Archival footage from 1970 suggests that Ann Arbor was once interesting

As we discussed not too long ago in a thread about Ann Arbor’s proposed “Ambassador” program, there was a time in Ann Arbor’s past when it wasn’t wealthy business owners pushing for their own private security force, but the young people of Ann Arbor, who wanted to replace the cops with their own “people’s peace force” known as the Psychedelic Rangers… Well, it’s just come to my attention that documentary evidence exists of this period in Ann Arbor’s history… Here, shot over the course of a number of free concerts in the summer and fall of 1970, is footage of the Psychedelic Rangers in action.

It’s like Heavy Metal Parking Lot but with hippies on grass instead of metalheads on asphalt.

I think, if I were to be transported back to 1970 Ann Arbor, I’d grow weary of the hippies pretty quickly. With that said, though, I find the Ann Arbor portrayed in the video above to be exponentially more compelling than the economically segregated Ann Arbor of today, with its vast and growing army of self-congratulatory Shinolabots.

[Thank you, Dustin Krcatovich, for making me aware of this video.]

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11 Comments

  1. Maria Huffman
    Posted April 14, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Ann Arbor is just a mean city. Once a person accepts that, it is all downhill from there.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    It makes me very happy that this footage exists.

  3. dot dot dash
    Posted April 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I was struck when watching this by how little division there appeared to be between black and white concert goers. I was also struck by how often the camera operator zoomed in on the asses of young women.

  4. Posted April 15, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I was probably at one of these.

  5. idea man
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’d love to see the hipster of Ann Arbor do something similar today.

  6. Posted April 15, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I bet a lot of the people featured in these videos were really annoying. They (boomers) certainly have been as adults.

  7. Eel
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to find and interview these same people now.

  8. Meta
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    They aren’t all Shinolabots. Some are cooking meth.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/04/police_find_meth_operation_in.html

  9. AF
    Posted April 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I thought I’d clicked on an episode of Portlandia. Especially the shot with the woman riding a horse and perhaps the original crochet man in the foreground.

  10. Posted April 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I tend to think stuff from the 70s looks awesome anyway. There seems to be a yellowish tint and people seem kinda stoned and happy and also Ronald Reagan hasn’t been elected president yet. My friend Tom (who lived through the 70s) and I have an ongoing debate about whether or not the 70s were the best decade. (I say “yes” but I only was around for 8 years of it)

  11. Rick Cronn
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    The Psychedelic Rangers were organized by the White Panther/Rainbow People’s Party. Genie Plamondon was a primary organizer. I was a Ranger at the Free John Benefit at Crisler in 1972.

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