bob dylan black and white

On January 1, 1976, the iconic “HOLLYWOOD” sign was altered to read “Hollyweed” by the late Danny Finegood of Los Angeles and a few of his college friends. The stunt — celebrating the decriminalisation of marijuana in California — got worldwide publicity at the time.

To accomplish the stunt, Finegood and his buds used ropes and sheets, and reportedly spent only around 50 bucks for the materials. The prank was a class project while he was an art major at Cal State Northridge. (Yes, he got an “A” for the project.)

Finegood considered himself an environmental artist, not a vandal. In a letter to the L.A. Times in 1983, he said of the “Hollyweed” sign: “An artist’s role throughout history has been to create representations of the culture he exists in. By hanging four relatively small pieces of fabric on the landmark, we were able to change people’s perception of the Hollywood sign.”

Writer David Batterson was so knocked out by the event that he wrote lyrics to a song and his friend, former radio DJ and musician Mark Giles, a resident of Santa Barbara, wrote the music. They called the song, you guessed it, “Hollyweed, USA.”

Protest Against the Rising Tide of Conformity

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez by Daniel Kramer, 1964