The 1960s was a decade of engagement, uproar, frustration and happiness. More than anything, it was the decade of blossoming youths. Whether dealt with year by year, or as one homogenous period, whatever one’s attitude to the hippies, the multifaceted decade has engaged scholars ever since. Psychedelic rock music, the very anthem of the 1960s youth culture, flooded the air and defined a generation born soon after World War II, later to be called “the baby boom generation.” Music became a force of cohesion and functioned as the counterculture’s collective voice against the conventions of the Establishment. The distinct music originating in San Francisco expressed the quest of the rebelling minority of the baby boom generation for an alteration of outdated American mores. The 1960s live on through the music, the arts, and an ever so colorful fashion, inspirational even today, more than 30 years later.An essential aim of this thesis is to come to terms with how and why the cultural flowering of Haight Ashbury infiltrated the popular culture of the 1960s, and defined a generation through their lifestyle. I will discuss why the Haight Ashbury subculture attracted so many young people and how this can be seen in relation to American individualism. This will be explained through the concept of traditional American individualism and young peoples’ reaction to it in the shape of expressive individualismIn this thesis, the counterculture of the 1960s will be seen as an outburst of traditional American individualism incorporated in a lifestyle valuing community, while giving an opportunity for people to act highly individualistically. This turn of American individualism was a driving force behind why many young people decided to drop out of school and to live as what the media termed “hippies”. The emphasis on community and communal values, versus the notion of “doing one’s own thing”, is one of the many contradictions of the counterculture. In the discussion of the individualism some baby boomers adopted, focus will be on the strain that scholars on American individualism have called “expressive” individualism. By concentrating my focus on the specific music coming from the subculture of Haight Ashbury and the sort of people who lived there, I have conveyed that the bohemians’ way of life had little or nothing to do with the counterculture starting in 1967, other than giving the counterculture its external shape and expressive individualism. Old newspaper articles and interviews with some of the Haight Ashbury musicians and local inhabitants reveal skepticism about the young people they saw as infiltrating their culture. By the end of the summer of 1967, many bohemians seem to have given up a life based on the principles of love and community. As a result, the baby boomers flocking the area were seen as naïve “outsiders” interpreting the culture differently from the “insiders” and responsible for destroying the uniqueness of the Haight Ashbury subculture. Focusing on music as a cultural expression, my intentions have been to explain that the change from local subculture into counterculture was really a transformation from subculture to popular culture. The values and lifestyle of a few were transformed into a popular culture that reflected little or nothing of the original values of the Haight Ashbury bohemians. Moreover, as newspaper interviews and email interviews have revealed, most people in the area were comfortable with the changes. They were ready to earn money and for a regular life as a tax paying citizen with a job and family.