To honor Hairstyle Appreciation Day, I thought I'd yank these 37 year-old snapshots out of my box. That came off dirty, but this small collection spotlights my first haircut by a gay hairdresser. So perhaps some ribald humor is in order.
These pics were taken at a hair salon called The Hair Saint that was located somewhere on College Avenue in Berkeley, California. Kip Carr was the owner, operator, and hair saint in residence.
The Fox Photo stamp on the back says they were developed in January 1979.
I can't find much info about Kip Carr, the Hair Saint of Berkeley. I know he was a Gemini (b. June 17, 1936) and around 46-ish years old in these snapshots.
For years, my friends and I would ding dong ditch Kip because we liked to see him enraged. We thought he was a kinda bitchy, ill-tempered man—and, thus, super-fun to annoy. I remember hearing that he died of HIV/AIDS complications at some point in the mid-to-late 1980's. Oh, well. We'll always have Paris—or rather, College Avenue in Berkeley.
And here we are—post-haircut—in front of The Hair Saint. Information about the late Hair Saint business is virtually non-existent, but I did find this interesting clipping in the Berkeley Barb, dated the week of May 10, 1979. Apparently The Hair Saint was also a performance venue?
The only thing I knew about the Berkeley Barb was that the blind guy in Butterflies are Free (1972) liked to read it. But according to Wikipedia, the Berkeley Barb was also a weekly underground newspaper and "one of the first and most influential of the counterculture newspapers ... covering such subjects as the anti-war and civil-rights movements as well as the social changes advocated by the youth culture." This particular issue advertised an upcoming show at The Hair Saint.
"Back on College by popular demand — Gershon. Performing at The Hair Saint. What's inside his shows outside yours."
Gershon? Who was this mysterious 'Gershon,' and what does "what's inside his shows outside yours" mean? That sounds like it could be dirtier than my "box" comment. I can't stop picturing some drag queen decked out as Cristal Connors from Showgirls, doing Goddess for a bunch of queens getting haircuts—although I know that'd be historically inaccurate, as well as anachronistic as hell.
If you'd like to share a story about The Hair Saint, Berkeley in the 1970's, the mysterious Gershon, or you are, in fact, Gershon—drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you! :)