The Real Paul Jones

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Tales of Beatnik Glory – Charlotte edition

Friends with whom I helped run an underground paper in Charlotte NC in 1968 and 69 will be on the Charlotte Talks show on WFAE tomorrow, Wednesday November 10 at 9 am.

Charlotte Talks says:

The Inquisition
In 1968 a few young men at East Mecklenburg High School began publishing a magazine out of a shed in one of their backyards. They called it The Inquisition and those boys made what some folks say is history. The liberal content of the paper – promoting civil rights, opposing the Vietnam War and more – caught the attention, and the ire of much of Charlotte’s authority figures. What happened next became fodder for legend. It was the first case in America where the free press and the first amendment came in conflict with simple zoning laws. Our guests today argue that the court case involving The Inquisition and its editors help blaze a trail for the entire southern underground press movement. We talk with two of the original editors of The Inquisition and a writer researching their story.

Suzanne Sink – English Instructor, Author of an essay on The Inquisition story
Lynwood Sawyer – Former Editor/Writer, The Inquisition
Russell Schwarz – Former Editor/Writer, The Inquisition


  1. I heard this story on Charlotte Talks today. Great story and story about Jimi Hendrix. I also went to East Meck, so thats cool you all went there too. Just curious, where was the Red Carpet Inn at? I heard him say it was on Independence Blvd. I assume it was near the Coliseum, but the hotels around there dont have that name.

  2. Paul

    11/10/2010 at 9:12 pm

    We’re talking about two different Hendrix concerts. The first, the one where I met Jimi, was really a Monkees concert with Jimi as opening act. That’s told about not on the radio show but earlier in this blog.

    The real Hendrix and Experience concert was later in 1969. This last is the one that Rohn may have recorded and definitely the one at which Rohn did the interview for The Inquisition. On Rohn’s memorial page on Facebook is a picture of Jimi, Rohn and The Red Carpet awning.

    I think whoever said the Inn was on Independence was mistaken. The picture shows some nice trees that would have never been on Independence even in those days. The Inn was at 615 E Morehead S. A more recent report says “The 102-room Red Carpet Inn, built in 1965, was once among the city’s finest hotels, hosting such notables as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bob Hope.” Read more: E. Morehead redevelopment will total $50M | Charlotte Business Journal

  3. Thanks for the response. Yea, I did a little search and saw that their was a Red Carpet inn on Morehead street, but I wasn’t sure if there was one on Independence at that time too. Your’e definitely right, that pic is the one on Morehead street. Cool picture and cool story on your blog. I am a native Charlottean, and I love to learn about the history. I google earthed 615 East Morehead and that motel has been demolished. I think it would have been cool if it was still there, and to visit rooms where they stayed.

  4. My Step-dad was a manager at the Red Carpet Inn. I have an old guest book from those times, as well as pictures of the old Inn. There was an outdoor pool on the second story.

  5. Mike,
    This is very cool. That pool is where I ran into Jimi and Experiencers on their first US tour as The Monkees opening act.

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