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
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
Thank you to Allen and Chet, may you both rest in peace
forever in hippie heaven...
Peace, Love, and Harmony,
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"
* Star Seed Harmony Music *
* http://www.mariamango.com *