Thursday, 28 October 2010

Vietnam War Protestors Mass at U.N.

Phil Ochs, former Ohio State student, entertained the marchers with anti-war and anti-draft songs.By DONNA J. PLESH
Lantern Staff Writer

April 17, 1967

NEW YORK, N.Y.--An estimated 100,000 to 125,000 anti-war demonstrators marched through the streets of midtown Manhattan Saturday.

Then they gathered near the United Nations Building to hear speeches against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, "I would like to urge students from colleges all over the nation to use this summer and coming summers educating and organizing communities across the nation against war.

"I would like to urge students to continue to pursue the path of alternative services and accept the role of conscientious objectors as many are doing."

Student Action Called For

Stokely Carmichael, leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, also called for more student action against the war.

"We must move our war to the high schools, and we must begin to organize anti-draft groups in the high schools," he said.

"Our position on the draft is very simple and crystal clear. Hell no, we ain't going," Carmichael said. He then led the crowd in the chant, "Hell no, we ain't going."

The New York Police Department estimate of the crowd was much lower than that of the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, the group that organized the march. A spokesman for that group estimated the crowd at over 250,000.

OSU Students Gather

The marchers gathered for the demonstration early Saturday morning in the Sheeps Meadow area of Central Park. Members of the Spring Mobilization group had set up alphabetical divisions for those marching. An estimated 200 Ohio State students massed in section F with others from the Midwest.

The march was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., but was delayed until 12:15 p.m. by late arrivals.

Leading the marchers along the estimated two mile route were King, Dr. Benjamin Spock and singer Harry Belafonte. Carmichael led a group of marchers from Harlem who joined the main group in the midtown area.

At 1:15 p.m. the first group of marchers arrived in the United Nations Plaza area, where the speakers platform had been set up.

Crowd Is Entertained

Before the speeches started, and while thousands of other marchers were winding their way to the Plaza area, the crowd was entertained by a host of prominent folk singers including Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, The Freedom Singers and Peter Seeger.

Seeger led the crowd in a song which began, "One, two, three, four. Stop this lousy war."

Peter, of Peter, Paul and Mary, told the crowd, "The senators and congressmen should not stand in the halls. And I hope that they will not turn their heads or their eyes or close their ears to what's happening here."

Spock Voices Opposition

The first speaker, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Cleveland baby doctor, said, "We oppose this war because we love our country. We oppose this war because we believe this war is damaging our country in every way. America is now scorned and hated by millions of people of its former a small helpless country."

But it was King's 35-minute speech that the crowd had been waiting to hear.

"I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America," he said. "I speak out not with anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart. And, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world."

At 5 p.m., a heavy rain began falling and some marchers began leaving. A few minutes later the speeches ended.

Mrs. King Speaks

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, another anti-war demonstration was still in progress.

An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people marched through downtown San Francisco to protest the war in Vietnam.

Later, San Francisco police estimated that 50,000 people gathered in Kezar Stadium to hear Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr., Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, who recently returned from a visit to North Vietnam, and State Rep. Julian Bond of Georgia, speak against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune to be screened at Three Rivers Film Festival

From civil rights, to union strikes, to the anti-war movement, to political scandals, folk legend Phil Ochs (1940 – 1976) wrote songs about the issues of his day. Wielding only a battered guitar and a clear voice, he tirelessly fought for peace and justice throughout his short life. This inspiring tribute weaves together photos, film clips, historic live performances and interviews with an array of people influenced by Ochs, including Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Tom Hayden and Sean Penn. By the time of his death, the FBI had a dossier on him that was 400 pages long. He might not have achieved the success he so desperately wanted, but his music lives on – reaching a new generation that finds it very relevant. (2010; 96 min)

Wed., Nov 17, 7:00 & Sat., Nov 20, 1:30 @ Melwood (477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213)
Presented in collaboration with WYEP-FM.

Source: 29th Annual Three Rivers Film Festival 2010

Thursday, 21 October 2010

FSF Tells Rally Of Plan to Bring Aptheker in May

May 10, 1965

The Free Speech Front is resuming its protest of the Speakers' Rule with a plan that calls for the appearance of Herbert Aptheker on campus before the end of May.

As outlined by FSF spokesman Jeffrey Schwartz at Friday's rally on the Oval, the two-phase plan calls for continuous "token" picketing of the Administration Building. The picketing is scheduled to begin today and to last until the Board of Trustees meets Thursday.

Phase two, which Schwartz called "more an assurance than a proposal" is that "Herbert Aptheker will speak on this campus before the end of the month of May."

Aptheker, director of the American Institute for Marxist Studies, is scheduled to speak off campus tonight at the Students for Liberal Action meeting at the Campus Center, 121 E. 16th Ave. He has been banned from speaking on campus by the University administration.

Hopes Board Will Act

Schwartz said he hopes the Board of Trustees will make Aptheker's appearance on campus possible either at the meeting Thursday, or at a special May meeting.

"If the Board does not make this possible, it will be necessary to bring Aptheker on campus anyway," he added.

About 800 students at the rally gave a standing ovation when Schwartz made this announcement.

The students listened while Schwartz read telegrams and newspaper clippings supporting FSF and its move to abolish the Speakers' Rule.

Change Demanded

The FSF has demanded a change in the rule before the quarter's end. The trustees have said they will discuss the matter at the July meeting.

Previously, FSF has held two rallies on the Oval and two sit-ins in the Administration Building. The last sit-in lasted 22 hours.

In announcing the picketing, Schwartz said the protest must be resumed. "We must continue until the rule goes," he added.

The picketing, according to Schwartz, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and all night Wednesday until the trustees meet Thursday morning.

'Will Get Black Eye'

Schwartz said FSF had given "serious consideration" to the idea of bringing Aptheker on campus in spite of the administration's ban.

"The University will get a black eye if it has to happen this way," he said.

He explained that a national magazine was interested in covering Aptheker's appearance on campus, and urged ABC cameramen who were filming the rally to be present. Schwartz refused to speculate on the date of the Aptheker speech.

Three graduate students, Malcolm Griffiths, Gary Bower and Judd Landau also spoke to the crowd at Friday's rally, urging support for FSF and condemning the Speakers' Rule.

Phil Ochs, a folksinger and former Ohio State student, entertained at the rally with several songs.

Documentary Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune to be shown in NYC, January 2011

The documentary, directed by Ken Bowser, opens January 5, 2011 at IFC Center in New York City. For more information, see First Run Features or the official film website.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Dylan Pleases Audience

Backed-Up by Band

[Bob Dylan Live at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, Ohio, 8:30 p.m., November 19, 1965]

November 22, 1965


Bob Dylan came to town Friday night with a cold that made his voice rasp more than usual. Nevertheless, he pleased the youthful audience packed into Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

There were grade school children with braces on their teeth. There were high schoolers in tight denims wearing "Dylan caps." There were college students ranging from the far-out crowd with long hair and peace buttons to cool types in herringbone suits and vests.

She Wore a Mink

There was even one middle-aged couple. She wore a mink. He had distinguished-looking grey hair.

They all had come to hear the foremost musical spokesman of the younger generation.

When Dylan sang the songs he composes himself they listened respectfully. The instant he finished a song the vast auditorium resounded with applause.

Dylan began his concert with "She's Got Everything She Needs." He accompanied himself with a steady, driving guitar beat and occasional breaks on a howling, wailing harmonica.

Dylan doesn't really sing, but he does more than just recite his songs. His voice has little range, but he conveys a variety of feelings from the melancholy of "Baby Blue" to the bitter social commentary of "Desolation Row."

In "Desolation Row" Dylan blasts Alfred [sic] Einstein, priests, insurance salesmen and middle-men of all descriptions.

Ignores Audience

Dylan is a very self-contained performer. He concentrates on what he is doing and all but ignores his audience.

After nearly every song in the first half of the program he paused to retune his guitar. "My electric guitar never goes out of tune," he told the audience.

In keeping with his new image as a rock singer Dylan was backed up by a five-man band for the last half of his concert.

A grand piano, drums, an electric organ and two electric guitars make a lot of music for one singer to shout down, but Dylan did it, cold and all.

The sound of all those instruments amplified many times over through the huge speakers at Vets was almost deafening, but the audience seemed to like it.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

No Rally . . . But Teach-in Still On

May 5, 1965

The Free Speech Front (FSF) rally scheduled for today has been postponed until Friday, when New York folk-singer Phil Ochs, a former Ohio State student, will appear.

Ochs left the University in 1962 and since has recorded two Elektra albums and sung at the Newport Folk Festival.

Speakers at the rally will include two faculty members, two graduate students and two members of the FSF co-ordinating committee.

Jeffrey Schwartz, the group's spokesman, says an important announcement about future FSF plans will be made. Arrangements are being made to reserve the Oval for 4 p.m.

Schwartz said last night that "As of now we plan to take no direct action on Corps Day (Thursday) and urge others only to attend the teach-in at University Hall."

Six professors from the Arts and Education colleges will conduct the teach-in in the "best interests of the University" beginning at 10 a.m.

Volunteers for the project are Drs. Gordon Grigsby, English; Marvin Fox, philosophy; Bernard Mehl, education; Clayton Roberts, history; David Spitz, political science; David Kettler, political science.

Each will deliver a 45-minute lecture in the U Hall auditorium and then go to a classroom to discuss his topic with anyone interested.

FSF is sponsoring the teach-in as a channel for constructive criticism, an expression of serious student interest and an opportunity for closer faculty-student contact.

The schedule follows:

10, Grigsby, "Introduction: The Problems of the University."

11, Fox, "Student Responsibility."

12, Mehl, "Student Involvement Outside the Classroom."

1, Roberts, "Research vs. Teaching in a University."

2, Spitz, "The Dark Side of University Teaching."

3, Kettler, "Power, Reason and Absurdity: So What?"

Other faculty members are expected to join the informal post-lecture discussions.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Dylan Is a Changin'

November 12, 1965


"Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, And don't criticize what you can't understand. For your sons and your daughters are beyond your command - your old road is rapidly aging; Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand, For the times they are a changin'."

And so is Bob Dylan.

Dylan became popular at the crest of the folk music wave. His driving guitar, harmonica and Midwestern twang were reminiscent of Woody Guthrie.

He was adopted as a new prophet by the "hard core" folk music fans.

Today mention of his name draws varied reactions:
  • Shock and dismay from parents.
  • Cries of "fink" and "fraud" from former disciples because Dylan now plays electric guitar, piano and police siren in addition to his "pure" guitar and harmonica.
  • Shouts of "hosanna" from a rebellious generation.
  • Questioning stares of non-recognition from hermits who have heard no popular or topical singers for at least two years.
Dylan is the author of such provocative songs as "Blowin' in the Wind," "Don't Think Twice," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Masters of War."

His songs are frequently performed by top rock groups such as The Beatles, the Byrds, Sonny and Cher and the Turtles.

Even Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Odetta have hit the Dylan trail. They occasionally devote large sections of an album to the poignant and bitter "art of Dylan" that has made him one of the most dynamic influences in contemporary music.

Bob Dylan will appear in concert at Veterans Memorial Auditorium Nov. 19 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Central Ticket Office, Sears Northland and Town and Country Shopping Center.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Phil Ochs / Dorweiler, Germany - Burg Waldeck Festival 1968

June 12-17, 1968

CD 1
1. Cops of the World
2. Flower Lady
3. Outside of a Small Circle of Friends
4. Changes
5. The War Is Over
6. I Ain't Marching Anymore
7. Power and the Glory
8. Cross My Heart
9. Rhythms of Revolution
10. I Ain't Marching Anymore
11. Joe Hill
12. Draft Dodger Rag
13. White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land
14. I'm Going to Say It Now
15. Crucifixion
16. Floods of Florence

CD 2
1. There But for Fortune
2. Is There Anybody Here
3. The Highwayman
4. Cops of the World
5. Flower Lady
6. Outside of a Small Circle of Friends
7. Changes
8. The War Is Over
9. I Ain't Marching Anymore
10. Power and the Glory

Set details from fredatwork:

Most likely recorded on analogue reel-to-reel tape (details unknown) by Wilfried Zahn (sound engineer at "Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv" - German Radio Archives - in Frankfurt).

Most likely 1st generation copy of original master tapes (destroyed in a fire at Burg Waldeck in 1977 where they had been kept) onto 18-cm reel-to-reel (19 cm per second), transfer by Juergen Kahle (unknown date prior to 1977).

Transfer to DAT (unknown date) by Stephan Roegner, transfer to CD-R (unknown date) by Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv (German Radio Archives).

The 10-CD-compilation on Bear Family Records contains two Phil Ochs titles from the 1968 festival
- Cross My Heart
- Power and (the) Glory

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Phil Ochs in the News

  • Sing Out! celebrates 60 years of sharing folk music (
    Folk legends have shared their songs in the pages of Sing Out!, including Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs as well as more contemporary artists such as Nanci Griffith, Loudon Wainwright III and The Decemberists' Colin Meloy. Each issue since the beginning has included at least 15 songs, as well as music lessons.

  • Eric Andersen's Tales From The Road (Patch)
    Never as wildly surreal as Bob, nor as blatantly journalistic as his friend Phil Ochs, Andersen's best songs betray a spare, wry sensibility, while offering up gorgeously simple images of the natural world, women and, yep, the road. Along the way, famous fans fell under his spell.

  • [WFF Review] Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune (The Film Stage)
    Not unlike Alex Gibney’s Eliot Spitzer doc Client 9, Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune closely studies a public figure from rise to fall, the difference between the two works, of course, being the depth of each subject’s plunge. Spitzer resigned (and now has an adorable-looking anchor spot on CNN), Ochs committed suicide.

  • Festival vignettes, from Fright Night to Ochs (
    Ochs was once considered second to Bob Dylan in activist influence but some say has been relegated to a footnote because of his spiraling final days. Michael’s film rectifies that.

"You're all under arrest!"

On May 7, 1965, Phil Ochs returned to his alma mater, Ohio State University, for a free speech rally that happened to be filmed by ABC Scope.

Photo by Anderson

Caption: Folksinger Phil Ochs entertains at a rally sponsored by the Free Speech Front on the Oval. Jeffrey Schwartz, leader of the organization, looks on.

This is the footage as it appears in the documentary People's Century. The intro to this clip, where Ochs proclaims, "You're all under arrest! I sold out this morning," can be seen in the documentary Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune.