John is the authority on a generation that questioned authority. He was born in San Francisco, California, and is a third-generation journalist. He attended Monterey Peninsula College, Santa Barbara City College, and UCLA. He has worked as a writer, art director, and photographer in the newspaper, music, publishing and advertising industries for the last thirty-seven years.
John was present at the Monterey Pop Festival and was a music industry photographer in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s; he was on stage and in the dressing rooms with The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Stones, Tina Turner, and others. In the early 1970s, he produced a series of twelve posters and The People’s Book, a photographic book of the counterculture of the era.
He participated in and photographed many anti-war demonstrations across the United States during the 1960s and 70s. John was at the Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, demonstrations and Bank of America burning, with photos to prove it. During the 1970s, he traveled to most of the hippie centers and many communes around the world, spending time in Amsterdam, Greece, Afghanistan, India, Goa, London, Greenwich Village, Big Sur, and Haight-Ashbury.
John and his wife Joan live in Monterey, California. He continues to write and photograph, and plays bocce almost every week with many of his old hippie friends.
John Bassett McCleary