The Day the Music Died
Suddenly the colourful youth movements everywhere turned into cauldrons of hysterical hatred. Love, logic and levity evaporated almost overnight. Between 1969 and 1970 at Melbourne University and all over the country fun-hating, corrupt, and violent fundamentalist student politicians seized power, fixed meetings and censored all the student newspapers. “I Started a Joke and the Whole World Started Crying”. Within a few months I had become the Anti-Christ! My enemies were shades of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan “saints”.
In 1970, without warning and a few weeks into my WUS tour and without any active campus branches knowing what was going on either, the HQ of Australian WUS in Australia was taken over by political extremists to be used as a political front organisation. The office in Melbourne did not respond to my letters and appeared to have vanished. Their usual communication with the active WUS branches ceased. It turned out to be another stupid Maoist/libertarian coup! I began to think that I was becoming a very dangerous radical who must be stopped by fair means or foul. WUS was not a wise choice for a socialist take-over since it was a voluntary independent organisation and there were no compulsory fees to exploit as a source of income. WUS in Australia soon collapsed and has never recovered. But my career and personal life had been wrecked again!
At the age of 38, penniless, homeless and jobless I was now marooned in Melbourne but as a hardened backpacker of many years I was able to cope. I decided to persist with my campus revitalisation activities so I became associated with the University Union (Activities Office) which was fortunately not run by the new student power elite. I became the official Wizard and Shaman of Melbourne University Union. I was also their official “Cosmologer” and Living Work of Art. I was covering all the important aspects of the Wizard’s role-set.