The San Diego Door
The San Diego Door, (in former versions: Good Morning Teaspoon, Teaspoon Door, Door to Liberation, and Free Door) was an underground newspaper that thrived in 1960s San Diego, California, United States. Alongside the San Diego Street Journal (formerly San Diego Free Press), it dominated the underground genre. Both contained anti-war and anti-establishment articles on business interests in San Diego during the 1960s. The newspapers encompassed New Left issues and the birth of the Chicano and women's movement.
Founded by publisher Dale Herschler in January 1968 and published on a biweekly schedule, it was initially based in La Mesa and loosely connected to campus activism at nearby San Diego State University. Good Morning, Teaspoon, began as a local underground which first published in October 1966, and was edited by Don Monkerud, Jim Willems, and Jon Gulledge. The new editor, Jim Milligan, published a city-wide paper in February 1968. In the summer of 1968, Good Morning Teaspoon merged with and began being published under the titles Teaspoon and Door and Teaspoon Door for a few issues, before reverting to The San Diego Door. In 1969 the paper became Door to Liberation, and after switching to free distribution in local drop boxes, with a 10,000 copy run, it became the Free Door to Liberation. In May 1970, after 53 issues, the Door was rebooted with a staff shake-up; Dale Herschler left and the remaining staff adopted a gentler, more laid-back and hippie-ish look and feel for the paper. A few months later the San Diego Free Press was launched by students at the University of California at San Diego as a more New Left politically oriented paper in the local underground press.
Reference to the long defunct underground newspaper was most recently made in the Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous. The film is a semi-autobiographical story of Crowe’s early years writing for Rolling Stone magazine. Crowe was something of a young literary phenom writing for popular music industry magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone at a very early age. But before that, he was a contributor to the Door where a clip that he wrote caught the attention of Ben Fong Torres at Rolling Stone. entor, Lester Bangs, also has a connection to the newspaper.
Other San Diego underground papers that dealt with related issues included: the OB People's Rag (food cooperatives and housing), State College Railroad (academic freedom and anti-war), Carpetbagger Express (the Miami Republican Convention in 1972), San Diego Wildcat (labor issues), Inside the Beast (third world-oriented articles), and Sunrise and Goodbye to All That (feminist concerns).
The San Diego Door and others are part of a highly interesting group of newspapers preserved in the San Diego Historical Society’s Archives. The archives contain a series of "underground press" newspapers from the late 1960s.