The Day Chet Helms Died


The day Chet Helms died
was the day they brought
old San Francisco down.

There were darkened skies
and a storm about to strike.
The women cried
and danced in the streets
while the good old boys
were drinkin' whisky and rye
down by the dock of the Bay.

The day Chet Helms died
Golden Gate Park
was filled with mourners
all with flowers in their hair.
Big Brother played
on all seven hills
while Janis smiled
from the clouds
singing you got
a piece of my heart.

The day Chet Helms died
the police chief
and Park and Rec
had secret meetings
planning to turn
the Polo Fields
into a golf course
and the Getty family
drilled for oil
in the soccer fields.

The day Chet Helms Died
Owsley returned
and gave out real LSD
and everyone remembered
their last ecstatic romance
at the Avalon and began
to dance that perfect trance dance
that merged them with the divine.

The day that Chet Helms died
all the brothers and sisters
got together to love
each other everywhere
and Dino shot his guns in the air
and Bill Graham tried
to charge admission
at the gates of rock n' roll heaven,
but Emmett Grogan gave him
his good Irish boot
explaining what a good thing
they all had up there
and it was all free,
while Jerry led him
away gracefully.

The day Chet Helms died
they tried to bring
the hippies down
but they all rose as one
and they were knock,
knock, knockin'
on San Francisco's door again
chanting "the "whole world's still watchin.'
There is an immortality
to joy and love and peace,"
and they all threw away
their ball and chains
ready to ride again.

But

Chet didn't die

©Allen Cohen, All rights reserved .

Allen Cohen wrote this poem on January 17, 2000
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that Chet had died. So Chet
decided to have a wake and a resurrection. He hired a hearse and a coffin and
invited 200 people . He was driven up to the Gold Coast Restaurant in the
hearse and the pall bearers were Terance Hallinan, Richard Hongisto and
Wavy Gravey. The Coffin rolled into the restaurant and was opened. Chet lay
there with flowers and a cellular phone on his chest. The phone rang and he
rose to answer it and walked through the toasting crowd and camera people.

Allen Cohen, Bruce Dauser, Chet Helms, Dennis Loren
Allen Cohen, Bruce Dauser, Chet Helms, Dennis Loren
occassion ~ Chet's 60th birthday
photo shared here with thanks to http://www.herzer.org\

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