Books related to the Mountain Drive experience

Chiacos Mountain Drive BookChiacos, Elias. 1994. Mountain Drive: Santa Barbara's pioneer Bohemian community. Santa Barbara, Calif: Shoreline Press.

An extraordinary community grew on the steep hillsides above Santa Barbara following World War II. A landscape of rare and rugged beauty and freedom from convention allowed the blossoming of a lifestyle that has become legend. The beginnings of the hot-tubbing phenomenon, the Renaissance Faire, the revival of early music, crafts and pageantry–all mounted with a rowdy humor and uninhibited sexuality–hallmark Mountain Drive's contribution to the California dream. Mountain Drivers were teachers, builders, artists, writers, musicians and dancers. This was no ideal community, no Shangri-la outside the bounds of society. It had the same problems as any American neighborhood. This is the true story of a diverse group who found themselves together in a nexus of change, and made their way to magic. This book is the roadmap to Mountain Drive.

Lane Going to town BookLane, Mervin. 1985. Going to town. Santa Barbara, CA (P.O. Box 4513, Santa Barbara 93108): Sadhe Pub.

Mervin Lewis Lane Jr. was a resident of Santa Barbara, California for over 67 years. He grew up with a great enthusiasm for music, attended the New York High School of Performing Arts as an accomplished pianist and percussionist performing in a number of New York orchestras. Upon graduation he was offered a full music scholarship to the Yale School of Music. In 1951 Mervin and wife June bought an acre of land on Mountain Drive and began building their own adobe home and dance studio by hand, becoming part of the original Mountain Drive Community. The house was completed in 1958. In retirement Mervin published "Going To Town," a novel about Mountain Drive based on real life. About the book Merv said, "I consider myself a little bit of an historian, that is to say, the book, "Going to Town," is historical really. It gives anecdotes about things that have happened in the past that have been memorable."

Neely Wild Bill Neely BookNeely, William L., and Allan Shields. 1992. Wild Bill Neely and the Pagan Brothers' Golden Goat Winery: journal and drawings. Mariposa, CA: Jerseydale Ranch Press.

Though Wild Bill and the other vintners of Mountain Drive in Santa Barbara, California, were serious about their wines, their hilarity suggests otherwise. Using winery names as various as Los Pinacates (The Stink Bugs), The Golden Goat Winery, The Pagan Brothers' Winery (pace The Christian Brothers), seemed to make light of their labors, and calling their wines by names such as Old Cellar Floor, and Old Barrel Wash tweaked the noses of sophisticated and snobbish wineries and their blarney. The 'Brothers' established the W.C.T.U., which stood for Wine Connoisseurs and Tasters United, whose slogan was, "United we stand; united we fall." A serious wine book.

Mountain Drive StoriesJohnston, Dick. 1988; updated 1994. Mountain Drive Stories.

Although purported to be fiction, most of Mountain Drive Stories by Dick Johnston isn't. One Mountain Drive character in particular, Bill Neely, is remembered as the heart and soul of Mountain Drive. Mountain Drive would not have been what it was in the 1950s and '60s without Bill Neely. The author explains, "It's impossible for me to sit down and describe Bill Neely, so instead, I've written a novel almost entirely about him. Bill Neely is probably in my entire life the most interesting and complex person I've ever known. And he was about half good and about half evil." The author, Dick Johnston, a Mountain Driver himself, owned and operated the first FM radio station in Santa Barbara in the early 1960s, KRCW-FM, with studios next to El Paseo.

Elder Hot Tubs BookElder, Leon. 1973. How to build, maintain & enjoy your own hot tubs. New York, N.Y: Random House.

The pleasure of hot water soaking is universal and must go back to the beginning. Cavemen lounged in natural sulfur pools; Egyptians, Babylonians and Romans built tiled tubs. Japan created its furo and Finland its sauna. Peoples every where developed their own versions of thermal therapy. But it took contemporary California to make it fully social, where people were brought together unabashed in mixed company, sharing the bliss of the homemade, outdoor Hot Tub. Yet who can legitimately lay claim to a universal invention? Do we credit Mountain Drivers for contriving the original Hot Tub; or do we recognize the possibility that an idea can generate simultaneously in many places? It little matters. The Hot Tub is an established reality, though its true origin may be clouded. This is a legendary account that grew from the hills of Santa Barbara where a 1975 census gave a Hot Tub count of forty-three, with five more under construction.

Hyde Six More at Sixty BookHyde, Robert. 1960. Six more at sixty. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

Six More at Sixty, published by Doubleday & Co., Inc. and illustrated with photographs by Thomas E. Arnold, is Robert Hyde's account of the satisfactions which came to him and his wife as a result of taking on the responsibility of bringing up six foster children after their own brood had grown up and were having children of their own. Six More at Sixty is not really a story of foster parents and foster children. It is a frank and warm-hearted account of "normal" family life with its usual trials and tribulations, the love and rebellion which all parents know as their children grow to manhood and womanhood. It is a simple and moving exposition of the philosphy of Bobby and Floppy Hyde. To them material things are not half so important as the sky and the earth, the fresh smilling air and the mountain wind at night, the seashore and all that exists in nature. [Excerpt from Santa Barbara News-Press book review by Jean Storke Menzies, October 30, 1960.]

California Review #1 Spring 1967Richardson, William. 1967. California Review, Number One, Spring 1967. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McNally and Loftin.

California Review Number One, Spring 1967, edited by William Richardson and illustrated with photographs by Dick Smith, is an American literature periodical published on Mountain Drive, Santa Barbara, California. This first issue contains the writings of Alice Aspinwall, Gordon Grant, William Richardson, Robert McKee Hyde, Elizabeth Bartlett, Marion McCreedy Leaman, Gretel Fletcher, Noel Young, Nicolai Nickolds, Morris McMorries, and Evalyn Stafford.

Andrews Harp Full Of Stars BookAndrews, Joel. 1989. A harp full of stars: the journey of a music healer. Ben Lomond, Calif: Golden Harp Press.

Joel Andrews, a spiritual harpist, was immersed in the world of music from his birth in 1928. When he was six, his parents divorced. His mother remarried Bobby Hyde who filled the house with classical music from his enormous record collection. Andrews's maternal grandmother bought him a full-size concert harp when he was thirteen. In the '30s and '40s, he grew spiritually from visits to his uncle's commune in Pismo Beach, California. Here, he interacted with a number of influential artists, poets, dancers, and spiritual leaders. At age 23, Andrews experienced a series of visions, "illumination, a touch of cosmic consciousness," and spent a whole month in a state of bliss. From that time on, he continually studied cosmic consciousness and other planes of existence. In 1989, Andrews wrote his autobiography, A Harp Full of Stars: The Journey of a Music Healer. Chapter 3 describes his early life on Mountain Drive and introduction to the Oceano Dunites. He died in 2019.

Vines & Vision: Winemakers of Santa BarbaraKettmann, Matthew Dennis, and Macduff Everton. 2020. Vines & vision: the winemakers of Santa Barbara County. Santa Barbara, Calif: Tixcacalcupul Press.

Vines & Vision: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County is a first-of-its-kind exploration of the people, places, history, trends, and soul of Santa Barbara County wine country. Featuring nearly 1,000 photographs be renowned visual anthropologist Macduff Everton and about 100 chapters written by the region's leading food & wine journalist Matt Kettmann, Vines & Vision is a one-stop shop for learning about the past, present, and future of Santa Barbara wine culture. Winemaking on Mountain Drive, both past and present, is featured in the chapter, "Santa Barbara's Home Winemakers" starting on page 414.

The Tonetti Years at Snedens LandingSavell, Isabelle K. 1977. The Tonetti Years at Snedens Landing. New City, New York: Historical Society of Rockland County.

An account based on personal letters and reminiscences of the star-studded enclave of Snedens Landing in the southeastern corner of Rockland County, New York, 1870-1945, and Mary Lawrence Tonetti, the remarkable and artistic woman who created it. Mary Lawrence and her husband Francois Michele Louis Tonetti, were well known master artists and sculptors. As wife and then widow, Mary Tonetti bought up as many local houses as she could afford, restored them with the assistance of her daughter, Lydia, and son-in-law, Robert McKee Hyde, and rented them to her friends. Lydia, the second wife of Bobby Hyde, died not long after giving birth to their third child. Inspired by the Tonetti property experiment in Snedens Landing, Bobby Hyde moved back to his hometown of Santa Barbara, California, and developed the famous Bohemian communities of Mountain Drive, Painted Cave and Maria Ygnacio.

Rubin Well Met BookRubin, Rachel. 2012. Well met: Renaissance faires and the American counterculture. New York, N.Y.: New York Univ. Press.

The Renaissance Faire—a 50 year-long party, communal ritual, political challenge and cultural wellspring—receives its first sustained historical attention with Well Met. Beginning with the chaotic communal moment of its founding and early development in the 1960s through its incorporation as a major “family friendly” leisure site in the 2000s, Well Met tells the story of the thinkers, artists, clowns, mimes, and others performers who make the Faire. Chapter Two documents Mountain Drive's contributions to both the founding concepts behind the Faire and its early support as artisans and crafters.

Andrews Living Materials BookAndrews, Oliver. 1983. Living materials: a sculptor's handbook. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press.

Every material has an active presence and every material is susceptible to change. The task of the sculptor is to understand the natural properties of a chosen material, to know in the process of creation how best to work with, or against, its characteristics. In this generously illustrated studio manual, sculptor Oliver Andrews takes a new approach to sculpture, focusing on how the innate assertiveness of materials affects the complex act of making a sculpture. Andrews, the son of Floppy Hyde and stepson of Bobby Hyde, grew up on Mountain Drive. Building his own house and workshop on the Mountain Drive hillside, he created his earliest sculptures there.