Discussion in 'Kombi Spotting' started by Peter Kaye, Aug 12, 2019.
A dedicated rebuild.
And the original.
Wonder where it is rusting away
Believe it or not they are trying to track it down. Most popular thought is it’s rusted out, painted over or crushed.
It was only 7 years old - a 1962?
Times were hard in those days.
Why I paint automobiles, by Robert Hieronimus
This page includes several more photos of the VW bus I painted in 1968 for Bob Grimm of the band "Light" which he drove with Rick Peters, Trudy Morgul and Walt Bailey to the original Woodstock in 1969. I was heavily involved in my mural commissions and in founding the AUM Esoteric Study Center at that time, and decided not to attend this legendary concert. But the bright colors and occult symbols I had painted on the "Light" bus caught the attention of several photographers in attendance and images of this bus continue to pop up in retrospective articles, CD compilations and other promotional pieces about Woodstock. Many of these photos can be seen further down on this page.
My purpose for painting vehicles was to develop movable "billboards" carrying certain teachings linked to the ageless wisdom teachings, or the perennial philosophy. In 1968 I postponed a commission from Dr. Chester Wickwire to paint a mural on a wall in the second floor meeting room of Levering Hall of the Johns Hopkins University, which eventually became "The Apocalypse". Instead I began a very interesting summer of visiting backstage with Elektra recording artists Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin, and others who requested information on esoterica. In between I continued working on a series of commissions for "psychedelic" painted cars which were growing in popularity. I soon had my fill of backstage life with rock and roll legends and discussing with them earth changes, astrology, Atlantis, reincarnation, meditation, and UFOs, and in early August, 1968 began work on the Apocalypse mural at Johns Hopkins University.
But first I completed the "Light" bus that went to Woodstock without me. With hindsight it is interesting that the symbols I painted on this bus (or moving billboard) were very much in harmony with the theme of this powerful event. I have interpreted some of these symbols below.
Grimm’s Light Bus, Woodstock Icon
Whether or not you know what it was called [the Light Bus], or why [named for the Baltimore band “Light”], or who painted it [Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus] or who actually owned the famous 1963 VW Bus [Bob Grimm], you have undoubtedly seen it. It would be almost impossible to avoid, for as much as the music and history of that legendary festival of hippie yore and lore, this iconic photo of the vehicle and its Baltimore passengers [Ricky Peters and Trudy (Cooper) Morgal] on the roof, has evolved as the media’s go-to symbol of Woodstock. Don’t believe it?
The 40th anniversary of Woodstock is on this summer’s calendar, and here’s how Yahoo!News presents its announcement of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s commemorative exhibit. Need more evidence?
The Light Bus has reached the kind of status where a detailed replica can now be purchased directly from the artist’s website. (I just hope Mr. Grimm is getting a royalty on each one sold … it was *his* bus after all.)
If you still need convincing, check out the cover of this interesting new anniversary book on Woodstock. Along with generic images of the ticket and the crowd you’ll see the “BIG 3” of Woodstock iconography: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Light Bus.
This book is unique by virtue of its claim as the story of people who were actually there. Following are excerpts from the contributions of Bob Grimm to this eye-witness account, and the story of the Light Bus’ journey to Woodstock:
“Light” was my Baltimore rock group in the 60’s. We were the proverbial big fish in a not-so-little pond; stars on the smallest of scales! In those days we had a full time house gig at the “Mardi Gras” on Harford Road and became well known for our original music and long, self indulgent jams. We were pleased to take off for a week in August to attend the Woodstock Rock Festival.
Our painted VW bus was a truly inspired work of mystical and esoteric symbols, and we believed it probably had an esteemed destiny in the company of our generation’s musical heroes. The artist, Bob Hieronimus, had planned to be at Woodstock but was ultimately commanded by a busy schedule not to attend.
It was the day before the first performances and we discovered that we might not be able to get in! Approaching the access road, a policeman said, “You can’t drive in, you’ll have to walk!” Thinking quickly I said, “We’re taking this bus to the art exhibit.” He paused momentarily and said, “OK, go ahead.”
And the rest, boys and girls, is history.
Thanks to Sam Towers for the post topic, and to Bob Grimm for this photo and his personal account.
Toy model you can buy online
Heres some pics of the newer build of the bus to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock
The original artist painted this new bus...
Lastly the lady in the picture who was sitting ontop of the bus 50 years ago at Woodstock today in front of the newer build bus
Thanks for the detailed & insightful historic evolution of the original Woodstock Kombi. Fantastic seeing those involved in it's creation and who experienced the once in a lifetime music festival.
She looks like a healthy blonde Keefe Richards
Thanks. A loving hug captured photographically that came to represent what Woodstock was all about - peace & love.
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