Michael Gordon Hipman, best known under his free-form jazz moniker "Michael Hippy" is a musician, social critic, and self described "beatnik" from Brattleboro, VT. His best known work was with his 1960s group known as "Michael Hippy and his Thinkin' Stones".
Early Life Edit
Michael Hippy was born on June 6th, 1939 in Brattleboro, Vermont, to construction worker/entrepreneur Patrick Hipman and Susan Hipman, an office worker.
Not much is known about Hipman's early life, besides that he graduated from an unknown high school in Vermont in 1957, and later throughout the 60s travelled the country with his "merry band of beatniks". He was known to drift into cities for weeks on end, staying with vague acquaintances, while writing songs and books.
It is around this time, when drifting around Chicago getting ready for his first big break (an elementary school poetry jam), he came across a fellow beatnik in a parchment store. Her name was Monika Goldstein, and in Hippy's words "we just clicked like the steering wheel of my old jalopy". They were quickly married at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA.
Musical Beginnings Edit
At this time, he learned to play piano and sing. He claims to have recieved personal jazz lessons from legendary musicians Herbie Hancock and B.B. King in his various travels across the US. He also claims to have learned to sing from the attentive personal tutoring of Tiny Tim and Buck Owens. The veracity of these claims are questionable, but multiple sources related to these musicians affirm them.
In the 1960s, Hippy was one of the hottest musicians of the underground free-form jazz community, playing many shows in little known coffee shops. At this time, he was known to "hang out" after shows, discussing politics with the fellow beats in the shop, over cups of "java" and cigarettes made of "the devil's cabbage".
Michael Hippy and his Thinkin' Stones (1962-present) Edit
In his time with the Thinkin' Stones, Hippy became one of the most renowned underground free-form jazz musicians. In his group he is almost always accompanied by Blake Sherman (Drummer), Billy Douglas (Saxophonist), Bassist Dick Sportgood, and on rare occasion, his original trumpet player by the name of Gilbert Philips. Philips has taken a 30+ year sabbatical due to his chronic "strep hand", an self-diagnosed affliction he describes as "strep throat of the hand". Hippy himself plays the piano and clarinet, and does whatever vocals are needed.
The group rebranded for a year long tour (December 2015 to December 2016), going by the joke name "Michael Hippy and the Inappropriately Not Wearing Shoes or Socks Outside in December While Discussing Coffee using the Term "Joe" and the Spiritual Benefits of Freeform Dancing to Freeform Jazz and Refusing to Vote yet Affirming Bernie Sanders Band"
Meatball Controversy (2006) Edit
While playing a show in his old stomping ground, Casper's Cafe in San Francisco, California on October 31st, 2006, a meatball fell out of Hippy's pocket. This event was a maypole of controversy and made waves within the underground free-form jazz community. In an interview the day before, Hipman had just revealed his newfound vegan agenda, professing he would be boycotting the horrendous treatment of animals for a year until "These San-Fran fat-cat farmers start treating animals with the respect they deserve!". Hipman claims it was just a corn meatball, but some prominent critics in the community remain skeptical, and it has left his reputation stained within some small circles.
Corso and the Corsairs (2013-2013) Edit
This short-lived collaborative tour starred Michael Hippy across 5 cities in the US, where he joined the popular group "Corso and the Corsairs". The most notable outcome of this collaborative effort was the special "Alternate Director's Cut Mike and Jack Version" of the hit song "Squirmy Wormy" which had both leads singing the popular Thinkin' Stones jazz hit.
Michael Hippy and the... Affirming Bernie Sanders Band (2015-2016) Edit
From December 2015 to October 2016, Hippy did a short tour with his usual Thinkin' Stones group members, being briefly renamed "Michael Hippy and the Inappropriately Not Wearing Shoes or Socks in December Outside While Discussing Coffee Using the Term "Joe" and the Spiritual Benefits of Freeform Dancing to Freeform Jazz and Refusing to Vote yet Affirming Bernie Sanders Band". The tour was of a more comedic, ironic tone, with Hippy playing up his Beatnik attitude to noticeably ironic levels.
On the final day of the Affirming Bernie Sanders tour, Hippy was kicked out of The Branchan Bandstand being held at Casper's Cafe for supposedly being belligerent. He was chased down by security, where, when being physically pulled out, he was heard saying his catchphrase "My freeform is eternal!". This event uncannily mirrors the Meatball Controversy, but has since been debunked as being orchestrated by both Hippy and the venue, a lighthearted callback to the event which rocked the underground freeform jazz community 10 years beforehand.
The act was orchestrated for and supposedly intended to make it into some sort of Halloween-themed telethon-like sketch event produced by The Branchan, but evaded the final cut for reasons largely unknown. It has been disclosed by both Hippy and the venue that they remain on good terms and the sketch was only intended to be performed live for and undisturbed for the unadulterated reaction of audience members.
Personal Life Edit
Personal Beliefs Edit
Hippy is a self described beatnik, and as such carries many outlandish political opinions. He is known to have disagreed heavily with the conformists of the 50s and 60s, and has gone on record many times against "the suburbs and their, like, robotic culture of dystopian conformity".
While not a self-described socialist or communist, Hippy was known to have been friends with many beat generation communists of the mid-20th century. Hipman as a teenager was investigated in the infamous Red Scare campaign for his acquaintance with many prominent beatnik authors, but it was concluded that he had no ties to the Soviet Union or any domestic communist groups.
Nowadays, Hippy holds no more than vague, basic moral principles, connected to his roots as a beatnik, and his messages against conformity and the "bigwig fat-cats of Wall Street". He doesn't care for any topical subjects or lofty contemporary political ideas. He just wishes people would, in his words - "like, have love for [their] fellow man, y'know?".
- Despite his "flippin' wild" attitude back in his "beat days", Hipman has recently relaxed his ways and regained control and restraint in his life. In an interview with The Branchan, he is quoted as saying "Yeah, man, I gave up the devil's cabbage back in um... I think 1981. I've instead replaced it with a strict java regimine"
- Despite being called "Hippy", he has a large amount of disdain for the hippie movement of the 60s. He sees them as a crass, smelly, less thoughtful crowd of people who would be better off being beatniks. He also dislikes their psychedelic music, saying that it "...like, fries your brain with it's hypnotic tones, man".