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‘American Honey’: Cruising the highways of a broken America
09.29.2016
04:03 pm

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Class War
Current Events
Drugs
Economy
Movies

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I think many us have been there: broke and looking for any kind of gig that will get us enough money to make it from one day to another. I did phone sales of subscriptions to a right wing Orange County newspaper. I was 16 and living on the streets of L.A. and needed money… badly. I worked with a dozen or so runaway kids sitting in a miserable loft dialing numbers all day and spewing made up stories of how the subscription revenue was going to help our high school build a new gym (I was a high school dropout) or help Vietnam vets get back on their feet (if they still had any). I lied all day, every day. And for all my bullshitting, I rarely walked with any money. The lying was easy. I read from a script. When I got really bored, I’d improvise.  Back then people were polite on the phone. A lot of them bought into my rap. I couldn’t stand myself. I didn’t last a week. Selling beat drugs on Sunset to weekend hippies seemed like a slightly better karmic option.

Andrea Arnold’s powerful, poetic and liberating new movie American Honey deals with “mag crews,” young people going door to door in mostly affluent neighborhoods selling magazine subscriptions, using lies and artful scams to make a few bucks. For every subscription sold, the magazine clearing houses and publishers get a percentage and the rest is split between crew leaders and the kids doing the selling. Whatever hook it takes to sell a subscription—school projects, charities, scholarships, etc.—is used to separate a customer from their money. Selling magazine subscriptions in the digital age is hardly a ticket to the big time. But desperate times require desperate measures… even when they’re stupid.
 

 
Director Arnold (Fish Tank, Red Road) first discovered the mag crew world when she read Ian Urbina’s article on the subject in the New York Times. She decided to make a movie based on the article. She flew from England to America, rented a car, and drove alone along 1000s of miles of America’s highways. She saw all of the things that make America beautiful, wretched, intimidating and heartbreaking. She encountered hopelessness in a lot of small towns that have gone to hell because of poverty and drugs—the kind of drugs that become intertwined with a sense of there being no future.

American Honey follows a mag crew as they make the kind of trip that Arnold made. A small family of lost souls traveling across America getting stoned, singing along to rap, rock and country songs, living in the moment while the quiet dread of the unknown permeates the air like invisible thunderclouds. At times exhilarating, often tense and foreboding, American Honey subverts most of the viewer’s expectations at every turn. The film seems bleak on the surface but rays of light are constantly breaking through the darkness. Underneath the hardened exterior of these kids are layers of softness, sweetness and pain. Cuddling and sleeping together in sleazy motel rooms they appear as they are: children.

Blue Diamond Sales is typical of the kind of companies that use mag crews to generate revenue. Their website paints a rosy picture of the road to success:

Blue diamond subscriptions sells door to door subscriptions to magazines and books. Blue diamond travels the entire country helping young adults who wish to earn experience in the sales industry.

But their YouTube channel gets closer to reality:
 

 
The mag crews are tight knit bands with an almost cult-like devotion to their crew leaders—very much like a hooker’s relationship to their pimp. They travel in small groups in battered vans, crisscrossing America desperate to grab hold of the lowest rung of the American dream. From hustling truckers at truck stops to millionaire good ol’ boy ranchers and lonely, extremely horny guys working the oil fields of Oklahoma, the girls in American Honey go to where the money and easy marks are. These scenes are filled with tension, effectively tapping into the audience’s horror flick presumptions. But this is not a slasher film. The knives are psychological and go deeper beyond bone and flesh into the seat of the soul. A scene where a little girl in an Iron Maiden t-shirt sings The Dead Kennedys’ “I Kill Children” while her crackhead mother lies comatose in the background makes the torture porn of “Human Centipede” seem like “Happy Days” with hemorrhoidal itch. Reality has now entered a zone that even horror movies struggle to find resonant metaphors.

The mag crews aren’t much different than many of the kids who ended up in The Haight in 1968, the year after the Summer Of Love. They weren’t looking for an Aquarian age, they were looking to get out of bad situations back home. Many had suffered abuses of every nature. They came to the Haight to hook up with kindred spirits and forge communities. They weren’t hippies but they were open to anything that might give them a sense of better days. A sense of love. Ten years later on New York’s Lower East Side there was a similar influx of suburban kids looking to get away from the soul-deadening schools, shopping malls, and apathy that gutted whatever feelings of freedom they felt entitled to. The crews are a slightly better dressed version of the crusty punks I see camping in the woods behind my store in Austin.

Unlike the hippies or punks, the mag crews haven’t turned their backs on capitalism or the American Dream. The kids in American Honey see Wal-Mart as an oasis in the tattered streets of Crack Town. They want money. And they want it now. Bling is their thing and the rap songs on the movies soundtrack set the tone. These kids are white but their frame of reference is Black. Together they create a sense of mattering. They matter to each other.

Comparisons will be made to the films of Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, but American Honey is more lyrical and less cynical than Kids or Spring Breakers. Clark’s Ken Park has moments of the kind of tenderness and bittersweetness of Arnold’s film. Both movies celebrate humanity over complete despair. And in each film, sex is threatening as well as liberating. Arnold’s point of view is that of a woman who knows from day to day experience that men are unpredictable animals and American Honey is suffused with an atmosphere of sexual peril without being gratuitous or exploitative.
 

 
American Honey is three hours long and it rambles and careens like the crews bouncing from state to state in their Econoline van. The length of the film never seems overlong. Its length actually gives the viewer the sense of being along for the ride. There are no big dramatic moments – except for the ones in the audience’s heads. The movie constantly subverts expectations.  The drama comes in the small observations and the occasional emotional explosions. All of it moving along to a soundtrack composed of 24 wildly eclectic songs ranging from Kevin Gates to The Raveonettes, Springsteen, Steve Earle, E-40 and Mazzy Star. It all works sublimely and for every moment of suffocating emptiness there’s an epiphany fueled by music, a bottle of cheap whiskey and lots of pot.

American Honey won awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival including best actress for Sasha Lane. This is her film debut. Shia LaBeouf is perfectly cast as a cocky hustler. Sporting a Confederate flag bikini, Riley Keough (Elvis Presley’s granddaughter) is the cold-hearted crew leader and she’s amazing. The entire cast of non-professional actors ARE the real thing. Robbie Ryan’s cinematography is glorious, capturing the American landscape in a fugue-like state between night, day and what lays in between.

American Honey is opening this Friday in a few major cities and then nationwide on October 7. It’s an important movie. One that gets almost everything right about what’s bad and what’s good about America in the era of Trump. Being bombarded by dark prophecies from a sociopath running for President plays into the deeply pessimistic view young people already have of their future. American Honey hints at a way out: love  
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Awesome 1960s Timothy Leary ‘Twelve O’Clock High’ watch
09.22.2016
10:39 am

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Drugs
Fashion

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Since I don’t wear a watch, I thought I’d throw this one out there to you fine folks since this sucker seems right up our readership’s strasse. It’s a really cool Timothy Leary watch from the 1960s. Each hour on the watch is tagged as some type of drug.

As in “It’s a quarter to meth” or “Half-past hash.”

According to the listing on eBay the watch still works.

From eBay seller the-image-builder:

“This watch has been in a box for about 45 years. It was given to me and I am the only owner. It does have some scratches on the face and body. Please look carefully at the photos.”

The watch is listed at $275 and so far has zero bids. I’d wear the shit out of this.


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
That ‘Star Trek’ episode where Jack the Ripper takes over the Enterprise so everyone gets super high
09.16.2016
09:08 am

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Drugs
Occult
Television

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I didn’t want to write this post, but the burden of TV history weighs heavy on my shoulders. The 50th anniversary of Star Trek came and went, and in all the fanfare, I saw no mention of the original series’ single most bizarre episode. Forget the one where they’re back in the 1920s, or the one where they’re at the O.K. Corral with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, or the one where Kirk and Spock fight Genghis Khan alongside Abraham Lincoln; this right here is the goods.

Before last night, I hadn’t seen “Wolf in the Fold” for about 30 years. I watched it again to make sure my memory was accurate, and I can confirm that this is without a doubt the most insane episode of Star Trek that ever made it to the screen. It is actually even weirder than I remembered. A space séance is involved.

I don’t want to give away much more of the plot, but you’ll see what I mean if I set it up briefly. Kirk, Bones, and Scotty go whoring on the “hedonistic” planet Argelius II, which looks just like foggy London town. Next thing you know, Scotty’s standing over a dead belly dancer with a bloody knife in his hand. Kirk asks what kind of legal process they have in this jerkwater, when the Prefect, making a grand entrance, declares: 

The law of Argelius is love.

Then comes the Jack the Ripper business and the whole crew getting messy on tranks. And there is so much more I’m deliberately leaving out.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Bill Murray is tending bar this weekend at his son’s bar in Brooklyn
09.15.2016
12:50 pm

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Drugs
Movies

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Bill Murray tending bar at SXSW in 2010
 
Time Out New York‘s Christina Izzo reported yesterday that Bill Murray would be tending bar on Saturday and Sunday evening at 21 Greenpoint, a Brooklyn restaurant owned by Syd Silver and Bill’s son Homer Murray.

Murray has some experience tending bar—as was widely reported at the time, in 2010 he infamously materialized with Wu-Tang Clan at the Austin bar Shangri-La during SXSW and spontaneously started sloshing tequila into every shot glass he could find before retiring to a corner to hang out with GZA. (Hey, nobody said that Murray was actually good at bartending….)

The news from Time Out New York had the effect of bedazzling those star-struck would-be dipsomaniacs into thinking they’d have Murray running back and forth all evening doling out tequila shots, but alas, the story’s been updated with the news that the two evenings are “a private event” and are “invite-only.” Good luck scoring an invite!

Well, think of it this way, if it were truly open to the public, the place would have been mobbed by thousands of Garfield fans, and who needs that?

Here’s footage of Bill Murray tending bar six years ago at SXSW in Austin:

 
via Consequence of Sound
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The UnCola: 7Up and the most psychedelic, LSD-friendly ad campaign of all time
09.15.2016
11:42 am

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Advertising
Art
Drugs

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John Alcorn’s “Uncanny in Cans” billboard seems to reference “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” from the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
 
7up has existed as a drink since 1929, but it wasn’t until 1936 that it was given the name 7Up. From the mid-1930s to the early 1950s, the advertising slogan for the drink was “You Like It, It Likes You.” In its incredible directness, simplicity, and dishonesty, it ranks as my favorite advertising slogan of all time.
 

“You Like It, It Likes You.” Oh, does it now? 1947 advertisement for 7Up
 
In 1967 ad execs at J. Walter Thompson Company in Chicago pitched a radical repositioning of 7Up as a way of reviving dormant sales of the drink—the idea was to capture the new hippie market for 7Up. The new nickname for the drink was to be “The Uncola” and if you’re older than about 50, you’ll have no trouble remembering that name and possibly a memorable series of TV spots starring Geoffrey Holder.

The Uncola campaign stretched from 1969 to 1975, and it used a wide variety of hyper-colorful, psychedelic posters that reminded many people of Peter Max, even though the images used in the campaign were not done by him. (Max did submit images to J. Walter Thompson, but his designs were not used.)

The Uncola campaign was perhaps advertising’s most adventurous foray into truly psychedelic imagery, even to the point of appearing to endorse LSD use as an activity fit for 7Up-consuming adults.

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vince Taylor: The leather messiah who inspired Ziggy Stardust
09.14.2016
11:41 am

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Drugs
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

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01vintaysing1.jpg
 
Everything  comes from something else.

David Bowie’s chance meeting with a faded rock star who thought he was Jesus Christ was the first of the building blocks that led to Ziggy Stardust.

Bowie was a teenage Mod fronting his band the Lower Third when he regularly bumped into Vince Taylor at the La Gioconda club in London. Taylor was an “American” rocker who had been a major star in France. By the time Bowie met him, Taylor was a washed-up acid casualty who had fried his brain after ingesting waaaaaay too much LSD.

Taylor was born Brian Maurice Holden in Isleworth, England in 1939. He was youngest of five children. In 1946, the family emigrated to New Jersey, where Taylor grew up on a diet of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent. When his sister Sheila dated Joe Barbera—one half of animation team Hannah-Barbera—the family moved to California.

Like millions of other young American teenagers, Taylor wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll idol. His singing was so-so but he could do a good Elvis impersonation. Barbera offered to manage him. Through Barbera’s contacts Taylor got his first nightclub bookings singing rock standards with a band. He later joked he was only ever chosen to be the singer because of his teen heartthrob looks.

While rock ‘n’ roll was ripping the joint in America, Taylor was surprised to find that back in his birth country the biggest star was a toothsome all-round entertainer called Tommy Steele. With his boy-next-door looks and wholesome cheeky chappy banter, Steele was loved by both the moms and daughters across the land. Taylor figured if this was English rock ‘n’ roll, then he would clean-up with his Elvis routine.

(Sidebar: While Taylor clearly pinched Presley’s act, Elvis later pinched Taylor’s black leather look for his 1968 comeback show.)

When Joe Barbera traveled to London on business—he took Taylor with him. This was when Brian Holden adopted the name “Vince Taylor.” “Vince” from Elvis Presley’s character “Vince Everett” in Jailhouse Rock. “Taylor” from actor Robert Taylor.
 
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Taylor adapted his stage act from Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. He added a biker boy image—black leather jacket, pants, gloves, and winklepickers. He wore makeup and mascara. What he lacked for in voice, he made up in performance. Taylor was a wild man. Utterly unrestrained. His body jerked as if he’d been hit by 100,000 volts of electricity. He wiggled his hips and thrust his pelvis at the hormonal teenyboppers who screamed his name. He was sex on legs. Vulgar. Nasty. Every parent’s nightmare, every teenage girl’s pinup.

His early shows in England during the late fifties-early sixties brought him a record deal. He cut a few disc and wrote the classic song “Brand New Cadillac” (later recorded by the Clash). Taylor garnered mega column inches in the music press. But when he should have been heading to the top, Taylor sabotaged his own career by failing to turn-up for gigs. The reason? His jealousy.

Before a gig he would phone his girlfriend to check up on what she was doing. If she didn’t answer the phone—off Taylor would pop to hunt down his girl and the man he imagined she was with. This meant his backing band the Playboys often performed the gig without their iconic front man. This unreliability damaged Taylor’s reputation in England. The Playboys split-up and reformed around the band’s one consistent member—the drummer.

To make money to pay his debts, Taylor took a gig in Paris in 1961. He was bottom of the bill. Top of the bill was Wee Willie Harris (later immortalized in “Reasons to Be Cheerful—Part Three” by Ian Dury). Taylor was pissed with the billing. He decided to show the promoters who was King. During rehearsal for the show, Taylor gave one of his greatest most violent most outrageous performances. He was a rock ‘n’ roll animal. The promoters saw their error and gave Taylor top billing.

This gig made Taylor an overnight star in France.
 
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More on the rock-n-roll ‘Naz(arene) with God-given ass,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Cops offer to test your meth for the Zika virus—free of charge!
09.09.2016
10:24 am

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Current Events
Drugs

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The Bath Township Police Department in Michigan is making meth users with Zika contamination concerns an offer they can’t refuse. With a Facebook post containing a “breaking news” graphic warning of reports that crystal meth could be contaminated with the Zika virus, the police department has offered free testing of the drug in the interest of “public safety.”
 

 
This is similar to a post made by the Salley Valley Police Department in South Carolina in March offering free screening, adding that they make “house calls.”
 

 
Oh you cheeky coppers, everyone knows Zika doesn’t infect DRUGS. This sounds suspiciously like a labor-saving ploy to get meth addicts to come to you with their drugs.

Well played, officers. We almost have to give you credit for this one. Though we’ll have to see if anyone actually takes the bait—Zika is not typically a primary concern for most meth users. Generally speaking, the primary concern of most meth users is WHERE CAN I GET SOME MORE METH.

Via: WSBTV

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Parents opposed to pot’ and their 10 goofy reasons not to date a stoner
09.08.2016
01:36 pm

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Amusing
Drugs

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I’ve been a daily wake-n-bake pothead for 34 or 35 years. When I was a teenager, every morning I used to wait for my parents to leave for work at around 7am and then I’d reach under my bed and grab my stash. To this day I smoke from the minute I wake up until right before I go to bed at night. If I am traveling to another city—or another country—I will arrange for weed to be waiting for me by the time I check into my hotel. I’m good like that!

But I’ve also been a fairly productive member of society. I’m a complete workaholic with an almost cliched midwestern work ethic. I’ve contributed a helluva lot of money in taxes, far more than most people ever have. I’ve made TV shows, documentaries, written and published books, given lectures and worked on the marketing of major Hollywood films, accomplishing this all—I can assure you—while absolutely stoned to the fucking gills. The only thing I don’t like to do while stoned is drive, but I’m a shitty, lead-footed driver to begin as anyone unfortunate enough to have been a passenger while I am behind the wheel can attest to. (My wife hates my driving and I happily ride shotgun. Win/win!)

I’ve got so much excess energy that I need pot to center me and focus my attention. I fly in the face of the notion of the lazy pothead and I’m fairly heroic in my consumption. I can, and have, smoked Rastas under the table. If you’ve ever met me, trust me, I was high. Really, really high. I plan to leave my body to science. Seriously, I’m a definitive study of one!

But I’ve also got several friends who are worth tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars who smoke as much herb as I do. I’m fairly certain there must be lazy potheads out there, but I personally don’t know any of them. Besides that pot’s not cheap.

So I always laugh when I see goofy anti-pot propaganda. What a primitive way of thinking. Pot’s been around since before alcohol and it’s never, ever going to become less popular than it is right now, is it? And at least as far as self-medication goes, cannabis is a whole lot safer than alcohol, oxycontin and methamphetamines, don’t cha think? It boggles the mind why the states at the heart of the opioid epidemic won’t embrace legal cannabis, if not for the sake of giving the drug addicted underclass SOMETHING LESS LIKELY TO KILL THEM to take the edge off of life, but what about using the taxes that would be raised to fund increasingly necessary emergency drug addiction treatment?

It’s probably getting to the point where there are more car accidents caused in Kentucky by opioid addicts nodding off behind the wheel than from drunk drivers. And hemp is legal to grow there, too. Just not legal to bake into brownies and eat.

Which brings me to this goofiness, Ten Reasons NOT to Date a Stoner, a new guide for “teens and college students” published by Parents Opposed to Pot (I’m guessing that this is an individual and not an actual organization, but I could be wrong).

It may seem like an old fashioned thought, but the one you date should be a suitable mate. Consider the type of person you want to marry before getting involved with a stoner. Doing this will save you from short term frustrations and long term unhappiness.

This much is true and is actually sage advice I can get behind myself. If your life revolves around pot, make sure to date or marry someone who enjoys huffing the chronic as much as you do! You can tell a lot about someone from their weediquette.

Their first reason for not getting involved with a stoner is that stoners are…


1. Financially Unstable

This is simply and demonstrably untrue. It’s not even worth wasting any time rebutting.

2.  Addiction Takes Priority

Maybe when there is a panic in Needle Park, but this is pot we’re discussing, no? A tad dramatic here?

3. Competing with a Drug. A relationship is more likely to collapse when an individual expresses a greater interest towards a substance than towards their partner. See one woman’s story: I Smoked Marijuana for Love.

Plenty of people smoke meth for love, too. Your point? And how many people love pot more than their partner? And if you do, what the fuck does this say about your relationship anyways?

4. Guilt. You may experience feelings of decreased self-esteem and self-worth when you feel obligated to “accept” his or her addiction/lifestyle despite your own disapproval.

This sounds suspiciously like “The Homosexual Agenda.” So silly as to not be worth addressing in any way.

Skipping ahead past one about laziness and another about fertility we find that apathetic pot smokers are in fact “energized”! Next they’ll be telling us pot makes you horny…

7. Activists Like to Cause a Racket. If he or she is an activist… good luck. A majority of marijuana users are also “politically active and energized” ... and their “allegiance to the drug” consumes their social calendar and Facebook newsfeed. Even activists will admit to the excessive amount of time and energy they spend at social gatherings and meetings where they aspire to make noise and fight the battle for legalization.

Yeah and some people get all worked up about Pokemon Go, online poronography or support Donald Trump. Bad boyfriends come in many varieties. Better a pothead than a white nationalist I always say.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Cottonwoodhill,’ the acid-damaged Krautrock LP that can ‘destroy’ your brain
09.08.2016
09:15 am

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Drugs
Music

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Cottonwoodhill (1971) by Brainticket
 
Unless the CAT scan shows lasting damage, I am forever indebted to my friend Aaron Aldorisio. You see, when we were working together in Amoeba Music’s used rock section some years back, Aaron put this album in my hand and said, “Take the Brainticket, dude.” I thought about it. The cover depicted a woman drowning in a bottomless whirlpool of lysergic nightmares, mind forever blown, and that was kind of scary. But then I remembered the lyrics to Cream’s “World of Pain”; and besides, Aaron talked about his love of GG Allin a lot, so obviously I figured, here is a guy I can trust with my nervous system. Besides, what was I going to do, not take the Brainticket?

The liner notes for the Brainticket record made the ultimate claim to heaviness, a champion brag that remained unchallenged until it was (falsely) alleged, years later, that Ozzy and Priest were programming teens for self-murder. Cottonwoodhill remains a special case. Where godheadSilo’s debut, say, only threatened to ruin your stereo equipment, this here record album by Brainticket threatened to wreck your brain itself. Not your “self-esteem,” not your hand-eye coordination, not your response time or SAT scores or some obscure though vital mental process, but the actual glob of tissue between your ears. Says right there on the jacket! And unlike Hawkwind’s Space Ritual, the kidding-on-the-square ad campaign for which boasted that the Hawklords inflicted “permanent brain damage” on concert audiences, the Brainticket record was banned, it’s said, in several countries and issued with this dire warning:

Only listen once a day to this disc. Your brain might be destroyed!

Hallelujah Records takes no responsability [sic].

 

Brainticket in the studio (via brainticketband.com)
 
Led by Belgian jazzer Joel Vandroogenbroeck, Brainticket was an especially obscure Krautrock group that released three albums during the early ‘70s. This was their first. (Some people insist the band was originally called Cottonwoodhill and the first album titled Brainticket. So what?) They’ve reunited several times since first getting back together in the early ‘80s, and Brainticket released a new studio album last year.

Since posting all of Cottonwoodhill might present a grave danger to public health, I’m only embedding the part where you are peaking, your personality has disintegrated into one billion self-annihilating Nerf balls, and grandma is having you placed under involuntary psychiatric hold. I’m not responsible for the consequences if you listen to this on headphones. Hey, dabblers and Sunday drivers: If you doubt that this music can have serious, lasting effects on your cognitive functions, check out the official Brainticket website. Notice anything? Every single link is dead. Think about that before you push play, and remember: You can’t “un-take” the Brainticket.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
That time Jack Kerouac finked out on helping Allen Ginsberg promote ‘Junkie’
09.07.2016
11:42 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Drugs
Heroes
History

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001junkleebk1.jpg
 
Allen Ginsberg was a hustler. He was always on the make. But if Ginsberg was getting a piece of the pie then everyone was getting some pie—that was the kind of guy he was.

In 1953, Ginsberg was one of the young writers loosely identified as the Beat Generation. There was Jack Kerouac—nominally the Beat daddio who had his first book The Town and the City published in 1950. It was a coming of age novel that lacked the Beat prosody (“spontaneous prose”) that illuminated Kerouac’s later, better known work.

There was John Clellon Holmes who had written Go—a depiction of the hip counter culture world of parties, drugs, jazz and “the search for experience and for love.”

And then there was William S. Burroughs.

Ginsberg had encouraged Burroughs to write. He grooved over the letters he wrote—he dug his style. He told Burroughs to write a book about his experiences as an unrepentant drug addict. Nelson Algren had already written and had published his tale of heroin addiction The Man with the Golden Arm in 1949. The book received rave reviews and won Algren a National Book Award. Ginsberg figured Burroughs—an actual junkie—could deliver a better, more powerful book if only he would sit down and write it.

Burroughs grudgingly took the advice. He had already co-authored an as yet unpublished novel with Kerouac And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks in 1945 about the murder of friend and associate David Kammerer by one of the original Beat gang Lucien Carr. The book had been a literary experiment with Burroughs and Kerouac writing alternate chapters. Now he would give the facts of his life some color in the manner of Thomas De Quincey—writing the semi-autobiographical Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict.

Ginsberg helped edit the book. Then he brought it to Carl Solomon—a publisher contact he’d met at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey where both men received treatment. Solomon’s uncle was publisher A. A. Wyn—owner of the pulp paperback firm Ace Books. Through Ginsberg’s endeavors, Solomon convinced his uncle to publish Burroughs novel—written under the alias “William Lee”—as part of the Ace imprint.
 
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Ginsberg as ‘seen by Burroughs’ on the rooftop of his Lower East apartment, New York, 1953.
 
Kerouac’s reply and Burroughs’ ‘Junkie,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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