IT BEGAN WITH TWO ANARCHISTS AND A PROMISE OF FREE LAUNDRY
Jeremy Lansman owned a low-wattage, listener-supported free-form radio station with his mostly absentee partner, Lorenzo Milam, in a seedy, decaying neighborhood in St. Louis. Jeremy was a radical, a shit-stirrer, an electronics genius and a free thinker. Lorenzo was brilliant, crippled, angry and odd. In the communal hippie ethos that was suddenly everywhere, the station owned a washing machine and invited everyone in the community to use it- free.
Laura Ellen Hopper was a St. Louis hippie runaway who heard about the washing machine and, being of the community and needing clean clothes, she went to the station, met Jeremy, and they became a couple, living and working at the station.
Lorenzo had already moved on to other cities to squander his fortune and his health on other non-commercial stations, but Jeremy and Laura Ellen had other plans. They wanted out of St. Louis, so they sold the station and got a startling amount of money for it. They were going west; they had bigger fish to electrify.
And what they did in Gilroy, California gave birth to Americana music. It was also the last gasp of the Sixties and a bit of history in its own right.