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Ray Clark Dickson
First Poet Laureate, City & County, 1999
San Luis Obispo, California

Stories from Berkeley by Nathan Spooner

Believe me, every Berkeley grad or anyone there during this dramatic era should have this book (for themselves and friends). The must be one of the most important bio/vita books inspired by the Berkeley experience, ever.

I think my friend Nathan Spooner (Stories From Berkeley, Adventures in the Slow Lane) is a modern de Tocqueville. His prose has the clarity and compression of poetry. Nathan brings back place, time and sound—a living metaphor of survival with friends in the 60’s.

As a street musician Nathan founded, led bands, wrote music, lyrics, poetry, made lifelong friends who played at the corner of Haste and Telegraph in front of Cody’s Books (years later my book Parlando was read there).

Back then they collected coins in an open mandolin case, rent money for the big yellow house on Fulton St., an open-door for free souls who shared public gardens, living expenses and the daily living arrangements of persons experiencing a culture that found expression with a low level footprint in the environmental milieu of those fascinating times, Berkeley in the 60’s.

Anita Porterfield Reviews

Spooner chronicles his life as a philosophy student at Berkeley and a street performer in the Bay area including his relationships with Joadie Guthrie, son of Woody Guthrie; renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz; various house-mates in the communal house in which he lived; and fellow musicians. Although Spooner does not emphasize the turbulent political tenor of the times, he does put the anti-Viet Nam war effort in perspective...

...Spooner successfully captures an era of American life that should be preserved. Stories from Berkeley has a nice rhythm to it and is an interesting read. [READ MORE]

Midwest Book Review

The era of the 60s and 70s and a different perspective - "Stories from Berkeley" is the story of Nathan Spooner and his life in those decades… Part memoir, part social history of the western coast of the nation, "Stories from Berkeley" is recommended to all who want insight into what the 60s were really like and for community library memoir collections.

Earl Crabb, aka The Great Humbead: Map of the World Poster

Hi, Nathan,
My nephew, a cop in Minneapolis, sent me your book for Christmas, and I just finished it. What fun!  You've captured the feel of Berkeley that I remember.  

To thank you for the great entertainment, I'd like to send you a couple of posters that I made, back in '68 and '70.  One is a map of the world, of which you can see a preview at:
The other poster, well, it's also a collector's item of the period.


Earl Crabb, aka The Great Humbead

Donna McCrohan Rosenthal, Ridge Writers, East Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club, 2006;

“Stories from Berkeley evocatively, lyrically, and triumphantly capture the pervasive tribal spirit of an era that polarized a nation, “a paradigm shift, a change in assumptions, concepts and values” – one that grandparents reminisce about today with occasionally naughty grins on their faces and frequent wistful expressions on the lips.”