May 22, 2012

MAD MEN Features New York's Own Hare Krishna's

This week's episode of MAD MEN featured a trip to the Hare Krishna's hangout on Second Avenue in the East Village.  The formerly kinda cute Paul (who I wrote about here a couple years ago) had shaved his head and started chanting with other hippies seeking enlightenment and love.

Over on The Bowery Boys website, their weekly MAD MEN-related history lesson provides some great background on all this.  The Krishna movement got its start in New York in 1966 when A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a Hindu teacher and proponent of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, arrived from India and started gathering followers who believed in leaving their earthly possessions behind. One of their most famous early followers?  None other than Beat poet Allan Ginsberg.

The Krishnas hit the mainstream two years later in 1968 when they were featured in a number from the Broadway musical HAIR. Below is a clip of that number from the film version directed by Milos Forman that was released in 1979. I look forward to some reference to HAIR in the next season of MAD MEN.  OMG--Maybe Megan will audition for the show's off-bway version?!

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