Mel Lyman and the Lyman Family

The Fort Hill Community by Mel Lyman

“The material on this site is controversial. Almost all of it is from published sources, but in many cases the accuracy – the truth – of the content has been disputed. Was that really the way it was? Mel Lyman was controversial. He was the brilliant folk musician who soothed the Dylan-ruffled crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the Fort Hill guru whose prose in the undergound newspaper Avatar shocked conservative Bostonians of the late 60s… He died some 25 years ago at age 40, and the articles and writings included here start from about 15 years earlier, from 1963. It’s ‘ancient history’, but a little piece of it was also my history, and Mel Lyman was important in my life. He taught me something important, something that changed me for the better, and so I feel I owe him at least this, a place on the Internet. The last time I saw him was probably in 1967, so I have no first-hand knowledge of most of the events described here – I’ve never been to Fort Hill, and didn’t know most of the people. It was because of rumors I read in newsgroups on the Internet around 1995 that I started this research – this site – to try to find some of the ‘truth’ – to learn something about the Mel Lyman after I knew him. Many years of collecting, and help from numerous people has resulted in the large collection of articles reproduced here. Some say Lyman was God… others that he was a devil… but most of these articles show him as a charismatic individual somewhere between those two extremes. A large part of this is from the writings of Mel himself, from his published books and Avatar, so that he can ‘tell his own story.’ He has many, many voices. Some of the links below are to subpages with additional articles, such as the large Avatar section. If some truth is to be found within the hundreds of pages included here, it will not be quickly, and not without patience. The first piece below is from Mel’s 1971 ‘Mirror at the End of the Road’, a diary-like book he seems to have assembled mainly from letters he had written, like this one from early 1963. It reminds me of the writing of Jack Kerouac, and I find my own name and wonder why I can’t remember it all as clearly as if it were yesterday… Was that really the way it was? – Steve Trssel
Mel Lyman 1938-1978 (Video)
WFMU: he Mel Lyman Personality Cult Revisited by Kliph Nesteroff
Venturing Into the Slipstream
W – Mel Lyman, W – Fort Hill, Boston

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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