That Hippie Band rocks Earth Day in Key West on April 22 at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater. The band, formed by Gary Hempsey, takes listeners back to the Age of Aquarius, performing hits by 20 different gold record artists, including Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

“The first Earth Day was a protest of 20 million people, mostly hippies. The 51st Earth Day, which occurred on April 22, was celebrated by a billion (with a B) protesters across 192 nations on all seven continents,” said Key West photographer Ralph De Palma after attending the Earth Day Jam, a concert by That Hippie Band at Key West’s Coffee Butler Amphitheater.

“That Hippie Band was on fire,” De Palma added. “”Every song they played was a huge ‘60s hit. They covered 20 different gold-record artists in a single show. Will Hoppie did a Woodstock version of Joe Cocker’s ‘With A Little Help From My Friends. Emily Springsteen did a full-throated version of Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedes Benz’ and Gary Hempsey, with the harmonies of everyone, did justice to ‘Teach Your Children Well’ by Crosby, Stills, & Nash.”

The show also included song lyrics from Key West writer Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”

And perhaps the best news of all — they’ll be back next year for the 52nd Earth Day Jam. 

“Come on, people now, smile on your brother….”

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.