Lotsa folks ask me how I got the nickname Larry the Hat…..well, you that answer only when you visit my new shop. However, here’s a Hat story that forwarded the myth, the legend of the Hat. The background of this story begins with the Gestapo round-up of 97 of my Church of the Good Earth Commune sisters and brothers in 1972. There were a handful of powerbrokers in SF who were very pissed off (read Season of the Witch) at us for exposing the redevelopment agency scandal that would have resulted in the total destruction of the Haight Ashbury! Those city leaders lost a lot of money when we organized the community and stopped it from happening. The Swat unit literally kicked in the doors of 14 houses that were a part of our compound and just took everyone to jail.
Our first court appearance was a circus. It began with the police blocking our entrance to the courtroom and making us late, thereby giving the judge cause to charge that day’s defendants with contempt of court. That didn’t go to well for the judge as the first person he charged never let him finish the 30 days he tried to charge him with. Sag Steve let the judge know very clearly, “your threats of jail time don’t scare me, fuck you, you honkey pig, fuck you, it’s people like you who are ruining this country, I sentence you to life on this planet, you fucking pig. I have the commune archives, which include the transcripts form that day. The scene was sheer chaos, yelling, insults hurled at the judge, onlookers being removed from the courtroom and the judge repeatedly telling the bailiff to have the person in the back sit down and take their hat off or be charged with contempt and jailed.
Well that Hat was my hair with an Eagles feather in it! The scene in the court never quieted down and I was eventually thrown in jail for contempt, not taking my Hat/Hair off. When I was being booked, they wanted the feather. Did they think I was going to hurt myself, stick the feather up my nose into my brain? Well, I pointed out the Eagle was the symbol of peace and freedom in the USA as I broke the feather in half and let them know “this is what your peace and freedom looks like you fucking pigs!” The next morning I was brought to the same judge, sans feather and had to apologize to be released…which I did reluctantly.