Steel Notes Magazine December 2016 - Page 127

Steel Notes Magazine the rest of the country. When I arrived in Goa’s capital, Panjim, I met a man at the station who offered me a room in Calangute Beach. I was always wary of touts offering rooms, or anything else, but I trusted this guy enough to at least go and see. The room was upstairs in a large house. It was a short walk to the beach and the Bella Vista Restaurant, for 10 rupees, less than a dollar back then. The bathroom was off a courtyard downstairs. There was no running water. The well in the courtyard was deep and good, and to take a shower I’d fill a bucket at the well, pour it into a cistern, get under it and open the valve. It worked just fine. Goa has a beautiful coastline, and the white sand beach at Calangute was long and wide. When I was there, in 1979 – 80, it was a hippie haven. Europeans would come en masse during the winter months. Drugs were freely available. The broad beaches were the scene of nudity, drug taking, and every full moon and for Christmas and New Years Eve there would be huge all-night raves at Anjuna Beach. Rock bands would come over from Europe. I heard Ian Dury’s “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll” so much it became a soundtrack. A bandstand would be set up on the beach, with a dance floor. Indians would set up chai and food stalls scattered along the beach, which was speckled by what looked like thousands of candles flickering in the sand. Each candle surrounded by groups of travelers, you’d hear the cry, “Boom Shankar,” and chillums would swirl around what seemed like a million circles. In the morning the sun would rise on a gypsy encampment. Blankets, sarongs, lungis and mats spread on the beach. Everywhere glitter and satiny sparkle, as sunrise chillums are passed around candles melted into the sand and still burning against the new sunlight. People dance, some strip and run into the sea, others turn over in their sleep. One party we had was at Aronbol, where there was a lake close to the sea. Some of the tribe had set up an elaborate structure where they were living. We could swim in the lake, and the ocean. The palm trees and sand made it look like an oasis in an Arabian nights tale. Often when I think of Goa from that period I think of the term Woodstock Nation realized. In many ways that’s how it seemed. People dressed in their fantasy of hippie nation, with loose fitting, colorful Indian cottons, with turbans and headscarves, bare feet and jewelry. There was all the dope you could want or need, good cheap food and accommodation. As I said, nudity, although frowned upon by the Indian authorities, was commonplace. I had several encounters and liaisons in Goa, including Wendy the Acid Queen. Wendy would come over every year from London, with plenty of psychedelics, and have a house in Goa. We had a brief but memorable liaison. Roger Moore and a film crew were there making a film, “The Sea Wolves,” and we partied at Wendy’s house. I forget the names of the three Americans I met there. A couple of them landed roles as extras in the f [K\B\H][\\\ˈ^H\HHۛH[Y\X[H[Y[X\YY][[YX\و][[[XKHZYH[Y\X[^\]\H\H[H\[H[[\]Y[\ˈYK^HY[YY\Y[\XY^[B˜Y[\XY^[KBL‚