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This is what over $350 million worth of cocaine disguised as wooden shipping pallets looks like
12.14.2015
10:47 am

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Amusing
Crime
Drugs

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I kinda find this ingenious, brilliant and funny all the at the same time: About £240m (or roughly $363,495,600) of compressed cocaine disguised as wooden pallets and bags of coal was seized by the Spanish National Police at the Port of Valencia in Spain on November 30.

The international operation has led to 11 arrests, the seizure of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine and the shutdown of an industrial-sized drug production lab.

~snip

The authorities suspect the group used a charcoal company in Spain as a front to import the cocaine and hide a lab where the drug was extracted from pallets and charcoal, processed and repackaged for distribution across Europe.

Apparently the smugglers used glue and moulds to make the cocaine look like pallets and charcoal.

“To make the cocaine look like wooden pallets they have dissolved the white cocaine powder with a solvent or glue,” said forensic scientist Richard Hooker, of Allen Morgan Associates.

“It has then been placed into moulds shaped like pallets to set.

“When the resin dries out it then solidifies. If you mix it with a dye it then gives the wood effect and gives the appearance of dark wood.

“Once the dealers get it they can then re-dissolve it and reverse the process to extract the cocaine.

“The same process can also be used to make it look like pieces of charcoal by using charcoal powder.”

That doesn’t really seem like something you’d want to put up yer nose, does it?


 

 

 
Watch the video, below:

 
via Telegraph and h/t Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Too dumb to make up: 73-year-old man snorts coke while police officer runs his driver’s license!
12.10.2015
01:00 pm

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Amusing
Drugs

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In this truly ridiculous—and yet truly true—holiday PSA from the Seattle Police Department, a 73-year-old man who was stopped by a patrolman for not having his headlights on panics and does something incredibly stupid.

When I watched this, I was as incredulous as the utterly stupefied arresting officer was when it happened. He can’t believe what transpires. Neither will you. There’s dumb and then there is DUMB. The motorist is a 73-year-old WHITE GUY, too. All he had to do was sit there and not… well… do what he did!

From the SPD’s blog:

Officer Nic Abts-Olsen was patrolling in the Colman neighborhood near Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Massachusetts around 8:30 PM when a man in a silver Toyota drove past him with his headlights off.

After pulling over the 73-year-old man, Officer Abts-Olsen checked his license and registration, and walked back to the Toyota, where he saw the driver portioning out a scoop of cocaine from a small glass vial.

When officer Abts-Olsen knocked on the driver’s car window, he apparently startled the man, leading him to spill cocaine all over his hands and the floor of his vehicle.

“Are you kidding?” Officer Abts-Olsen asked the man, who quickly tried to brush away the white powder. The man initially denied having any cocaine, though he admitted he had “vitamins” in his possession. Finally, the man relented, complimented Officer Abts-Olsen on his keen detection skills and admitted that snorting cocaine in the middle of a traffic stop was, perhaps, a poor decision. Officer Abts-Olsen also informed the man he had only intended to issue him a warning, due to his clean driving record, until the cocaine came out.

The head-shakingly bizarre encounter was captured on the patrol car’s in-car video system, and within a few days was turned into one of the best viral holiday “drive safely” spots that you will ever see.

Moral of this story? Don’t snort coke while a cop is running your license!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Genetic researchers reveal how Ozzy Osbourne managed to survive 40 years of sex, drugs and booze
12.03.2015
08:52 am

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Amusing
Drugs
Heroes

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Ozzy and his former BFF, a cocaine spoon
Ozzy and his former BFF, a coke spoon

Let’s face it, Ozzy Osbourne, the former and now again lead vocalist of Black Sabbath, leader of the Blizzard of Oz, author and one of reality television’s first stars, is a survivor.

For over forty years, Osbourne has battled drug and alcohol addiction. He would routinely consume four bottles of Hennessy a day and instead of eating, Ozzy snorted cocaine for breakfast. After almost being killed crashing his ATV in 2003, Ozzy spent eight days in a coma and when he miraculously awoke, was left with but a fractured vertebrae, eight fractured ribs, a partially collapsed lung and a badly fractured left collarbone. In stark contrast, he emerged from his tour bus virtually unscathed on March 19th, 1982 after a plane carrying Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads (who was killed), crashed into the bus, setting it aflame. To say nothing of the time that Ozz bit the head off of a live bat onstage that same year. According to the CDC, rabies kills somebody every nine minutes worldwide. Unless your name is Ozzy Osbourne, of course.
 
Ozzy Osbourne proving you can't kill rock and roll
 
Back in 2010, Ozzy became one of a small number of people in the entire world to have their genetic code broken down and analyzed. The researcher in charge of the project referred to Osbourne as a “medical miracle” and after a genetic review of a blood sample that was obtained from Osbourne, some of the results, while revealing, make a lot of sense. Here’s the breakdown:

Ozzy is 6.13 times more likely than the average person to have alcohol dependency or alcohol cravings; 1.31 times more likely to have a cocaine addiction; and 2.6 times more likely to have hallucinations caused by cannabis use.

 
Ozzy and Lemmy the last of the real rock and roll motherfuckers
Ozzy and his partner-in-crime, Lemmy Kilmister

While the revelation that Ozzy has a natural propensity to party out of bounds a bit more than the rest of us do isn’t all that shocking, there were some fascinating factoids that came to light thanks to the genome study. It turns out that Ozzy’s ADH4 gene (which is responsible for breaking down alcohol) is able to break down booze much quicker than the average person. You know, like his little pal Lemmy Kilmister.

In addition to that was the finding that Ozzy also has two versions of the COMT gene (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) known also as the “warrior” and “worrier” - an enzyme that deteriorates dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. What all this means is that in addition to his weakness for booze and drugs, other functions such as awareness, planning, organization, self-awareness, and of all things self-regulation are super heightened in Ozzy. If that’s not enough for you, the study confirmed that Osbourne is a distant relative of The Late Show host, Stephen Colbert and also shares DNA with Neanderthals which is actually quite common for Europeans. Now that’s what I call a real Iron Man.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘The Inner Scar’: Velvet Underground singer Nico stars in obscure, pretentious French art film, 1972
11.19.2015
09:53 am

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Drugs
Movies
Music

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Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico and French avant-garde film director Philippe Garrel had a decade long romantic relationship between 1969 and 1979. Garrel, acclaimed in his youth as being a sort of cinematic Rimbaud, was much admired by Jean-Luc Godard, but is almost completely unknown in the English-speaking world. Nico appeared in seven of his films and sometimes gave him music for them that has not been heard elsewhere. Stills from Garrel’s films appeared on the covers of her Desertshore and The End albums, which show how interested she was in promoting his work. Garrel made his own clothes at the time and began dressing Nico, encouraging her to dye her hair crimson and cut her bangs. Their most significant and fully-realized collaboration was La Cicatrice Intérieure (or “The Inner Scar”), made in 1972 when Garrel was only 22.

During their relationship, the pair became hardcore heroin addicts, resorting to petty thievery from friends and acquaintances to support their habits. According to Richard Witts’ biography, Nico: The Life & Lies of an Icon, their Paris apartment was a “garret” that lacked gas, electricity, hot water, furniture and housed a gargantuan mountain of cigarette butts. The entire apartment was covered in two coats of glossy black enamel paint. Their bed, apparently, was Garrel’s overcoat.
 

 
To call Philippe Garrel’s films “tedious” and “self-indulgent” is a bit of an understatement. They’re preposterously tedious and self-indulgent—I believe the Monty Python “French Subtitled Film” sketch was directly inspired by Garrel’s work—but no more so than Matthew Barney’s movies, if you ask me.  About half of her Desertshore album (and one otherwise unreleased song, the mind-blowing “König,” see below) is used as the film’s soundtrack. (This again seems worth comparing to Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9, a collaboration with his wife, Bjork, herself a big Nico fan.)
 

 
To some, Garrel, who is still making films today, is an underrated visionary genius whose work must be seen in the cinema to be fully appreciated (for years the director refused to release his films on DVD). To them he is revered as some cinephiles worship John Cassavetes. To others, his films (the ones made during his relationship with Nico at least) look like what two junkies with a camera and the financial backing of a French heiress might get up to…
 

 
La Cicatrice Intérieure‘s dialogue, mostly made up right before they’d shoot it, by Nico, consists of existential bitching, basically, as the pair walk around in barren, yet gorgeous landscapes shot in Sinai, Death Valley and Iceland. Garrel uses LONG simple linear tracking shots with minimal editing during scenes. Visually, the film is quite stunning—again think Matthew Barney—but the director forbade subtitles so unless you speak French and German, at a few places you’re bound to be confused. (A Japanese DVD with subtitles popped up in 2005).
 

 
Nico does most of the speaking in La Cicatrice Intérieure, moaning throughout the film in her humorless, stentorian voice, at times coming off like some sort of prophetess of doom. As the Time Out reviewer said of the film when it was released in 1972: “You need a bloody big spliff to enjoy this. A miserable couple who you would not wish to meet at a party [Garrel, Nico] are joined by a naked weirdo [Pierre Clémenti, best-known for his role as the gangster lover of Catherine Deneuve’s prostitute in Buñuel’s Belle de jour] with a bow and arrow and a desire to set everything on fire. That’s about it, frankly, unless I fell asleep, which is likely.”

Nico described the film like so:

“[It’s] an important film, a great film. It concerns the fragility of life. The film treats the story of a lunatic who starts to kill all of his sheep. It is not clear if he is a shepherd or a prince. He has no identity until I show up [of course!]. I am a queen on a journey. A queen finds a kingdom wherever she goes. There are more songs than dialogue in the film which I think is a good idea [of course!].

In the case of La Cicatrice Intérieure, she’s probably right about that, and although the film does have its perplexing, often gorgeous, merits, as our own Marc Campbell put it, La Cicatrice Intérieure is “a gorgeous looking folly that, despite its abundant tracking shots, is so inert it makes L’Avventura look like The Fast And The Furious.” La Cicatrice Intérieure is now in the public domain and there is even an HD version of it floating around on the torrent trackers that elevates the viewing experience quite a bit and is worth finding (Hint, looky here). Yet another fine example of an absolutely M.I.A. film that you can see today without even getting up from your seat. La Cicatrice Intérieure was once the litmus test for obscure, nearly impossible to see movies, but there’s even a quite good version of the film on YouTube (see last video).
 

 
“My Only Child” and “All That Is My Own” are heard in the following two sequences. The child is Nico’s son, Ari Boulogne. Note how the camera moves constantly.
 

 
Continues after la jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Incredible timelapse footage of marijuana plants
11.17.2015
11:27 am

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Drugs

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If you are a cannabis aficionado, getting to visit a properly set-up marijuana “grow room” is an extra special treat.

The first time I ever got to see a fairly large pot grow in the flesh was about eleven years ago in Humboldt County. To say that it was out in the boondocks is an understatement. There were nearly no stop signs, let alone traffic lights (or any signs of electricity for that matter) for at least the last 30 minutes of the journey in the flatlands even before we began the uphill leg of the trip. It was the scariest time that I have ever spent in a car—in this case a big Ford Explorer—and the muddy dirt road was littered with the corpses of cars that had not made it over the years, and that had simply been left there. I mean this was scary.

When we arrived at the top of the mountain we were scaling, almost vertically it felt like, we got out to stretch our legs, pee and unlock the gate. I remarked that I felt like I needed a joint the size of my arm to calm my nerves, whereupon my host informed me that we’d yet to begin the second and far more perilous component of our journey. You know how you can be a total atheist, but pussy out and pray when you’re really sweating it? That was me that night and I DID smoke a joint the size of my arm when we arrived, you’d better bet I did!

At the top of this desolate mountain was a small, but nicely appointed ranch house. HOW they would have ever gotten heavy machinery and bulldozers up there to construct this place was beyond me. Maybe they’d been airdropped? Who knew, but the operation ran on several electrical generators and the house had its own septic tank. I have no idea where the water came from or how it got there. A sizable plot of pot plants were growing outdoors, but these were cleverly covered from the view of any DEA helicopters by trees. In the basement were two varieties of pot growing under lights that I have never seen anywhere else. One was called “Blue Dragon” and it was cobalt blue and smoked like it was a candy-flavored vapor. Another was apparently a Chinese strain that was dark green and dark red, like Swiss chard meets a Venus Fly Trap. (Sadly I didn’t get to try any of this exotic strain).

And the smell! Imagine being in a greenhouse full of… flowers. A treat for the senses. Like honeysuckle, but it’s pot! Sometime in the near future, such a blissful botanical experience should be easier to have, sans all the driving up slippery, muddy dangerous roads and paranoia. You know how wine enthusiasts want to go to Northern California to visit the grape orchards and vinters’ operations? Colorado has the right idea with their “pot tourism.” It’s a blast, and sorry Holland, but the American states that have legal or medical marijuana are simply 100x times better than your dinky little coffee shops.

In any case, until that day, here’s something that simulates the experience of visiting a grow room somewhat—minus the olfactory part—a time-lapse video of the marijuana plant’s growth cycle, from sprouts to heavily crystallized goodness...
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gas & Grass (forget the ass for now)
11.09.2015
02:00 pm

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Drugs
Unorthodox

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There used to be a famous bumper sticker in the 1970s that warned would-be hitchhikers that they were expected to pay for their lifts with “Gas, Grass or Ass, No One Rides for Free.” It was a familiar sight, normally festooned on a VW bus:


 
A new business that’s opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado called “Gas & Grass” is aiming to satisfy at least two of these requirements (Can you guess which two?).

The “Gas and Grass” gas station is located adjacent to a Native Roots medical marijuana dispensary, although they have separate entrances as state law will not allow pot shops to sell non-marijuana products. Medical marijuana patients shopping at the dispensary will get discounted gasoline, similar to a rewards program with a 5 cent reduction in the per gallon price of gasoline. Upon registering with the Native Roots collective, the new patient will also receive a one time free full tank of gas.


 
At first blush this seemed a bit nutty to me, from a “public relations” perspective, certainly, but the fact of the matter is that most gas stations these days at least sell beer, if not hard alcohol. If I had to chose, I’d much rather face someone high coming at me down a country road than someone drunk, any day. Hell, I’m more against people hopped up on Starbucks coffee getting behind the wheel of a car than those who are mellowed out on weed. Why not sell pot? And why not try to appeal to the pothead who might need to pick up a gram of hash oil and a gallon of milk and gas up on the way home? Chances are there are quite a few folks who might like to do all of their errands in one place like this. I’d personally patronize such an establishment. If their rewards program was commensurate with my pot consumption, I’d have free gas for life.
 

 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Ghost on the Highway’: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club
11.06.2015
02:12 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Music
Punk
R.I.P.

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Ghost on the Highway: A Portrait of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club, directors Andrew Powell and Kurt Voss’s 2006 documentary about the legendary Los Angeles-born punk blues singer has no footage of Gun Club actually playing music, in fact it has no actual Gun Club music in it whatsoever and precious little footage of its subject.

One can surmise that Pierce’s family decided not to participate with Powell and Voss’s movie bio and the filmmakers were left to put together this “feature-length” documentary with just talking head interviews with former Gun Club members Kid Congo Powers, Ward Dotson, Terry Graham, Jim Duckworth and Dee Pop along with Henry Rollins, Lemmy, John Doe and Pleasant Gehman. Because that’s all it is, basically. Under different circumstances, it would have no doubt been a better film.

ON THE OTHER HAND, I’ve watched this 75-minute old movie twice and if you are a fan of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and the Gun Club, this modest film is a must. Obviously there is a lot of “myth” that’s grown around the person of Jeffrey Lee, who died at the age of 37 from a brain haemorrhage in 1996 and although this is more of an “oral history” than a documentary per se, it gets to the heart of the truth about the real Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who by turns is described as brilliant, tortured, loveable but mostly just as a complete and utter asshole and colossal, detestable fuckup junkie and drunk.

Although little of what the viewer learns about the life and times of Jeffrey Lee Pierce in Ghost on the Highway is particularly, er, complimentary, it didn’t really change my feelings about the man one iota. Anyone who knows anything about him knows where the story arc trends after the commercial break in this low budget Behind the Music, so it comes as zero surprise how many people thought the guy was a punk. Clearly he was an asshole, but he was also a great artist who made transcendent music. I only ever saw him from standing in the audience, so he gets a pass from me.
 

 
After the jump, a ‘Mother Juno’-era Gun Club set shot in Los Angeles in 1988…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Comedians on Acid: Hippie madness at the end of the 60s
11.04.2015
01:45 pm

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Drugs

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Last week we posted our interview with Kliph Nesteroff about his marvelous new book The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy, which is now available for purchase.

It’s a winner, folks. Simply put, Kliph has carved out an area of research and made it almost entirely his own—I refer to the development of the world of professional stand-up comedy in the decades before Richard Pryor, George Carlin, or even Lenny Bruce. (Not to worry, he also covers everything up to Louis CK too.) Kliph has made it his business to acquaint himself personally with many of the surviving old-school stand ups from the 1950s and also with the bounties of Variety’s archives.

The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy is about the Chitlin Circuit and vaudeville and the Mob and drugs and everything else, in other words, the seamy underbelly of the comedy world. This book will be a staple of comedy book lists for decades to come and is a must for every comedy nerd.

Here’s an exclusive exceprt from The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy.

Chapter Nine: Hippie Madness at Decade’s End

Marijuana and LSD were huge influences on comedy at the end of the 1960s. It was not uncommon for talk show guests to show up high. George Carlin said he took “a perverse delight in knowing that I never did a television show without being stoned.” Paul Krassner dropped acid before a Tonight Show appearance with guest host Orson Bean. Krassner was immersed in his trip when he walked through the curtain. “I kept staring at Ed McMahon because his face was melting into his chest. Orson asked me, ‘Have you taken LSD?’ He meant in a general sense, but I had this thought, ‘Oh, no, he can tell!’”

Phyllis Diller encapsulated the older generation’s ignorance of counterculture elements when a reporter asked her if she would remarry. She responded, “What kind of LSD have you been smoking?” Such cluelessness was common as Hollywood’s gatekeepers struggled to relate to the new hippie demographic. Television shows like Dragnet and My Three Sons portrayed counterculture protestors as morons. Carl Reiner’s son Rob was cast in several sitcoms play-ing such roles. “I did three Gomer Pyles, played a hippie in a couple of them. Did a Beverly Hillbillies, played a hippie in that. I was like the resident Hollywood hippie at the time. I had long hair and they needed somebody. In one of the Gomer Pyle episodes I actually sang ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ with Gomer.”
 

 
Veteran filmmaker Otto Preminger gave LSD the Hollywood treatment in 1968 with a motion picture called Skidoo. Preminger contacted Rob Reiner to help write dialogue for the hippie characters in his film. “Preminger was a very interesting, liberal guy and he took acid early on,” says Carl Gottlieb. “He wanted to meet The Committee. So we all trooped down to his offices with Rob Reiner.” Reiner said, “I went in and turned out some pages for hippies so that they would say ‘groovy’ in the right place.”

Groucho Marx was cast in Skidoo as an LSD dealer named God. It was surprising he agreed to it, as he was contemptuous of the new social mores (“That Midnight Cowboy. It’s about a stud and a pimp. I hated that movie”). Marx may have hated the counterculture, but he was hip to many of its elements. He subscribed to Paul Krassner’s paper The Realist, which featured articles about the drug culture. Krassner says, “Groucho was concerned about the script of Skidoo because it pretty much advocated LSD, which he had never tried but he was curious. Moreover, he felt a certain responsibility to his young audience not to steer them wrong, so could I possibly get him some pure stuff and would I care to accompany him on a trip.”

Groucho Marx high on LSD? Some who knew Groucho question the story. “It’s a fucking lie,” says producer George Schlatter. “Groucho never took acid. He didn’t need acid. Everyone else needed acid!” Carl Gottlieb agrees. “I doubt that story, because my contact with Groucho was around the same time. He was pretty infirm. The acid that was around in those days was the Owsley acid—Windowpane. It was brain-breaking.”

“Well, that was the reason Groucho asked me,” Krassner responds. “I have a letter from Lionel Olay, a popular magazine writer. He had interviewed Groucho and Groucho told him he was very curious about LSD. He read The Realist and about my taking trips. Bill Targ, my editor at Putnam, was a friend of Groucho. The writer of the movie Skidoo, Bill Cannon, introduced me to him. Groucho and I had lunch. He asked me if I could get him some LSD. Groucho was not going to go around boasting about this. It was just to prepare for the movie Skidoo. I accompanied him on his trip. We used the home of an actress in Beverly Hills. Phil Ochs drove me there. It was Owsley acid. Three hundred micrograms.”

Skidoo entered production with a cast that seemed plucked from Hollywood Squares. It included Frankie Avalon, Carol Channing, Frank Gorshin, Peter Lawford, Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney, Arnold Stang and Jackie Gleason. It had a soundtrack by Harry Nilsson and an unforgettable scene in which Gleason, high on psychedelics, is haunted by the disembodied head of Groucho Marx.

Robert Evans, the head of Paramount, was not happy with it. “It was a zero on every level,” said Evans after the screening. “The guy [Preminger] cost us a fuckin’ fortune. His new entry belongs in the sewer, not on the screen. He’s such a prick; he gets his nuts off seeing us sink.”
 

Cheech and Chong’s best-selling ‘Big Bambu’ album came with a gigantic rolling paper. For obvious reasons, these rolling papers are rare today…

Several comedians considered their psychedelic trips important, life-changing experiences. “Pot fueled Cheech & Chong during our heyday,” said Tommy Chong. “Pot and to some extent acid. It had changed our world and it put me on a path to artistic and financial success. The spiritual effects and the revelations never leave. The secrets that LSD revealed to me changed my life forever.”

George Carlin felt the same. “I know exactly when I first did acid—it was in October 1969 while I was playing a major, now long-defunct jazz club in Chicago called Mister Kelly’s. Next to my [note-book] record of that booking, which was otherwise uneventful, is written in a trembling hand the word ‘acid.’ Actually in the course of a two-week gig I did acid multiple times, maybe five, maybe ten. Fuck the drug war. Dropping acid was a profound turning point for me, a seminal experience. I make no apologies for it. More people should do acid.”

Chris Rush was another comedian who came into being with the counterculture. Psychedelics informed his act. “When I took lysergic acid diethylamide I started rapping comedy: full, polished conceptual chunks. It just flowed through me, and I was a stream-of-consciousness comedian. I started doing it for fun in loft buildings and I started doing some clubs. This guy Mark Meyers from Atlantic Records came to see me. He said, ‘This guy talks like George Carlin.’ Bingo, I had a record deal.” His album First Rush sold half a million copies in the early 1970s, mostly to pot-smoking college kids. “They’d get high with twenty of their friends and put the album on.”

Comedy and the counterculture coupled with the new technology of FM radio. During the early 1960s FM radio was mostly used to simulcast aurally superior versions of AM sister stations. In 1967 the FCC passed an ordinance that ended such simulcasts. It forced FM to devise original programming. In order to fill mass spaces of airtime in a pinch, young disc jockeys turned to playing entire sides of LPs rather than just one song. Soon FM was a place where hippie rawkers and their long jams received maximum exposure. Likewise, comedians who aligned themselves with the counterculture found entire sides of their comedy records being played on FM. College-aged kids tuning in to hear their favorite hippie music were turned on to the comedians being played on the same stations—and those comics saw their ticket sales increase enormously.
 

 
Amid the FM scene emerged an audio comedy troupe called the Firesign Theatre. Phil Austin, David Ossman, Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman met at the newly minted Los Angeles FM station KPFK. They worked in various executive positions and eventually left for KRLA and improvised drug-influenced comedy on the show Radio Free Oz. Surf music producer and KRLA employee Gary Usher used his industry connections to secure the boys a deal with Columbia Records. “I’d see The Byrds at Columbia Studios when we were all recording,” said Phil Proctor. “We didn’t realize how much history we were observing or even making. There was very easy access. People were very friendly and the music brought everybody together. Pot brought everybody together. It was a very sociable scene, you know, hot and cold running girls all the time…We were using the Columbia studio where The Byrds recorded, [but] also the radio studio where Fred Allen had been.”

The Firesign Theatre, George Carlin and Cheech & Chong owed their vast success to FM. The radio stations were listened to by thousands of impressionable college students. “FM radio helped expose the records, and that led to our ability to headline shows on college campuses,” said Proctor. “We were asked to go on the road with the Maharishi.”

Comedian Jimmie Walker says FM radio was a platform for comedians who never would have been accepted in traditional circles. “They would never have gotten on Carson or anything like that. Lou Adler from A&M Records came up with these guys from Vancouver—Cheech & Chong. There was a new thing called FM and Lou said, ‘I’m going to make an album with these guys.’ These guys started selling out colleges, and we were stunned. Nobody was doing that. FM changed everything. It changed the face of comedy.”

Jack Margolis, a comedy writer who once wrote for Jay Ward cartoons, composed the seminal counterculture comedy record of the time. A Child’s Garden of Grass was based on his satirical paperback of the same name, the first in-depth comedic look at the effects of marijuana. Released by Elektra, the same label that had Jim Morrison and the Doors, A Child’s Garden of Grass had its advertising turned down by every major magazine, was denied a spot on the shelves of Wallichs Music City in Hollywood and was banned in Washington State. An FCC ruling that forbade “drug lyrics” kept program managers from playing it. Despite the kibosh, it sold four hundred thousand copies. Its only real advertising came from a large billboard on Sunset Boulevard across from the Whisky a Go Go. It is impossible to calculate the number of joints that were rolled on its gatefold surface.
 

 
The longhairs dominated radio. Cinema was maturing rapidly. Battles against censorship were being won on both literary and nightclub fronts. But television, beyond its odd spontaneous talk show moment, appeared unaffected by the times. “There was a real revolution happening in other media,” said comedy writer Rosie Shuster. “There were all these Jack Nicholson movies coming out that reflected that sensibility of the sixties. In music there was Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, the Stones and the Beatles. But television was still stuck in some time warp that was more like the fifties.

”Comedians appearing on The Tonight Show still had to adhere to a traditional dress code. “For a long time the rule on Johnny Carson was tie and jacket,” says Robert Klein. “I came on without one once and Johnny didn’t say anything, but it came down through [Tonight Show producer] Freddy de Cordova: ‘Tie and jacket!’ ”

THE COMEDIANS copyright © 2015 by Kliph Nesteroff; used with the permission of the publisher, Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Below, the extended trailer for Otto Preminger’s ‘Skidoo’ featuring Dr. Timothy Leary, Sammy Davis Jr. and more…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Elvis Presley drug paraphernalia up for auction
11.04.2015
08:52 am

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

Tags:


 
Julien’s calls itself “The Auction House to the Stars,” and not without reason—an auction they’re holding this week, “Icons and Idols 2015: Rock n’ Roll,” features a metric shitload of guitars, amps, and even a couple of autoharps owned by Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Jim Morrisson’s Tallahassee mug shot, Michael Jackson memorabilia that includes his fang mold from the “Thriller” video, a Jimi Hendrix rehearsal cassette, and even handwritten song lyrics by Johnny Cash (about those last two THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING UP YOU GUYS I’M JUST SAYIN’).

But nothing in the auction, however badass, has anything like the lurid appeal of some of the Elvis Presley lots. There’s one of Elvis’ Cadillacs. There’s a gold-leaf piano. Bafflingly, there’s even a Chai necklace. Pretty sure The King wasn’t Jewish, but hey, I’m sure he’d be welcome in the tribe. There’s a lot of great Elvis stuff on the block at Julien’s for the discerning 1%er who has it all. but the real winners here are his drug paraphernalia.

Sadly, his notorious final prescription (reproduced on the back cover of Death of Samantha’s Laughing In The Face Of A Dead Man EP, I’m compelled to mention) is not among the lots offered for bidding here, but there IS a prescription written by Elvis’ infamous personal physician George “Dr. Nick” Nichopoulos, for the muscle relaxer Maolate.
 

Lot 127

There are two pill bottles here, too—empty, smartass—one for Valium, one for the antihistamine Naldecon. In 2007, an Elvis Naldecon bottle sold for $2,640. This one’s expected to go for $4,000—$6,000.
 

Lot 128
 

Lot 129

Finally, if you have the projected $1,000—$2,000, you can brandish Dr. Nick’s very own golden ID card identifying him as a member of Elvis’ entourage. That has to open SOME doors, no?
 

 
Lot 126
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
You put your weed in it: Vape on the go with smokable hoodies
11.03.2015
02:43 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Fashion
Unorthodox

Tags:


 
Although most credible observers think all fifty states will see legal pot by 2020, today there are still quite a few holdouts, places where you might want to keep things a little more discrete and on the down-low…

Enter VAPRWEAR, a newly-launched apparel company that makes “Smokable Hoodies.” The collar of each one of their stoner sweatshirts comes with a vape system built in where the hoodies’ drawstrings normally are. How convenient!
 

 
Now this is what I call functional fashion: You put your weed in it. And not just your weed, VAPRWEAR‘s system is friendly to hash oil, wax, e-juice and other similar preparations. They’re also open to making custom vaporizer apparel.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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