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Maria's ...

He was a friend of mine...

Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2005 17:49:20 -0400
From: "Maria Mango"

Subject: He was a friend of mine...

I just got the news of Chet Helm's passing... what a tremendous gift, this legacy of love he has left us with... With his help organizing the happenings, the spirit of the 60's and San Francisco and rock n roll and the Summer of Love went world wide and planted the seeds of peace in the hearts of many...

He was a close friend and confidante of Janis Joplin, and a playful easy-going free spirit loved by all who knew him... He has been holding the torch of love for the hippie generation, keeping the spirit alive, and now with his passing he has passed the torch on to us...

With Chet's leaving of the physical realm, i feel waves of remembering rippling through the collective conciousness of all who were there and beyond as we rememeber the essence, the ecstacy of existing.... That feeling you get when you're at your highest at a rock n roll show, dancing ecstatically, and you lose your ego and all that exists is that moment, right there with everyone, celebrating life, and loving each other! That, right there, is heaven! Rememeber that feeling? I think Chet and Allen Cohen are right there now, groovin up in hippie heaven with Janis and Jerry and Jimi and all the cool cats!

Don't go on postponing following your heart and expressing your love! This particular incarnation will end for us all eventually. The almost overwhelming sadness brings about a tremendous lucidity to the amazing miracle of this NOW moment, life is so short and precious and there is not a moment to waste. Let us not postpone sharing and loving each other and celebrating life, the miracle exists all around and within you!

Through Flower Power (literally!) and the magic of Haight-Ashbury i had the blessing to be able to hang out with Chet in San Francisco for the last couple years. It all started with the HepCats show benefit for Allen Cohen in October 2003. My friend James Beckett (the Haight Ashbury flower guy) and i worked hospitality for that show and after that i became a caretaker for Allen after his liver transplant... So after that show i would occationally go over to Chet's art gallery downtown and him help out or go to his apartment across the street and do his dishes and then sit around and smoke joints and drink tea and talk story. And Chet was full of good stories, man, he was there for a lot of things... I admired his equanimity and wisdom about the music world and how he really managed to keep it real. He was a great archivist too, and taught me a lot about how we can use the media, and become our own storytellers, to tell the tales of this new folk culture emerging... It was really perfect how we got to meet each other before he left this plane, bridging the generations, it was an honor to connect with the hippie elders and the roots of this culture of higher conciousness, and i think i in turn gave him a lot of hope that the spirit of the 60's lives on, and continues to evolve as we re-discover our inner innocence... We are all divine children with unique gifts to share in this co-creation... This realization is the fountain of eternal youth!

I would love to be a part of any celebration honoring Chet and keeping the love alive, does anyone in SF know who is putting the American Music Hall gig together? I heard it is potentially on July 29? I'm in Hawaii right now, but I'll come back early for that for sure! I'd love to sing "Summer of Love" there, Chet dug that song, it would be so perfect... You can hear it at
in the music section... it has a whole new deeper meaning when i play it now, honestly, it's kinda hard to get all the way through it without crying a bit since i got the news...

But our tears are the prayers we can't find words for, i once heard... that feels about right. We love you and miss you Chet but we're happy you're free now...Your spirit will live on in the hearts of many... it makes me sad i can't just call you up or stop by anymore, and i will miss your emails, but your work here on earth is done and the seeds you came here to plant are almost fruiting and you are now free, returned to pure spirit essence... It's up to us now to keep the love alive... May our fond memories of you inspire us to love more in all we do... May this be the beginning of the Summer of Love that never ends!

Thank you to Allen and Chet, may you both rest in peace forever in hippie heaven...

Peace, Love, and Harmony,
Maria Mango

P.S. Please visit the tribute to the late Chet Helms which is at

As well as read Allen Cohen's beautiful poem, "The Day Chet Helms Died"

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