There weren't many diehard '60s revivalists in the four tiers of bleachers on this, the final night that the tiny Heliotrope Theater was to be open before its lease ran out. Five-maybe six dozen at most-paid the $10 apiece to see the Heliotrope's last show, and Hugh (Wavy Gravy) Romney, 52-year-old legendary loco laureate of the Woodstock Nation, was the headliner.
Unfortunately, Romney explained, three dozen miles away the Grateful Dead were playing to a packed Long Beach Auditorium-the same Deadhead audience that might be inclined to visit the Heliotrope. Unlike Heliotrope owner Hamilton Camp who has been struggling for a year to meet the $2,700-a-month rent for the Silver Lake bistro, the Dead are currently riding the crest of a popularity wave.
As a founder of the legendary '60s commune the Hog Farm, it was Romney who nominated his prize hog Pigasus as a candidate for President during the ill-fated Democratic convention of 1968 in Chicago. It was Romney, too, who uttered the semi-famous line from the stage at Woodstock: