October 28, 2010

"It was a different scene at Anjuna beach, now the epicenter of tourism in Goa, when [8 Finger] Eddie arrived with his half-naked buddies, Junky Robert, Hollywood Peter and Trumpet Steve."

The life and death of a hippie:
He was born Yertward Mazmanian in America in 1924 with just three fingers on one hand...

"Then a Japanese girl told me about a beautiful beach called Anjuna with just some houses and nobody nearby. We all went there. I was 40 then and the rest of the freaks were 20-year-olds," he said.

Spending nearly half a century in Goa, Eddie sometimes ran a soup kitchen and in 1975 started the Anjuna flea market as a place for hippies and other foreigners to hang out or barter goods. At first, "only freaks came," Fernandes said. "People gave things away, or it was only free ... it was like a party."
Now the Wednesday market, like Goa itself, is thriving as trade hub for food, clothes, jewelry and other commerce.

Goa today attracts a different breed of visitor, hungry for new-age experiences or just hoping to fall off the map for a while. Nearly 2.4 million tourists each year — almost twice Goa's population — have helped keep the nightlife throbbing and restaurants in business. A hotel-building boom has produced 25 five-star hotels along with many high-end guesthouses.
Life goes on!

36 comments:

AllenS said...

When was the last time the man ate? He's scrawnier than Obama.

LarsPorsena said...

Since he died on the 18th, this would be the 10th day of his eternal fast.

Fred4Pres said...

I have never been to Goa, although I have been to a few hippie commune beaches elsewhere. He seems like he just digs being in a warm place, with a great beach. Goa appears to be such a place. I would think in time that would get boring. But To each his own.

Fred4Pres said...

RIP 8 Fingers Eddie.

The Crack Emcee said...

...hungry for new-age experiences or just hoping to fall off the map for a while...

Isn't that the same thing?

I used to know a DJ named "Goa Gil" who seriously reeked of incense wherever he went. It got so bad I had to restrict when he could come over.

Comrade X said...

there were always a few old dudes hanging around the youth movement.

t-man said...

They are the young at heart.

This post is funny to me, because in the prior post, I was going to comment that Althouse is not a conservative, she is a hippie.

MadisonMan said...

The word Epicenter is in the blog post. There's a new movie out with a big tsunami in it.

Not knowing where Goa is, I figured it was in Indonesia and that he died in the recent tsunami there.

Instead, it's just a story of an old man dying. What is the etymology of the name Yertward? What a moniker to saddle a kid with!

traditionalguy said...

Eddie tuned in, turned on and dropped out. But now the Goans don't like the drug culture anymore. Sad stuff.

Michael said...

I can remember wondering why the hippies always had the best looking girls. I was a student with no money and very little time and I would look across the common and see the hippie guy and the heart breakingly beautiful girl smiling together and laughing and I would wonder what the deal was. I later learned that loads but not all of those hippies were trust funders . The common element between the rich and the unrich hippies, the reason they got the girls, is that they did nothing but listen. They had all the time in the world to listen and laugh with the beautiful girls. I look at this video and I think of 8 finger there, winding off 85 years with nothing to show but some lame new age synthesis of old truths. The girls long gone, grandmothers with memories and investment banker husbands.

dbp said...

Goa is really hard to pin-down. The countryside areas are just timelessly Indian. The beach areas though could be anyplace in the world where there are lots of hotels and great beaches.

Lots of tough-looking Russian tourists at the hotels and it must be normal since there were a lot of signs in cyrillic.

Scott M said...

Do hippies smell better after they are dead?

shoutingthomas said...

Shit! Hippies!

Been around them all my life in Woodstock.

I guess they don't do any harm... at least, most of them.

They often do not smell good, that's certainly true.

shoutingthomas said...

Do hippies smell better after they are dead?

The hard part is being sure whether they are dead or alive.

Scott M said...

"GET OFF MY PROPERTY!"

"You can't own property, man."

"I CAN, BUT THAT'S BECAUSE I'M NOT A SMELLY HIPPIE!"

edutcher said...

He started an anti-capitalist flea market and now it's "thriving as trade hub". Says something about the natural flow of things.

Something similar to Michael's view was always my impression of most of the flower children at the time (" loads but not all of those hippies were trust funders"). When the bloom wore off, they went back to Daddy's stock brokerage firm. The Eddies were the ones who didn't have a place to go.

t-man said...

They are the young at heart.

You see some over-the-hill hippies in NE OH. Like him, they never seem to have grown up, as opposed to being young at heart.

This post is funny to me, because in the prior post, I was going to comment that Althouse is not a conservative, she is a hippie.

It's the creamy hippie love chick thing.

MadisonMan said...

The word Epicenter is in the blog post. There's a new movie out with a big tsunami in it.

Not knowing where Goa is, I figured it was in Indonesia and that he died in the recent tsunami there.


Goa is on the east coast of India south of Bombay and was a Portuguese colony when Eddie got there.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, I know that now -- there's a map in the linked-to article. But thanks :)

The inference in the article is that Goa is the mecca it is now because of Eddie. I dispute that. Evolutionary convergence suggests that a big resort would have been built on a great looking beach regardless of who shows up.

shoutingthomas said...

How's the herb in Goa?

Must be pretty intense.

Scott M said...

How's the herb in Goa?

Still wearing tacky synthetics, but he no longer sells for KRP.

Triangle Man said...

@MadisonMan

If Ancestry.com is to be believed, the name Mazmanian is Swedish. My guess is that Yertward is also.

Sixty Grit said...

Without knowing, I would have guessed that Mazmanian is an Armenian name.

Bastard sure kept his hair, regardless of where he was from.

Apparently the weed in Goa is pretty good, based on how he carries on.

Michael said...

Madison Man: I think they are right about the hippies being the money magnet for Goa. I have been all over the place raising capital to build resorts and I can tell you there is no shortage of beautiful beaches on this fantastic planet. But first there has to be a reason to go to a particular one. Resorts often grow (I hate to use this word but it is apt) organically but there has to be a spark to get people interested in the first place. In the case of Goa it was new age/hippie combined with good weather and, of course, the spectacular otherness of India. See also Bali.

Alex said...

Another "hippie punching" post by Althouse. Has she no shame? :)))))

Ann Althouse said...

"Not knowing where Goa is, I figured it was in Indonesia... What is the etymology of the name Yertward? What a moniker to saddle a kid with!"

He should have gone to Mongolia. Yurtward bound. I wish I was Yurtward bound...

Ann Althouse said...

Don't say this guy didn't work and contribute. He built that city on hippie values and created an immense engine of wealth.

Richard Dolan said...

"Eddie was cremated Oct. 19 in a Hindu ceremony that was shown on live-stream video broadcast via Internet to 100 people across the world ...."

Listening to his interview, I kept thinking of the uniquely Western tradition that each is responsible for creating his own life and the values that guide it. That's how Eddie says he lived his life, perhaps fittingly in what was the last Western enclave on the coast of India. It's Nietzsche and Heidegger and Rousseau -- despite the triumphal popularization, Eight Finger Eddie is where all of that leads. He's hardly what leaps to mind as the embodiment of the ubermensch, but he captures Nietzsche's idea pretty well.

Just as odd was the obituary notice that his cremation was carried live on the Internet to "100 people across the world." Perhaps that's just a slip by someone who is not a native English-speaker. But it's an arresting image of what the Internet is all about that applies here in a weird way. The Althouse commenter-community may be a bit larger than "100 people across the world" but not by an order of magnitude.

ricpic said...

Bumming around didn't have any cosmic significance till hippies came along and spoiled it.

Dad Bones said...

A Deepak Chopra he ain't, but Eddie saw the light. I'm not sure about Deepak.

William said...

From the bare facts presented, he found a place where he was content and where his peace did not come at the expense of anyone else. Good for him. I think advanced degrees and corner offices exist to give people the sense that their life has meaning and momentum. The high achievers, the ones who actualize their dreams, more often live in a state closer to post partum depression than bliss......It all comes to nothing in the end, but some trips are more fun than others. He seems to have had a good ride.

Ankur said...

Goa really isn't such a hippie paradise anymore. Today, you mostly see british gap year kids, and rave parties.

Still, it is a beautiful part of India. The beaches are gorgeous, the old churches are sublime, and it has an old world feel about it that is very charming and relaxing.

Kirk Parker said...

edutcher,

That's some interesting geography you've got there. :-)







(Hint: it's actually the west coast of India...)

Michael said...

"The high achievers, the ones who actualize their dreams, more often live in a state closer to post partum depression than bliss...."


Who says?

Titus said...

Goa's fab. It has become a little too euro and touristy for me.

I prefer Darjeeling.

Thank you and good day.

China is trying to take over all of India with all their roads and shit.

Emil said...

This is your brain on drugs.

Methadras said...

Your hippiness has wrought commerce. Oh for the agony of how anti-hippy that is. Is nothing sacred anymore?

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.