The Medium is the Message
By Steve Dodge, Rachel Burbank '09, and Leanne Santella '09
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Although Steve Klein, director of Pacific's student activities, was only 11 years old in 1968 — he says he was a lot like the young Fred Savage in TV's "The Wonder Years" — the times had a deep impact on who he is today. Even at that young age he could tell something was going on, something big. The Vietnam War was on television with its exaggerated enemy body counts, and the radio stations he was listening to were suddenly full of outrage over the war, introspection on life, and well, free expression. Overnight it seemed, "She Loves You" became "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "Let's Go Surfin" morphed into "Good Vibrations." Although Spirit Lake, Iowa was a long way from the battle lines at Berkeley, Madison, Wis. and Kent, Ohio, "You could feel it," says Klein, through movies like "Easy Rider," "The Graduate," and the music, always the music. Klein became an obsessive collector of records — and music posters. He's got a collection of more than 600 vintage concert posters from the era, some at home and some in his Pacific office. His favorite: a Neil Young concert poster blaring red, white and blue. Appropriate, he says, because freedom and expression, questioning what you're told, was, and still is, what it's all about.