE: JERRY RUBIN, AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY by Pat Thomas. The locations were at both Green Apple Books near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and Pegasus Books in Berkeley (the one at Pegasus Books is shot in with a 360° Camera and features guest Yippies).
While a graduate student briefly at UC Berkeley as the Free Speech movement took off in 1964, by 1965 Rubin dropped out and was enrolled on a path of revolutionary political struggle that would take him to Manhattan where co-conspirator Abbie Hoffman would enter his life in early 1967. They levitated the Pentagon together, formed the Yippies, and made headlines across the world as members of the Chicago 8, earning the ire of Nixon and the FBI, as well as many in the media, and even on the left. While admiration came initially from the counter culture press, and folks like John & Yoko, Rubin’s abrasive approach and methods often alienated people he’d perhaps prefer as allies. With the 70’s came sweeping cultural shifts, and Rubin eventually broke from his agitprop antics as the movement’s momentum waned, and when forced to confront himself and the times’ turning tides, he largely withdrew from public life and became a businessman and part of the ‘me generation’. A complex character, Rubin’s approach to life is illuminated in the book via the author’s access to his personal archives granted graciously by his ex-wife Mimi. Pat Thomas, a longtime fan of 60’s radical political figures from afar, zeroed in on Rubin’s friends and foes as he strove to create the most definitive look at this off misunderstood figure of the 60’s Revolutionary era. In this video Pat shares excerpts of Rubin making fun of his past on Saturday Night Live, excerpts of his infamous mid 1980’s Regan era Yippie vs Yuppie debates with Abbie Hoffman. Near the end of the clip, several former compatriots of Rubin’s step up for Q & A and speak to their experience s with him, both good and bad, political and often extremely personal. Guest speakers include old Rubin compatriots like Judy Gumbo, Lawrence Schechtman, and Kate Coleman. This excerpt video of a longer talk is shot with a 360 degree camera so will move viewpoint at viewer discretion.
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