50 years since Woodstock, an icon returns to the road.
It was the summer of '69 when Dr. Bob Hieronimus was asked to undertake an unusual job. Bob Grimm was carting his band "Light" to a town in Upstate New York for a music festival, and wanted his 1963 VW Microbus done up in a psychedelic paint job. That town was Woodstock, and the festival became the stuff of legend – the landmark of a generation in the "Summer of Love."
The "Light Bus" ended up becoming something of an icon, even appearing in the liner notes for the festival's record. And now it's been revived.
50 years since its creation (and the culmination of the the famous festival for which it was made), Hieronimus and Canadian documentarian John Wesley Chisholm spent half a year trying to locate that original van. But after they came up empty, they set about recreating it on the basis of another.
Evidently possessed of the same talent – and sufficient archival photography to fill in for what is surely a fuzzy memory by now – Hieronimus and a team of five artists spent six weeks applying the same paint scheme on another Type 2 Standard Microbus, just like the original.
Crowd-funded by a Kickstarter campaign, the resulting recreation has been displayed – complete with its throwback oddball livery of Kabbalistic symbols and Egyptian-style hieroglyphs – at the Winter Meet of the Orange Country Transporter Organization, which took place this past weekend in Long Beach, California.
"The bus is really about being one people on one planet," said Hieronimus. "On every side of the bus is a story-many stories-and the stories all point to unification, working together and a higher consciousness, which is what Light really is all about."