Scott McKenzie’s San Francisco was a hippy anthem with a life of its own

Scott McKenzie in the 1960s

San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) didn't reflect the particular sound of the city itself. Not that this mattered – it was great pop and its idealism lives on. Rock history rightly celebrates the pioneers but sometimes the bandwagon jumpers get it right too. Whether anybody liked it not – and many in San Francisco didn't – the song San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie, who died on Saturday night, became a huge hit. In the US it vied with the likes of Respect, Light My Fire and White Rabbit, whereas it became the Summer of Love song in the UK, holding the No 1 spot during August 1967. It's now an indelible part of the folk memory, often used on TV to dismiss hippie culture.

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