Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rediscovering Hair

When Steve Rado’s rock musical Hair came out in 1967, my generation was more than ready for everything it had to say. We were dealing with drugs, the draft, and strong opinions about hair. By the time my friend and I saw it in London, I knew all the words to every song and could sing them with passion.

When I realized that Hair is once again on stage, this time in Central Park, I quickly determined that I must see it. It’s only there through September 14, so I am scrambling to try to pull this off, billing it as perhaps a good way to celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary, which falls on August 29.

The good news about this performance of Hair is the tickets are free, that is the 900 tickets which are given out daily at 1 PM. Sound easy? Sure until you realize that the 900th ticket was given out yesterday to someone who got in line at 8 AM.

There are ways around this. You can pay people to stand in line to get tickets (around $150 per ticket.) You can make a $165 contribution to Public Theater and get one ticket in return. But it would seem that standing in line for hours for your own ticket is more in keeping with the spirit of Hair.

Then there’s the issue of how to travel to and from New York City. I’m tempted to take the DC2NY bus from Dupont Circle for $50 round trip. Amtrak seems to be upwards of $150, so even though the train would probably be nicer, it costs a lot more.

We pretty much have to spend 2 nights there if we are going to get on line for tickets before the sun comes up and then spend the night after the last song of the show. I hadn’t realized just how expensive hotels in NYC have become in the 5 years since I last visited. Maybe we should just take sleeping bags and camp out in Central Park. That way we would be well positioned to get tickets.

I will definitely figure out how to pull this off, but right now there are just a few loose ends in my plan to see Hair in Central Park.

Bring on your suggestions! And I welcome anyone who wants to join me in taking in one of the greatest rock musicals ever!

Lyrics to Hair

She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a fright
I'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of break
Like the Grateful Dead

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

They'll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair


We're going to NYC on September 1 on the DC2NY bus. We're staying in the WooGo Central Park Hotel for $169 a night. I found a student willing to stand in line and get our tickets at $75 apiece. We'll be in NYC until Wednesday, September 3, when we take the NY2DC bus home. I'd love to see anyone who happens to be around then!


Blogger bozoette said...

I remember seeing Hair. That nude scene -- such a scandal! Sorry I don't have too much advice on the trip, though. The last time I was in NYC was 2005 and I stayed at the very funky (in both the good sense and bad sense) Chelsea Star Hotel near Penn Station. One night for $179.00, but at least the room was clean.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found out about this today, perhaps it might help.


When visiting NYC, your family and friends set an untenable ultimatum -- "find me a cheap hotel" (impossible), or "let me crash on your couch" (inconceivable). Do the right thing with Roomorama.

Rama's a booking engine for short-term stays in (usually) unoccupied, fully-furnished apartments, simultaneously getting visitors out of your hair, and exposing them to how full of hair your own pad really is. Simply select travel dates/#guests/#rooms, and Rama'll GMap-up available pads and pertinent details (cost per night, photos, guest satisfaction rating, etc), plus let you drill down by amenities desired (internet, parking, pool, etc) and housing type, e.g., apartment, studio, or share -- for when you want all the charm of a hostel, at triple the price. Payment's done through the site (PayPal, credit cards), with available rentals including everything from a Pre-War One Bedroom by Central Park (doorman, eat-in kitchen, $184 p/night), to a 1300sq-ft SoHo loft (12ft ceilings, 52in flatscreen, $297 p/night), to a Williamsburg "Zen Garden House" (garden w/ waterfall, stainless steel appliances, $189 p/night) owned by the guy who played the Triad boss in The Departed -- sadly, without Hollywood stunt magic, only one lucky lodger gets to throw Martin Sheen off the roof.

Book online at

11:33 AM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

my friends got tickets to hair via a virtual line.... it's free, but it's random and like a lottery.... however, I just googled virtual line hair and from what I read, my p&k were extremely might be better off with the cheap bus up and back....

think steve said he was going (or did he say he went) gads, a mind is a terrible thing to lose, or is it just short term memory!

best of luck and happy anniversary to come! did you know the traditional gift for the 32nd anniversary are theater tickets!

that's not really true, but I thought it sounded good... actually from one site I found there is not traditional gift for a 32nd anniversary....guess way back when most people died before they got to 32.... here's what I found out on :

32nd Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts:
Modern Gifts: Conveyances

conveyances....isn't that transportation! well there's a start on your trip to nyc for hair! this post is merely a week late for theme thursday on hair!!!! how funny is that!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Roomorama sounds pretty cool! I'm always trying to save money when I go to NYC. The Vamoose Bus was pretty nice the last few times I used it. In the city I either stay with a friend or at the Leo House on 23rd. It's very plain, cheap, clean, old, and super convenient to the subway - although probably not ideal for an anniversary trip(twin beds and run by nuns!), and they do fill up.

If I'm taking my bass, I drive and sometimes stay at the Holland Inn in Jersey City. The parking is free and the Path train is about an eight minute walk. It's a cheap hotel but reasonably clean. It is a slight nuisance to not be right in the city, but you can save a ton of money on the hotel and parking. Lots of foreign tourists seem to stay there.

But if it were my anniversary, I'd probably try to stay someplace nicer than these places. is a pretty good source for comments about various hotels all over the country.

3:53 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Sleeping bags? How bushwah...I mean "bourgeous", no, beourgeoise...bourgigniogne-no, that a stew...
you know what I mean...
What you need is a real Hippie style Teepee with hemp smoke clouds all around, and earthy clothes and some beads and a cool stashbag thats made of real leather hanging from your loincloth.
Everyone will want to GROK you, and they will want to GROK in fullness, just like you.
Hotels are for squares man.

I did not know you could camp in Central Park.
Far out.
I'm through now.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bozoette -- I had completely forgotten about the nude scene. Yes, that was quite a scandal in 1967!

Anon -- Roomorama looks great. I am currently pursuing the Woogo Central Park Hotel, but if that doesn't come through, I'm on to Roomorama.

Mouse -- I'm always so impressed with what you know! You had me going there with the theater tickets!

Cyndy -- We are not very demanding as far as creature comforts, needing only a bug-free bed and hot water. However, NYC is a hard city to economize in because there is just so much to spend money on!

Bulletholes -- They most certainly don't allow camping in Central Park, although they do seem to allow people to get in line for tickets at 5 AM!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

bulletholes, you crack me up!

The other day my sis and I were talking about anniversary gifts, she's been married something like 34 years, not really a "stellar" anniversary, I was kidding that the traditional gift for the year was belly-button lint. She said that beat the thirty-fourth year which was toe-jam!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Have fun and wave in my direction! I'm only a couple of hours from the City but my budget keeps me this side of the border.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- How can you possibly have a sister who's been married 34 years???!

Pauline -- I will definitely sing in your direction. We listened to the 33-1/3 record last night and all those words came flooding back!

9:29 AM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Well, can you camp in times Square?
What about Grinitch Village or flatbush...those sound like good places to camp!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- The sleeping bags are staying at home. We're staying in a hotel which advertised bunkbeds in a closet for $159 (I kid you not!) or a double bed in an efficiency for $169. We decided to go for the big bucks! (Although I sort of wanted to see just what the closet looked like...)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I wanted to see Hair when I was there a couple of weeks ago or the one before that, but nobody was willing to line up with me. Bummer.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I just received a call from Anna, our delightful 16-year-old ticket source. She is spending the last days of summer doing her summer reading for school while making money standing on line for Hair tickets. I'm so glad I saw her ad on Craig's List!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

You are so sweet Barbara! My sister is a LOT older than me...:::cough::: and she got married at a very young age :::cough::: and object in the mirror are closer than they appear (translation: I am older than I :::cough::: look)

3:40 PM  
Blogger avocadoinparadise said...

Hi! A suggestion for cheap lodging when traveling (better than camping in a park!) is It's a great club that you can join and crash on people's couches. You make friends while exploring the world cheaply. :) Highly recommended & DC has a very active community of hosts that you can meet up with to discuss the whole process if you're iffy.

Have fun at hair & Happy Anniversary!!

4:27 PM  

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