As a sixteen-year-old freshman at Didion's alma mater, Berkeley, I was befriended by a Hare Krishna who sold vegetarian cookbooks on Sproul Plaza. He didn't seem like your typeical Hare Krishna. He had a low and smoky voice with a downtown New York inflection and he was covered with tattoos–I could see them under his saffron robes... Much later, I figured out, through my friend Alex Brown, that this tough-guy Hare Krishna was likely Harley Flanagan, the singer of the Cro-Mags, a New York City hardcore band that toured with Alex's band, Gorilla Biscuits.
Alice Coltrane: By 1972, she abandoned her secular life, and moved to California, where she established the Vedantic Center in 1975. By the late 1970s she had changed her name to Turiyasangitananda. She was the spiritual director, or swamini, of Shanti Anantam Ashram (later renamed Sai Anantam Ashram in Chumash Pradesh) which the Vedantic Center established in 1983 near Malibu, California. Alice would perform formal and informal devotional Vedic ceremonies at the ashram. She performed solo chants, known as bhajans, and group chants, or kirtans. She developed original melodies from the traditional chants, and started to experiment by including synthesizers and sophisticated song structures.
You enter a house through the front door and exit out the back, but what did you do inside? Most people just observe the valves opening and closing, but there are all these structures that make that happen, rotating all around, and never with the exact same motion. “Oh that’s too chaotic, too random,” some say. But if you walk down the street on a predetermined path, you’re in trouble. “It’s too chaotic the way you’re walking, man.” Sure it is, because I’m avoiding vehicles and people I may not want to run into! Your organs understand this variability and shift to, say, deliver more oxygen here or there. That’s feedback. The circulatory system is bouncing, man.