John Wilcock - Counterculture Icon - 24/7 Care
April 22, 2017: Dear caring supporters of John Wilcock,
The situation for John's ongoing care has changed. John is now living in private shared housing in Ventura, CA and while that does reduce his monthly care expenses, a recent stay in the hospital requires that John have 24/7 in home care , at least for now. If you are able to support John in any way at all, that would help greatly in this new chapter of John's life. Please give what you can to support this publishing pioneer. Thank you.
John Wilcock is an under-recognized but vital part of U.S. history. In the 1960s he helped establish the Underground Press Syndicate, which became the model for alternative media and the New Journalism movement. Among numerous credits to his accomplishments, he was a co-founder of the Village Voice and, with Andy Warhol, he co-created Interview Magazine.
John has always lived a careful and healthy life, but in 2014, he suffered a life-altering stroke, which greatly altered his ability to remain independent. Now at age 90, after only two and a half years, medical care has quickly dissolved most of his life’s savings. We are writing to seek help for John, as he may soon have to leave the assisted living center he now pays for himself.
Read about John below and how you can help - Thank you.
John Wilcock when he lived in a cottage in an orange grove in Ojai, CA. just before his stroke in August 2014. Photo Credit: Carmen Smyth/News Press
John Wilcock has been called “the Puppet Master of '60s Underground Newspapers” – indeed, he is a folk hero whose tireless effort helped shaped alternative press as we know it. At 90, he has never had (nor wanted) anything close to retirement. John was a correspondent with Hunter S. Thompson, a good friend to Shel Silverstein, and the author of a series of newsletters that included John Lennon as a subscriber. Leonard Cohen used to read his Village Voice column devotedly. John was also the resident “reporter” at Andy Warhol’s Factory.
Andy Warhol and John Wilcock who was among
the first people to recognize him as a pop culture icon.
For many years John enjoyed his status as semi-obscure counterculture icon, producing an average of 250,000 words a year from a pleasant cottage in the scenic Ojai Valley, and globetrotting well into his eighties. (He was a noted travel reporter for decades, both with the New York Times and with Frommer’s, writing such seminal books as Mexico on Five Dollars a Day and an entire series on Europe.)
Regrettably, John's strong determination to live a life of adventure, friendship, and good peaceful action has left him in a vulnerable spot. The stroke he suffered in April 2014 left him with visual, cognitive, memory, and mobility issues – and his medical costs have completely dissolved out his life’s savings.
John at his home press in Ojai, CA, where he lived for a number of years before his stroke.
Photo Credit: VC Reporter
John is now 90, and as it stands he will have to leave his assisted living facility, the only community he has known for nearly three years. He desperately needs some outside support to keep him housed and healthy.
We are friends of John from around the globe. Some of us met him during his itinerant days as a travel reporter and prolific travel guide author; some of us have worked with him, written about him, and in many cases, been mentored by him. We know that aging and staying healthy in America is an expensive endeavor; such causes as healthcare and security have been causes of John’s for his entire 60+ year career.
We ask for your help in this urgent hour of John's vital and pioneering life. Thanks so much for any assistance you can provide. All proceeds will go towards John’s care and security.
Peace and Love!
More about John/further reading:
John Wilcock: The Puppet Master of '60s Underground Newspapers (The Atlantic)
Mr. Underground (Ventura County Reporter)
You’re invited to visit http://www.ojaiorange.com for a snapshot of Wilcock’s remarkable life story.
John's life has chronicled some of the most pivotal events that transformed the history of the 20th AND the 21st century, and is now the subject of a biographical comic book based on his years in New York. The story by Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall is serialized on Boing Boing and at http://www.ep.tc/john-wilcock/
Wilcock’s 288th column in The Village Voice, appropriately titled “The Village Square."
Every little bit makes a huge difference.
**Note: Hi, my name is David Buehrens, and my name is listed at the top as the person who created this campaign. I am the person who is currently managing John's finances and making witdrawls from the campaign into his personal bank account. All of John's friends thank you for your contribution to his continuing care.
- Josh Alan Friedman
- Michele Swain
- ian mac allister
- Will Dunham