We Love You, Call Collect

October 7, 1969
1969 HFP, Volume 1 Number 1

The very first issue of the Hollywood Free Paper was a bit sketchy on content and rough around the edges, but the energy and fire were there. Even in this tentative, unpolished form, the potential of this new medium to spark dialogue and provoke a response among America's youth was visible.

Duane's vision for the HFP was already clear -- a strong lead article, several thought-provoking smaller pieces, at least one strong cartoon feature, a bulletin board of Movement places and events, and a poster for your wall.

Early on the morning of October 4, 1969, just three days before the HFP went to press, Diane Linkletter, daughter of then-popular television celebrity Art Linkletter, fell to her death from the sixth floor kitchen window of her Shoreham Towers apartment in Hollywood.

The belief at the time was that her death was a drug-related suicide, possibly due to an LSD flashback. A full page in the first issue of the HFP was devoted to reprinting the text of "We Love You, Call Collect", an emotional father-daughter conversation Art and Diane had recorded not long before her tragic death.

In the cartoon feature by Ray Hawkins, Jr. (pictured at right), a young, bearded revolutionary wearing a bandolier became gradually more conservative and 'establishment' in his appearance and philosophy as the cartoon progressed, hinting at the way revolutionary movements often become cold and institutionalized over time.

"The only way to purify the system is to destroy it and start all over again," the young radical in the cartoon began. "We must unify all radical people for the accomplishment of our objective. All people must be helped to see the need for revolution." By the end of the last panel (not shown) he is aged and balding in a suit and tie, talking of membership, committees, and enforcing discipline. Clearly, his revolution is over.

The featured poster (pictured below, right) in the first issue was a bold "wanted poster" for Jesus, describing him as the "notorious leader of an underground liberation movement" spreading an "insidious and inflammatory message."

The first issue ended with an appeal for "groovy people" to distribute the HFP.

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