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Sept 12th 1970.

Canned Heat, Eric Burdon and War,John Sebastian, Michael Chapman, Lambert and Nutteycombe ,General Wastemoreland, Stoneground, Wavy Gravy.

Audience Eric Burdon and War General Wastemoreland John Sebastian Stoneground

General Wastemoreland .



General Westmoreland died yesterday and it briefly made the end of the evening news. It reminded me of my bus riding days in 80's Hollywood where I was lucky to have regularly ridden the 180/181 route with General Hershey Bar, who always got on at Vermont & Hollywood. The bus was such a depressing thing for me, it was always a bright spot when he got on, greeting the driver and pert near everyone else with, "Hello, General; How ya doin, General", etc. General Hershey Bar was a former vet I believe, who became a war protester along with his side kick, General WasteMoreLand, who I assumed had died before my bus riding time.

The Hersh rode, carrying lots of literature and papers, engaging anyone who would listen in a very heated discussion about the current affairs. Man, did he hate Reagan. You're conditioned to ignore everything that happens on the bus and a lot of people tried to ignore The General, but I always perked up when I saw him at the stop. Not only was he enlightening, but his attire was in fashion with the times and I took many cues, as my friends would attest. I even went as him on one particular Halloween to a great Hollywood party where the artist, Tomata du Plenty walked up to me and said, "I know who you are!" The General was always in full military garb with hundreds of medals and buttons and accoutrement sewn on his jacket, including metal airplanes jutting out from his epaulets and on his cap. Mine were plastic and some hung from my ears but it still came across.

I stopped riding the bus on a regular basis eventually but still used it when I needed it and always looked for him. He was pretty old in the 80's so I stopped looking by the early 90's. He was pretty infamous around LA. I'm sure some time between '75 and '90 even General Westmoreland saluted him and if by some miracle General Hershey Bar outlived Westmoreland AND Wastemoreland, I salute him - though what's been going on for the last five years would be enough for him to call for that last bus.
Posted by nora murphy




Wastemoreland, who also had the more conventional na of Tom Dunphy, was an almost legendary figure in the peace movement at demonstrations and in general. With his partner, General Hershey Bar, they had done much to ridicule war. General Hershey Bar was an old vaudeville comedian who had worked up most of the material for their acts. Wastemoreland was well under thirty, and had gotten into the "business" after being kicked out of the Catholic seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Since then, it seems that he has done better work as a general.

The General, as he preferred to be called, carried around a bunch of newspapers with fake headlines, which fit into his monologue. Examples: LSD DECLARED A DRUG, NIXON DECLARED A DOPE; MANSON SAYS NIXON GUILTY OF MURDER; and THE SILENT MAJORITY ISN'T SILENT, NIXON IS DEAF. With this he had a little line of patter, "There's a bill in Congress now I want you all to support. This bill says that no soldier could go to Vietnam unaccompanied by his parents. That's right, because the family that slays together stays together. Can't you see it? Here's Mommy and Daddy and Sonny, crawling through the mud and barbed wire," and "This year, instead of sending Bob Hope over to visit the troops, let's bring the troops home to visit Bob Hope."

The General was funny, at least the first couple of times, but more than that he was immensely human. I couldn't even speculate on the kind of mentality that would choose to do what Wastemoreland had turned into an unpaid profession, but he was real, more real than most of the people on the Caravan. When he stepped out of his General role, he revealed himself as intensely caring about what happened to the world, and not in a neurotic way. His was an optimistic care, a care that reveled in the possibilities of the future rather than the injustices of the past.

Arriving at the airport, the General had gone through his whole act, but the customs officials hadn't even cracked a smile. He was a little worried about the adaptability of his act to the British humor. On Sunday, we headed to Hyde Park Corner to take on the famous crowds there.

The General was magnificent. Although the English didn't understand some of his jokes, they caught the general drift and the spirit and gathered in alarming numbers. Wastemoreland easily outdrew the old-time professional haranguers.

And when some Germans came up, he did his act in German. He could also do it in French and several other languages, we found out. From Hyde Park, we went to Buckingham Palace, where the General wanted to visit Prince Philip. He went up to the guard at the door.

"I would like to see Prince Philip. We've corresponded [they had] and he told me to come see him if I came to England,"
"Prince Philip is away at the country."
"I see. Is the Queen in?" The guard did not see fit to answer.


Audience Eric Burdon and War General Wastemoreland John Sebastian Stoneground

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Concert reviews and info -1974-76( all updated Nov 2018)