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Super-sexy-mini-flower-pop: The surreal & futuristic Afri-Cola ads of the late ‘60s
12.20.2016
10:09 am

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Advertising
Drugs
Television

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In the 1960s, German soft drink Afri-Cola (which first hit the shelves in 1931) was quickly losing to its competitors Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In 1968, the brand started searching for a new marketing campaign in an attempt to regain their image. They hired prolific commercial designer and photographer Charles Wilp from Düsseldorf. The wildly eccentric 36-year-old was rarely seen not wearing his trademark canary yellow jumpsuit and his provocative ideas that knew no creative limits would soon elevate him to a pop star level. 
 
While visiting the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Wilp looked into the “Cryo Chamber,” (a tent where rockets are inspected at below zero temperatures), and through various iced plastic films saw a folding door with the image of a pin-up girl. He began envisioning the playmate floating around the room as if she were a ghost, and this gave birth to his groundbreaking ad concept.
 

 
Approximately 20 deliberately taboo TV spots and print ads with surreal-futuristic images began running all over Germany. These bizarre visuals included attractive nuns wearing makeup and eyeliner, lascivious stewardesses administering transfusions with cola instead of blood, an American soldier with a dove of peace, and a nude mustachioed male (the very first nudity in advertising history) weightlifting a soft drink bottle. Wilp’s risque ads, aimed to make viewers feel intoxicated without the use of drugs, were met with furious protest from ecclesiastical moralists who unintentionally helped the brand achieve exactly what they wanted: Afri-Cola became the cult drink of the flower power generation overnight and sales increased by a remarkable 30 percent.
 
Charles Wilp achieved this success by rejecting ad agency tools such as market research and media planning. Instead, he moved forward with his own strategy based on reversing visual perception. “If, for example, the market researchers say Afri-Cola is for young people, smiling young people should appear on the display. And if the media planners say Afri-Cola is a drink for hot days, then the ad should be in the magazines in the summer. I do the opposite: I photograph Afri-Cola with nuns and connect that with intoxication. I do not take a man with two girls, which would be common, but a girl with two men.” The breakthrough ads featured representatives of all different races, sexes, and levels of social strata.
 

 
Originally, Charles Wilp hired German-based American garage rock band The Monks to record a jingle, he thought their experimental sound and blasphemous image that mimicked the Catholic church would be a perfect fit for the controversial advertising campaign. Unfortunately, his plan didn’t work out. “The musicologists and the CEO couldn’t agree with me and the whole thing failed.” Charles Wilp explained in the 2008 Monks documentary The Transatlanic Feedback. “I performed my Afri-Cola music with 48 strings, 2 oboes, 2 harps, 4 timpani, classical instruments. And I created this ‘unreal’ sound which I always wanted to do and which I could have achieved faster with The Monks. Then I didn’t have to deal with the burden of conventions.” Wilp’s orchestrated Afri-Cola score was released on vinyl as a “super single.”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
‘She Said She Said’: That time the Beatles took LSD at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house
12.19.2016
09:44 am

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Drugs
Music
Television

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Zsa Zsa Gabor, the much-married Hungarian-American actress and socialite (and great aunt of Paris Hilton) passed away yesterday at the age of 99. While she was an entertainer, her life didn’t have any obvious crossover with topics normally pursued on this site, but there was one. She played a not insignificant role in the creation of the Beatles song “She Said She Said”—even if she wasn’t actually aware of it.

As their 1965 U.S. tour wound down, the Beatles had a day off and used it to hang out with some Hollywood friends at a house they were renting from Zsa Zsa for six days. At the very height of Beatlemania and unable to socialize in public, with Gabor’s Spanish villa being besieged by hordes of fans and even paparazzi photographers trying to get shots of them from helicopters, they invited English actress Eleanor Bron over—she had appeared in Help! earlier that year—as well as folk singer Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and the rest of the Byrds, actress Peggy Lipton, and Peter Fonda. The day in question was significant in terms of the Beatles’ transition from mainstream showbiz to more of a counterculture act with a working familiarity with psychedelic drugs. John Lennon and George Harrison used LSD for the second time that day, and it was the first go-round for Ringo Starr. Paul McCartney had used LSD previously, but he chose not to join them that day.

It turned out that George had a really, really bad trip and needed to be talked down by Peter Fonda. George’s problem was that he thought he was about to die. Here’s Fonda’s version of events:
 

I told him there was nothing to be afraid of and that all he needed to do was relax. I said that I knew what it was like to be dead because when I was 10 years old I’d accidentally shot myself in the stomach and my heart stopped beating three times while I was on the operating table because I’d lost so much blood.

John was passing at the time and heard me saying “I know what it’s like to be dead.” He looked at me and said, “You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born. Who put all that shit in your head?”

 

The Beatles in late 1965
 
In the book Lennon Remembers, a 1971 book that features the Beatle’s interviews with Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, John described the day—at the outset he is explaining that the Beatles had little experience with LSD and so didn’t understand the risks that taking it would bring. Among other things they were worried about the presence of a Daily Mirror journalist named Don Short who had also been invited:
 

We still didn’t know anything about doing it in a nice place and cool it and all that, we just took it. And all of a sudden we saw the reporter and we’re thinking, “How do we act normal?” Because we imagined we were acting extraordinary, which we weren’t. We thought, “Surely somebody can see.” We were terrified waiting for him to go, and he wondered why he couldn’t come over, and Neil [Aspinall], who had never had it either, had taken it, and he still had to play road manager. We said, “Go and get rid of Don Short,” and he didn’t know what to do, he just sort of sat with it.

And Peter Fonda came, that was another thing, and he kept on saying, “I know what it’s like to be dead.” We said, “What?” And he kept saying it, and we were saying, “For chrissake, shut up, we don’t care. We don’t want to know.” But he kept going on about it. That’s how I wrote “She Said She Said”....

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Mind-blowing functional glass bongs of Stephen Hawking, Edgar Allan Poe, Die Antwoord & more
12.09.2016
09:45 am

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Amusing
Art
Drugs

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Edgar Allan Poe ‘Raven’ dabbing rig by the incredible glass artist, Rollerghoster.
 
I recently stumbled on a the fantastic Tumblr of glass artist, Rollerghoster and I’m pretty sure that you’ll all agree that the images of his fully-functional glass creations are some of the most incredible party machines you’ve ever seen. There are bongs… and then there are bongs!

The high-end glass drug-doing apparati in this post are called “dabbing rigs” or just “rigs” which, if you’re not familiar with pot culture are used in conjunction with cannabis concentrates like wax and hash oil. The process, known as “dabbing” is sort of a… let’s call it “scientific” way for stoners to get really high off of very little product. While involved, dabbing has become really popular in states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana and cannabis products.

And if you are wondering, yes, Rollerghoster does sell his fully functional works of art here and through his Tumblr where he notifies his 50K + followers of the where and when. Though I will caution you to not get too excited unless your pockets are of the deeper variety as most of Rollerghoster’s creations will run you anywhere from several hundred bucks to more than $10,000 each.
 

Hunter S. Thompson rig.
 

Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein rig’s.
 

Stephen Hawking rig.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Alice Cooper’s Alcohol Cookbook’: The band’s favorite drink recipes as told to CREEM, 1973
12.01.2016
09:38 am

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Drugs
Music

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via Alice Cooper eChive
 
“PUT DOWN those needles and quaaludes, kiddo, and pick up the jug!” So CREEM urged juvenile readers in its June 1973 cover story “Alice Cooper’s Alcohol Cookbook and Timetable for World Conquest.” Today, with our nation blighted by opiate and meth abuse, and our citizens poor in cash but rich in reasons for seeking oblivion, we have to ask: did CREEM have the right prescription?

It wasn’t the best advice to give the nation’s teens; after all, liquor is one of those drugs that can cause people to drop dead, or otherwise fuck up their lives beyond repair. It might even be worse than heroin and crack. (And me with a cupboard full of sauce, but nary a grain of H or C!)

But, you know. What am I, your doctor? I don’t know how anyone reads the morning news without a stiff belt of something or other. Besides, nobody ever looked to America’s most bibulous band for health tips. By ‘73, the late, great Glen Buxton, who contributed four recipes to this cookbook, had already been hospitalized for pancreatitis and forbidden to drink ever again—not the most seductive advertisement for a cold glass of Buxton’s Bomber.

The pages below contain 23 recipes (22 drinks and one hangover remedy) which I have faithfully transcribed. The “Timetable for World Conquest” part of the CREEM feature is available at the Alice Cooper eChive.
 

via Alice Cooper eChive
 

ALICE COOPER

Pinacolada a la Cooper (for six)
10 ounces dark (151 proof) rum
1/6 fresh pineapple, chipped into sections
16 ounces fresh coconut milk
Pour the rum into a bowl. Soak the pineapple into the rum. Pour into blender, adding two more ounces rum. Add coconut milk, then two ounces fresh pineapple juice and one tray ice. Blend until you freeze it. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.

***

Velvet Hammer
1 ounce gin
1 ounce apricot brandy
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 dash Maraschino liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into standard cocktail glass.

***

Royal Setup (for preconcert)
2 ounces Crown Royal
8 ounces coke
1 ice cube
Drink until you feel prepared to face 20,000 screaming teenage maniacs.

More drink recipes from Alice Cooper, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Etchings of Parisian prostitutes and drug addicts portray ‘deadly and delicious passions’
11.21.2016
12:30 pm

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Art
Drugs
Sex

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001lenferchi.jpg
 
Édouard Chimot was an artist, editor and writer whose career burned brightly through the 1920s but fizzled out during the 1930s and forties. His artwork was a last hurrah for the decadent world portrayed (and generally indulged in) by many French artists during the 1890s.

Born in Lille in 1880, Chimot studied at his local art college and at the École des Arts décoratifs in Nice. It’s fair to say, not much is known about Chimot during this period—though it has been posited he may have originally started out as an architect before switching career to becoming an artist. This may explain why he didn’t exhibit until he was in his early thirties in 1912.

His first exhibition featured drawings, etchings and paintings of the “jeunes et jolies femmes”—the prostitutes and drug addicts who worked and lived near his studio in Montmartre. Chimot often paid these women to sit for him—as prostitutes were often cheaper to hire than models especially when paying by the night. He was heavily influenced by the Symbolist movement of the 1860s to 1890s—writers Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Paul Verlaine; artists Félicien Rops and the Post-Impressionist Toulouse Lautrec. The success of his first show gained Chimot his a commission to illustrate René Baudu’s Les Après-midi de Montmartre—a depiction of seedy lowlife in Paris’s 18th arrondissement.

However, Chimot’s career was once again halted this time by a far more deadly and dangerous interlude—the First World War. Chimot served for almost five years in French army. One can only surmise what happened to him during this time. Yet, it may be possible to ascertain something of his grim experience from the comments of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who once wrote that during war he never felt more alive than when in proximity to death. Wittgenstein’s bloody experience led him to some recklessness behavior—volunteering for several near fatal (if not downright suicidal)  missions.

On leaving the trenches, this intense experience led Wittgenstein to a burst of creativity. Something similar undoubtedly happened to Chimot—who produced a large portfolio of drawings and etchings upon quitting the army. This portfolio formed the basis of illustrations published in books—including Les Après-midi de Montmartre.

Most of these artworks were featured in limited edition books—which catered to the tastes of an exceedingly rich clientele. Chimot’s frenzied burst of activity produced his trademark monochromatic erotica of his favored “deadly and delicious passions”—prostitutes, drug addicts and lost young girls. His work tended to romanticize this shabby world of poverty, disease and addiction—but there are moments when his etchings captured some fleeting awareness at the depths of their despair. All that prostitution and skulls without thinking that men might have something to do with it.

Chimot’s career blossomed. He became an editor of Les Éditions d’Art Devambez—responsible for producing fine quality limited editions imprints of such infamous tales as Les Chansons de Bilitis, La Troisième Jeunesse de Madame Prune, Les Belles de Nuit and Mitsou. He also brought together a group of prominent writers and artists like Henri Barbusse, Collette, Pierre Brissaud and Tsuguharu Foujita.

However, his career came quickly unstuck by two very different forces—the major advances in art (Cubism, Fauvism, Dada, Surrealism and Abstraction) and most damagingly the Wall Street Crash which overnight killed off the demand for high-end exclusive erotica. Chimot carried on—but never to the same success. He moved to Spain where he produced artworks that now looked sadly dated, trite and often the kind of representations seen on sailor’s tattoos or low rent pulp magazines. The glory days of Chimot’s best work were over—the early 1920s when he produced some of the most memorable and haunting images for works of decadent literature.
 
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More of Chimot’s decadent art, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
You need to fail a breathalyzer to enter Amsterdam’s Hangover Bar
11.18.2016
09:35 am

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Drugs

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Late night revelers in Amsterdam now have a destination for recovery for those painful mornings after—if not afternoons after. It’s probably good news that it’s the invention of a mattress entrepreneur. The appropriately named Hangover Bar provides a soothing environment where visitors are encouraged to lounge around and take it easy, but they’re serious about their mandate. Not just anyone can visit the Hangover Bar—you have to fail a breathalyzer test on the way in to prove that you still have alcohol in your system.

The Hangover Bar is the brainchild of a popular Dutch mattress company called Matt Sleeps, so the target audience understands exactly what is meant by its slogan “Dance all night, Matt all day.” The bar is open every Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The space has plenty of calming greenery as well as several comfy beds to choose from—each outfitted with a Matt mattress, of course. Every bed has a TV so you can binge-watch You’re the Worst (for some reason that seems the most appropriate show for this place) but instead of being isolated, you can socialize while you recover. The Hangover Bar also offers an oxygen bar and massage therapy.
 

 
The promotional video for Hangover Bar lays out eight essential components (or options, at least) of a successful hangover experience:
 

refreshing environment
hydration
comfy Matt bed
favourite movie
vitamines [sic]
games
fresh oxygen
hangover food

 
In the video, “hangover food” is defined as sushi and pizza. I don’t know how serious they are about the breathalyzer, but the video does show someone hitting .65 on it.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Abbie Hoffman’s mournful musings on watching Janis Joplin shoot up
11.17.2016
09:33 am

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Activism
Books
Drugs
Music
Politics

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Abbie Hoffman’s 1969 Woodstock Nation is an essential read for students of the intersections of rock music and politics. Hoffman wrote it in 1969 while he was awaiting the Chicago Eight conspiracy trial in which he was a co-defendant for inciting the 1968 Chicago DNC riots, and it’s a stream-of-semiconsciousness musing on the state of American youth culture, specifically as of the massive and zeitgeist-altering Woodstock music festival.

That festival was famously full of bummers—rain, the brown acid, goddamned Sha Na Na—and Hoffman himself was one of them, too. He worked hard to establish a “Movement City” on the Bethel, NY concert site, intending to try to radicalize concertgoers. But the tent was so far from the stage as to seem to marginalize politics from the festival. Hoffman, in protest, famously took the stage during The Who’s set to scold the audience for having fun while John Sinclair rotted in jail for having two joints. (In fairness there were probably way more than two joints worth of weed per audience member on that site so he maybe kinda had a point, though he was inarguably a peevish dick about making it. Also, interrupting THE WHO for fuck’s sake seems a poor way to win converts.) Just as famous as Hoffman’s tirade was Who guitarist Pete Townshend’s unequivocally disapproving removal of Hoffman from the stage—by swatting him off with his guitar. That move alone earned a huge swell of applause.

Hoffman targets Townshend in one of Woodstock Nation’s more memorable passages, but what concerns us today comes from “The Head Withers as the Body Grows,” an epilogue Hoffman wrote especially for the 1971 Pocketbooks reprint of the book. Excerpts from it were reproduced in the October 1971 issue of Circus under the provocative title “Woodstock: a Tin Pan Alley Rip Off,” and they offer a poignant view of Hoffman’s disillusionment about the failure of the revolution, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and the ascension to complacent millionaire stardom of most of the other important rockers. And the article opens with a terribly sad, elegiac passage about watching Joplin shoot heroin, and what her death would mean, not to music, but to the music business.
 

 

Somewhere deep inside the bowels of the monster born in Bethel also lay the kernel for its destruction. Perhaps it was the egocentric greed of the Rock Empire itself. Maybe it was the strain of cannibalism inherited from our parents and exaggerated when cramped into railroad flats in the slums or on muddy shoes in front of the gargantuan stages. The rapes, the bad acid burns, stealing from each other, they, too, were part of the Woodstock experience, if not the Nation. Smack and speed didn’t help. “Shooting up” is more than just a casual expression. It is symbolic of the suicidal death trip, the frustration, the despair. It is another way to bring the apocalypse a little closer.

Janis was the heroine of the Woodstock Nation. Bold and sassy, her energy could ignite millions. I saw her perform all over the country. In the funky old Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, in the Fillmores West and East, on TV, backstage where she would line up a row of twenty studs, in the Chelsea Hotel bar and on the street. She used to drop into our place at all sorts of weird hours when we lived around the corner from the Fillmore East. She was the only person I ever saw use a needle. When she popped in a load and pulled out the works, she’d cluck her tongue making a sucking noise and her face would break out into a shit-eatin grin. The very thought of it makes me shiver. You couldn’t know Janis without knowing her death was near and you couldn’t know the Rock Empire without knowing her death would mean a bundle to the horde of enterprising vultures who choose to pick at the corpse.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Nostalgic glass bongs for people of a certain age
11.14.2016
10:11 am

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Amusing
Art
Drugs

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It’s not like these are the most beautiful bongs my eyes have ever laid on, but I do however, find them dumbly hilarious in a nostalgic way. When I saw the MTV-themed Beavis and Butt-Head bongs I certainly did laugh out loud. They’re ridiculous. The bongs are by an artist named John de Fazio.

The Ren & Stimpy bongs are good, but I much prefer the craftsmanship of the Beavis and Butt-Head ones.

There are no prices for the bongs. I’m not even sure if they’re for sale.


 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Pot Brownies’: Texas lawyers’ country song about insane drug laws is actually really awesome!
11.10.2016
10:30 am

Topics:
Crime
Drugs
Music
U.S.A.!!!

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The Waco, TX law firm of Hutson & Harris is a diverse practice, covering personal injury & wrongful death, criminal law, probate, family law, and even immigration (immigration law in Texas must be a lively gig even without the wall we’re TOTALLY GONNA BUILD, HE PROMISED), but their true distinguishing mark is that Will Hutson and Chris Harris are country singers who give legal advice in song on their YouTube channel.

It sounds like this could be highly goofy, but they’re no joke—Hutson & Harris sing and harmonize together very well, and their songs are highly informative, too! For example, here’s a thing I never would have guessed: in Texas, marijuana edibles are considered marijuana for purposes of weight. Since felony possession is 4 ounces (according to NORML), a half dozen pot brownies equals a jail sentence and a ten thousand dollar fine irrespective of how much pot is in the brownies. That Texas penal codes can be draconian is sufficiently well-known that it’s a national punch-line, but putting people away for narcotics felonies based on the weight of flour, cocoa, and eggs is goddamn crazy.

Hutson & Harris have a song about it. Wanna hear it? Here it goes:
 

 
They have songs about other subjects as well, including how not to talk to an insurance company, and an actually totally awesome parody of Waylon Jennings’ “Amanda” called “Miranda.” But they have enough material covering marijuana laws to prompt wonder if they themselves don’t, um, partake from time to time themselves?

After the jump, enjoy the virally popular “Don’t Eat Your Weed”

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Dispatches from the edge of the toilet bowl: Hunter S. Thompson’s deranged ‘hangover cure’
11.07.2016
12:15 pm

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Amusing
Drugs
Heroes

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Since this is a “hangover cure” prescribed by the good Dr. Hunter S. Thompson I wouldn’t get too excited about it actually working, much less the notion that you’d actually survive the experience of taking Thompson up on his extreme advice on how to rid yourself of a hangover.

In this hand-scrawled letter from Thompson (penned on his Thompson’s own Rolling Stone Magazine “National Correspondent” letterhead) to then-Playboy editor David Butler, Thompson reveals his terrifyingly gonzo solution for ridding yourself of a hangover. Thompson was on assignment for the magazine tasked with writing an article about a fishing competition in Cozumel, Mexico which would become The Great Shark Hunt. In the event that you’re suffering from a hangover right now, I’ve transcribed Thompson’s dubious instructions below. Which in no way should be considered an endorsement of the good doctor’s advice:

P.S.—inre: Qui’s request for “my hangover cure”—it’s 12 Amyl Nitrates (one box), in conjunction with as many beers as necessary. OK H

I’ve had my fair share of hangovers and if you have too then you know how horrible they are, and that while suffering through a particular bad one that you’d consider selling your first-born if it meant this would relieve your self-inflicted symptoms. While there’s really no cure for a hangover (I’m looking at you delicious Bloody Mary) outside of not drinking alcohol I’m here to tell you that the only person who probably ever followed Thompson’s advice is likely no longer with us. Much like the thrill-seeking journalist himself. An image of Thompson’s “prescription” follows.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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