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Watch: Clips from New Wavy Gravy Doc

Legendary Peace Activist Profiled in Stunning New Film

December 3, 2010 5:30 PM ET

Now 74, Wavy Gravy has led an epic life — he was a founder of the Berkeley Hog Farm commune, the emcee of Woodstock and the inspiration for a Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor. It's all chronicled in the new documentary Saint Misbehavin, which traces his remarkable evolution from beat poet to the world's most famous hippie — including interviews with friends including Jackson Browne, Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Bonnie Raitt. Check out our exclusive clips from the film below.

 

Clip A
Wavy Gravy's Dream
1. Gravy still organizes several all-star benefits a year for charitable causes, including funding free cataract operations in third-world countries and Camp Winnarainbow, his own performing arts camp that helps disadvantaged children. In this clip, see Wavy at his benefits with members of the Grateful Dead, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez. "He's able to bring people together above all others," Raitt says. "He's our Pied Piper."

Photos: Random Notes

Clip B
Starting Over
2. Before B.B. King dubbed him "Wavy Gravy" in 1969, he was Hugh Romney, once a poet on the Greenwich Village folk scene — he even shared a MacDougal Street loft with Bob Dylan. "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall' was written on my typewriter in that room," he says in the film. In this clip, Gravy discusses how he transformed from underground poet to Lenny Bruce-inspired standup act. "I decided to skip the poems and just talk about my weird day," he says.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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