follow us in feedly
Hilarious anti-drugging and driving commercial from New Zealand
09.16.2013
11:43 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs

Tags:
Drugs
PSA
New Zealand


 
I normally can’t stand child actors, but the trio of kiwi kiddies assembled for this anti-drugs and driving PSA are comedic geniuses. They’re like Trailer Park Boys level funny… Perfect timing.

I guarantee these kids are going to get their own TV show.
 

 
h/t reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dope tunes: Vintage music mix featuring tales of drugs, sex, liquor and gambling
08.13.2013
11:27 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Drugs


 
The Musical Odyssey on SoundCloud made this dopey mix for your listening pleasure, but warn, “Pace yourself, listen responsibly.”

Seems you can’t listen to music today without hearing some reference or other to sex, drugs and crime. Well, guess what kids, it ain’t nothing new! Join the Odyssey for an hour of vintage jazz, blues and folk brought to you by a motley crew of junkers, jivers, vipers, dope-fiends, hookers, boozers and crap-shooting sinners

.
List of songs:

1) Bea Foote – Weed (1938)
2) Jo Jo Adams – When I’m In My Tea (1949)
3) Harry ‘The Hipster’ Gibson – Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs Murphy’s Ovaltine? (1947)
4) Lucille Bogan & Walter Roland – Shave Em Dry (1935)
5) Blind Blake – Champagne Charlie Is My Name (1932)
6) Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers – Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (1927)
7) Jimmie Rogers – Gambling Barroom Blues (1932)
8) Memphis Millie – Down In The Alley (1920s)
9) Champion Jack Dupree – Junkers Blues (1940)
10) Nelson Alexander – Drink Up, Light Up (1940s)
11) Joe Liggins – Whiskey, Women & Loaded Dice (1954)
12) Charlie Aldrich – Kinsey’s Book (1954)
13) Mabel Scott – Just Give Me A Man (1946)
14) Cab Calloway & His Cotton Club Orchestra – Reefer Man (1932)
15) Cab Calloway & His Cotton Club Orchestra – The Man From Harlem (1932)
16) Claude Hopkins – It’s Too Big Poppa (1945)
17) The Treniers – Poon Tang (1952)
18) Georgia White – Walking The Street (1937)
19) Dick Justice – Cocaine (1928)
20) Lil Green – Knockin Myself Out (1941)
21) Andy Kirk & His 12 Clouds of Joy - All The Jive Is Gone (1936)

 
Via Kottke

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Obscenely expensive Christian Louboutin handbag in the shape of a pill


 
I can certainly appreciate the swell design of the “Pilule” bag by Christian Louboutin, however, I don’t like it enough to spend $6,995 on it. Yikes!

Christian Louboutin celebrates 20 years of iconic designs with a capsule collection compiled of favorite pieces from decades past. The “Pilule”,  constructed in 100% resin, returns with the capsule collection. Produced in very limited quantities, this is your daily dose of Louboutin and it is just what the doctor ordered.

What pharmaceutical product is this capsule supposed to represent, anyways? I don’t recognize it. Is it a “happy” pill or just an antibiotic?
 

 

 
Via Who Killed Bambi

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dream homes of alleged drug lords
01.19.2012
12:03 am

Topics:
Current Events
Drugs
Environment

Tags:
Drugs
Meth
El Narco


 
Today’s issue of The New York Times has a fascinating article on the interior design sensibilities of alleged Mexican drug lords.

Drugs, like oil, can produce piles of cash in a hurry. And in several Mexican cities, there are massive homes with domes that have an Arabian flourish. The desert mansion of Amado Carrillo Fuentes — a drug lord famous for transporting cocaine in jumbo jets, and for dying after botched plastic surgery in 1997 — has even been called the Palace of 1,001 Nights, after the book of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories that included Aladdin.

Conspicuous consumption, fueled by meth and coke profits and a strip club aesthetic, results in an El Narco world upholstered in fine Corinthian leather, animal prints, gaudy swaths of velveteen and automobiles in aspic.

What happens when the deal goes wrong and money can’t buy you out of some serious bad karma? These photos tell the tale. Graveyards of the Dope Gods.
 
 
 

 
More photos after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Nile Rodgers’ ‘Le Freak’: Music biography of the year


 
Yes, I am aware that Marc Campbell writing on this blog last month claimed that Everything Is An Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson is the music book of the year—which is why I have fudged the terms here and inserted the word “biography” into the headline. Shouldn’t there be a distinction between writers on music and musicians who write anyway? Well, it doesn’t really matter if you are more interested in the story or the music, as Nile Rodgers’ autobiography Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny is packed to the last page with stories and anecdotes that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor.

If you consider yourself a music fan, then Nile Rodgers needs no introduction. He is a hardcore, bona-fide music industry legend. He not only co-wrote some of the biggest hits of the Seventies with his partner Bernard Edwards in the band Chic (“Le Freak”, “Good Times”, “We Are Family”), and produced some of the biggest records of the 80s (Madonna’s Like A Virgin, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Duran Duran’s Notorious, Diana Ross’ Diana.) His skills as a guitarist are beyond any doubt and have influenced a generation of musicians not only in the disco, funk and dance genres but further afield in post-punk and even hard rock. At a recent gig in Manchester, Rodgers’ Chic Organisation was joined onstage by The Smiths’ Johnny Marr who sat in on “Le Freak”—the pairing might seem unusual, but listen to their guitar styles and the influence is clear.

Le Freak is Rodgers’ candid autobiography, and what a tale he has to tell. Not only is this one of the most fascinating stories in modern music, with a cast list of some of the biggest stars in the world, but it’s also one of the most under-documented so to hear it coming from the proverbial horse’s mouth is a delight. There’s drugs, sex, rock’n’roll, drugs, booze, disco, hippies, drugs, Black Panthers, bohemians, buppies, drugs and some more drugs for good measure. The years spent playing and writing in Chic, while not given short thrift, are not the main focus of the book. Chic have been well documented elsewhere, in particular the book Everbody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco by Darren Easley. But where that book leaves off—namely the coke-fuelled 80s—is where Le Freak really kicks in to gear, with Rodgers working with Ross, Bowie, Ciccone and snorting his way through the GDP of a small country. Any mere mortal would be dead from the amount of coke Rodgers scoffed, but what’s even more impressive is his hardcore work ethic and the fact that he managed to keep it all together (and tight!) while under the influence.

But it’s the early years of Rodgers’ life that are the unexpected highlight. To call his upbringing unusual would be an understatement. Born to his mother when she was just 13, and only a few years before she became a full-time heroin addict, Nile travelled with his mother or one of his grandmothers between New York and LA during the 50s and 60s. His musically gifted father wasn’t present, but Nile ran into him in a couple of times on the street, and got to witness his vagrant lifestyle first hand in a couple of heart-breaking reminiscences. In Los Angeles, at the age of 13, Rodgers drops acid at a hippie pad and ends up hanging out with Timothy Leary. In New York, at the more wizened age of 17, he finds himself tripping balls in a hospital emergency ward as Andy Warhol is wheeled in, having just been shot by Valerie Solanas. This being the kind of incredible life that Rodgers leads, he is able to meet both men later on in life, in very different circumstances, and recount these tales directly to them. He credits events and coincidences like this in his life as something called “hippie happenstance.”

Yet, despite all the major celebrities who make regular appearances throughout the book (I particularly liked the story of meeting Eddie Murphy), this remains distinctly the Nile Rodgers story. It’s clear how important family is to the man, and despite his own family’s unusual set-up and dysfunction, it’s the Rodgers’ clan who are the anchor in this wild tale (even despite their own wild times consuming and selling drugs). Nile’s parents may have been junkies, and genetically predisposed him to his alcoholism, but they taught him about fine art, music, fashion and culture, which is not how heroin-addicted parents are generally perceived by the public.

Le Freak is an excellent book, and worth reading whether you like disco music or not. Nile Rodgers’  is one of the most important composers/musicians/producers of the 20th century, and it’s good to see him finally getting his due. But despite creating the biggest selling single for his then label, Atlantic, and producing the biggest break-out records for a generation of 80s pop superstars, it still packs a punch to read about the discrimination that Rodgers and his music faced from within the industry:

A few weeks later I did a remix of a song of [Duran Duran’s] called “The Reflex”. Unfortunately, as much as Duran Duran liked the remix, their record company wasn’t happy, and I was soon in an oddly similar situation to the conflict Nard and I had had with Diana Ross’ people.

Nick Rhodes called me moments after the band had excitedly previewed my retooling of “The Reflex” to the suits at Capitol Records. “Nile” he began, his monotone stiff-upper-lip English accent barely hiding his despair. “We have a problem”.

My stomach tightened. “What’s up Nick?”

He struggled to find the words. “Capitol hates the record” he finally said.

I was stunned. “The Reflex” was a smash. I was sure of it. This was déja vu all over again.

“How do you guys feel about it?” I asked a little defensively.

“Nile, we love it. But Capitol hates it so much they don’t want to release it. They say it’s too black sounding.”

Too black sounding? I tried not to hit the roof, but in a way it was nice to hear it put so plain. Finally someone had just come out and said it.


 
Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny by Nile Rodgers is available here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Nile Rodgers dishes the dirt on Atlantic Records
Miles Davis talks about his art on Nile Rodgers’ ‘New Visions

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Drug Etiquette
07.14.2011
01:00 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Drugs

Tags:
Drugs
AP Ticker


 
Witty, smart, right-on, AP Ticker is Andy Rooney without the shakes.

Legalize it? Why, of course.

 
Via Phawker

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
A seemingly stoned Sonny Bono warns teenagers about the dangers of marijuana
06.15.2011
10:19 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Marijuana
Drugs
Sixties
Sonny Bono
Teenagers

image
 
Sonny Bono seems more than a little stoned in this US government anti-marijuana film from 1968. It includes an hilarious final piece to camera (which looks edited to best comic effect) where Bono trips over his words, as he tells the audience:

“Well now, you’ve heard from both sides of the question, but what you do with your life is up to you.

“If you become a pothead you risk blowing the most important time of your life: your teen age. That unrepeatable time for you to grow up and to prepare for being an adult that can handle problems, and make something meaningful out of life.

“Or, you have the choice to have the courage to see and deal with the world for what it really is - far, far from perfect but for you and for me the only one there is.

“While it’s true that some of you will actually go to the moon and perhaps other planets, it’s also true that in a few short years, this world will be your establishment, and you will be the Establishment and what you do or don’t do about it will be your scene. Your the generation with the brain power and the opportunity to do more for the human needs of this world than any other generation in history.

“Let’s hope your teenage children don’t have too much criticism of what you did or didn’t do because you were on pot.”

O, roll me a fat one Sonny.
 

 
With thanks to Debbie Rochon
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Morningstar Commune and the roots of cybernetics

image
A photo of Morningstar Ranch featured in Time Magazine in 1967.
 
By the time I visited Morningstar Ranch (aka The Digger Farm) in 1968 it was becoming a suburb of the Haight Ashbury. Young hippies, like myself, were drifting through the Sebastopol commune not quite knowing why we there but feeling we needed to be there. It felt less like an actual community than a halfway house for people yearning for community. None of us were actually ready to settle down yet. We were too fucking young. The idea of going back to the land was nice in theory, but we were still digging what the cities had to offer: rock clubs, bookstores, Love Burger on Haight St., hot water and supermarkets.

Lou Gottlieb founded Morningstar Ranch in 1966. A former member of the folk group The Limelighters, Lou had a spiritual epiphany and felt compelled to explore alternatives to the status quo approach to living. Morningstar was Lou’s experiment in communal living, a work in progress that wasn’t really work but some kind of joyous attempt at re-defining how we lived as neighbors, lovers and caretakers of planet Earth.

Morningstar had an anarchic spirit. It was literally open to everyone. What you did when you got there was up to you. I don’t remember any rules. Most of us didn’t have the discipline or patience to become active members of Lou’s wild dream. We were either too lazy, too restless, or both. There was a core group that kept the place functioning as a community, but for the most part nomadic flower children passed through the place on their way to something called the future.

In nearby Palo Alto, the beginning of virtual realities were stirring in the shadows of mainframe computers.

Long before he co-founded The Hackers Conference, The WELL (considered by many to be the first online social network) and the Global Business Network, Stewart Brand was staging acid tests with Ken Kesey and his ragtag band of Merry Pranksters. Brand, who popularized the term personal computer in his book II Cybernetics Frontiers, took his first dose of acid at the International Foundation for Advanced Study in 1962.

The proto-cybergeeks conjuring electric magic in what would eventually be known as Silicon Valley were dropping Owsley and conceiving realities in which brain meat interfaced with machine and the mind could perceive itself in its true limitless state. Many of these bearded outlaws from computerland were Gottlieb’s close friends and early pilgrims to Morningstar.

We - the generation of the ‘60s - were inspired by the “bards and hot-gospellers of technology,” as business historian Peter Drucker described media maven Marshall McLuhan and technophile Buckminster Fuller. And we bought enthusiastically into the exotic technologies of the day, such as Fuller’s geodesic domes and psychoactive drugs like LSD. We learned from them, but ultimately they turned out to be blind alleys. Most of our generation scorned computers as the embodiment of centralized control. But a tiny contingent - later called “hackers” - embraced computers and set about transforming them into tools of liberation. That turned out to be the true royal road to the future.”  Stewart Brand (founder of The Whole Earth Catalog).

In this short clip from Canadian television, Lou envisions a cybernetic world where machines do the work while humans have all the fun.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Reggae star DJ Smiley Culture dies during police drugs raid
03.15.2011
10:26 am

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
Music
Drugs
R.I.P.
DJ Smiley Culture

image
 
Eighties Reggae star, DJ Smiley Culture has died during a police drugs raid at his home, in Surrey, England. A report on Sky News reads:

The musician, real name David Emmanuel, 48, apparently died from self-inflicted wounds.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation, after the incident was voluntarily reported to it by Scotland Yard.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police had called at his home in Warlingham, Surrey, as part of a series of raids during a drugs investigation.

It is believed he died in the kitchen of the house after police tried to resuscitate him.

Surrey police were called to the house during the incident. It is understood other suspects were arrested at other addresses during the series of raids.

Smiley Culture had a short burst of fame in the 1980s with singles “Cockney Translation” and “Police Officer” which both reached the singles charts and led to appearances on BBC’s Top of the Pops.

As his pop career diminished he turned to acting, with a cameo appearance in the film Absolute Beginners.

In September last year he was charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine and appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court.

 
Update

Coroner’s Officer Carole Hall told Woking Coroner’s Court on Friday 18 March that singer, DJ Smiley Culture, real name David Emmanuel, aged 48, had died from a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest. His death occurred at the scene despite attempts at resuscitation.

The report raised serious questions about the death: firstly, why Mr. Emmanuel had been allowed, while in police custody, to enter another room (the kitchen) “to make a cup of tea”.

Secondly, it was reported Emmanuel was “calm” at the time of the raid, which goes counter to the violent force necessary for Emmanuel to kill himself, as the knife entered his chest, and pierced the other side.

Reports in the UK press have also questioned the coroner’s report and the family have asked for an independent inquiry into Mr Emmanuel’s death.

At a press conference in Brixton, London, held after the coroner’s report, the singer’s nephew, Merlin Emmanuel said:

We haven’t had a clear, coherent, official explanation as to what happened to Smiley.

‘The police have a lot to answer to. Until our questions, queries and suspicions have been fully and competently answered to dispel any notion of foul play, we will not rest.

‘Fact – Smiley Culture died at his home from a single stab wound whilst in police custody, while they let him go and make a cup of tea.’

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Owsley ‘Bear’ Stanley has died

image
 
Owsley “Bear” Stanley the 1960s counter-culture figure, who “flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead” has died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family have said. He was 76. The National Post reports that Owsley was:

..the renegade grandson of a former governor of Kentucky, Stanley helped lay the foundation for the psychedelic era by producing more than a million doses of LSD at his labs in San Francisco’s Bay Area.

“He made acid so pure and wonderful that people like Jimi Hendrix wrote hit songs about it and others named their band in its honor,” former rock ‘n’ roll tour manager Sam Cutler wrote in his 2008 memoirs “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Hendrix’s song “Purple Haze” was reputedly inspired by a batch of Stanley’s product, though the guitarist denied any drug link. The ear-splitting blues-psychedelic combo Blue Cheer took its named from another batch.

Stanley briefly managed the Grateful Dead, and oversaw every aspect of their live sound at a time when little thought was given to amplification in public venues. His tape recordings of Dead concerts were turned into live albums.

The Dead wrote about him in their song “Alice D. Millionaire” after a 1967 arrest prompted a newspaper to describe Stanley as an “LSD millionaire.” Steely Dan’s 1976 single “Kid Charlemagne” was loosely inspired by Stanley’s exploits.

According to a 2007 profile in the San Francisco Chronicle, Stanley started cooking LSD after discovering the recipe in a chemistry journal at the University of California, Berkeley.

The police raided his first lab in 1966, but Stanley successfully sued for the return of his equipment. After a marijuana bust in 1970, he went to prison for two years.

“I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for,” he told the Chronicle’s Joel Selvin. “What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society. Only my society and the one making the laws are different.”

He emigrated to the tropical Australian state of Queensland in the early 1980s, apparently fearful of a new ice age, and sold enamel sculptures on the Internet. He lost one of his vocal cords to cancer.

Stanley was born Augustus Owsley Stanley III in Kentucky, a state governed by his namesake grandfather from 1915 to 1919. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 18 months, studied ballet in Los Angeles, and then enrolled at UC Berkeley. In addition to being an LSD advocate, he adhered to an all-meat diet.

A statement released by Cutler on behalf of Stanley’s family said the car crash occurred near his home in far north Queensland. He is survived by his wife Sheila, four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Here is a rare interview with Bear Owsley by Bruce Eisner .
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Journey In Time’: the best damn anti-drug scare film ever!
03.02.2011
08:20 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Movies
Music

Tags:
Drugs
Journey In Time

image
 
Journey In Time is some wacky anti-drug propaganda from 1971. Chock full of unintentional humor and bogus facts about drugs, this sucker is a classic. The narration by director Alan Hodd sounds like it was written by a precocious, glue sniffing 12 year teenybopper.

What makes the film particularly groovy is the footage of hippies shot on location in San Francisco and Dallas and the soundtrack featuring The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Texas psyche-rockers Kenny And The Kasuals singing “Journey To Time.” Reputedly, the Kasuals disavowed the film and claim the song was used without their permission. As fas as I know, The Beatles and Bob Dylan have no comment.

I hope you enjoy every sordid minute of this hippie/rock’n’roll/drug scarefest.

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Cracked Actor’: BBC’s landmark documentary on David Bowie, 1975

image
 
Cracked Actor captured David Bowie at “a fragile stage” in his life. His relationship with his wife, Angie, was beginning to falter, there was business problems looming, and he was addicted to cocaine, which caused “severe physical debilitation, paranoia and emotional problems.” Filmed during Bowie’s legendary “Diamond Dogs Tour” in 1974, Alan Yentob’s film revealed a man on the run, taking stock, even questioning his own ambitions:

‘I never wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll star. I never, honest guv, I wasn’t even there. But I was, you see, I was there. That’s what happened.’

Revealing his difficulties with fame:

‘Do you know that feeling you get in a car when somebody’s accelerating very fast and you’re not driving? And you get that “Uhhh” thing in your chest when you’re being forced backwards and you think “Uhhh” and you’re not sure whether you like it or not? It’s that kind of feeling. That’s what success was like. The first thrust of being totally unknown to being what seemed to be very quickly known. It was very frightening for me and coping with it was something that I tried to do. And that’s what happened. That was me coping. Some of those albums were me coping, taking it all very seriously I was.’

And the singer’s paranoia, at the time of Watergate and Richard Nixon’s resignation:

‘There’s an underlying unease here, definitely. You can feel it in every avenue and it’s very calm. And it’s a kind of superficial calmness that they’ve developed to underplay the fact that it’s… there’s a lot of high pressure here as it’s a very big entertainment industry area. And you get this feeling of unease with everybody. The first time that it really came home to me what a kind of strange fascination it has is the… we… I came in on the train… on the earthquake, and the earthquake was actually taking place when the train came in. And the hotel that we were in was… just tremored every few minutes. I mean, it was just a revolting feeling. And ever since then I‘ve always been very aware of how dubious a position it is to stay here for any length of time.’

In a series of interviews, filmed in limousines, backstage and in hotel rooms, Cracked Actor reveals an uncertain, vulnerable, and at times incoherent Bowie; but in performance, he is magnificent.

Originally made for the BBC’s arts strand Omnibus, this is a brilliant, mesmeric, landmark documentary, even if Yentob is slightly disparaging of Bowie’s re-invention as “a soul singer.”

Footnote: when film director, Nicholas Roeg watched Cracked Actor, he decided to cast Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Beat Poet Michael McClure talks about poetry and peyote

image
 
Michael McClure, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg at City Lights Books, 1966
 

Poet, playwright and novelist, Michael McClure discusses his “poetic processes and experiences with peyote” in this extract taken from the USA Poetry series by Richard O. Moore (1966).

A key figure in The Beats, a mentor to Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, McClure has just released his latest book of new and selected poetry Of Indigo and Saffron, details for which can be found here.
 

 
Via City Lights
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Lee Harris - Foot Soldier for Counter Culture

image
 
Lee Harris is a playwright, poet, publisher and “foot soldier” of the UK’s counter culture. Born in Johannesburg in 1936, Harris was one of the few whites on the African National Congress, opposing segregation during the time of Apartheid, and was involved with the Congress of the People rally in Soweto in 1955.

Harris arrived in the UK in 1956, to study drama, after college, he had a small part in Orson Welles’ film Chimes at Midnight and later worked in theater. 

A major turning point for Harris came on the 11 June 1965, when he first heard Allen Ginsberg at the decade defining International Poetry Reading at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

We turned up in our thousands to hear some of the best poets of the Beat Generation. When Allen Ginsberg stood up to read his poems you could feel an electric charge in the air. There he was, like an Old Testament prophet, with his long dark hair and bushy beard, his voice reverberating with emotional intensity. Never before in that hallowed hall had such outrageous and colorful language been heard…..Hearing Allen that first time was a revelatory and illuminating experience.

That event and his presence in London that summer, helped kindle the spark that set the underground movement alight in the mid-sixties.

Harris began to write plays with Buzz Buzz and then wrote the critically acclaimed Love Play, which was performed at the Arts Lab in 1967 - a highly important venue for alternative arts, founded by Jim Haynes, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibited and David Bowie performed. It was during this time Harris became acquainted with William Burroughs, Frank Zappa, Ken Kesey and toured with The Fugs.

Harris wrote for the International Times and in 1972 established the first “head shop” Alchemy in London on the Portobello Road, where he sold “paraphenalia” brought back from India and counter culture books.

“I’d started off in the West End before as an anarchist trader selling psychedelic posters in the late sixties you see because I did not know how to make a living. I ended up in the Portobello Road, making chokers, selling chillums, first because that was the in thing with beads.

I had traded at many festivals so it was natural for me and I started to be a sort of medicine head, with Tiger Balm, Herbs and I believed in cannabis as the ‘healing herb’.

It was here that Harris was famously prosecuted for selling cigarette papers. The shop was a focus for alternative culture, and it was here Harris began publishing underground ‘zines, including Jim Haynes, infamous drug-smuggler Howard Marks, and artist, journalist and activist Caroline Coon.
 

 
Part two of ‘Life and Works of Lee Harris’ plus bonus Lee Harris and the Beat Hotel, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Incredible Friendship of Oliver Reed and Keith Moon

image
 
When Oliver Reed met Keith Moon their lives changed forever. Together Moon and Reed formed a bizarre, unholy and incredible friendship that brought them both to the edge of madness and ultimately lead to their untimely deaths.

Their friendship began during the making of Ken Russell’s Tommy, as Lee Patrick recalled on olliereed.co.uk:

I was living with Keith Moon at the time and they were just about to start filming Tommy, Keith and I had spent all morning driving Soho’s sex shops buying dildoes, rubber stuff etc for Keith to use as props for Uncle Ernie.  

At lunch time Keith decided to drop into Ken Russell’s office and mentioned that he’d like to meet Ollie before they started filming, Ken immediately got on the phone to Ollie and suggested a meeting, Ollie invited us to Broome Hall afternoon so we were off to Battersea Heliport where we boarded a helicopter to take us there.   We arrived on his front lawn shortly afterwards, unfortunately frightening his pregnant horses,  Ollie was standing there in the doorway holding 2 pint mugs whisky for us.   He was a charming host and invited us to stay for dinner.

Dinner was served on a huge medieval oak table and before we started eating Ollie jumped up and grabbed two large swords which were hanging on the wall, giving one to Keith.   The two of them ended up having a sword fight up and down the table, that was the appetiser!   After dinner Ollie invited us down to his local pub, The Cricketers, where we all got very drunk, with Ollie and Keith undressing, each one trying to outdo the drunken antics of the other, they were so alike that it was no wonder they became great friends.

Later on, back at Broome Hall, Ollie insisted we stay the night, we were up for that, expecting to be sleeping in a magnificent bedroom, however, his entourage took up all the furnished bedrooms and we were led out to the stables!!  Keith said we would pass up his invitation and go home, but Ollie would have none of it, and next thing we knew he was standing there pointing an old shotgun at us, so we said OK we’ll stay, we ended up sleeping on couches in the living room!

At the time of their meeting, in the mid-seventies, Reed was Britain’s most successful and highest paid film star, something he was always keen to let any scandal-mongering press know:

‘I’m the biggest star this country has got. Destroy me and you destroy the whole British film industry.’

He had also been voted the sexiest actor alive and told Photoplay magazine:

‘I may look like a Bedford truck, but the women know there’s a V-8 engine underneath.’

Though he also claimed the film world wasn’t where his ambitions lay:

‘I have two ambitions in life: one is to drink every pub dry, the other is to sleep with every woman on earth.’

It was disingenuous, for Reed was serious about his acting and was “always word perfect and unfailingly courteous to colleagues and technicians.” Reed was well respected as an actor, and a professional, and once came within “a sliver” of replacing Sean Connery as James Bond in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but Reed’s reputation as a hell-raiser meant the part went to George Lazenby.

Even so, by 1975, Reed had made an impressive range of films, including I’ll Never Forget What’s ‘Is Name (the first film to have the word “fuck” in it); The Jokers; The Assassination Bureau; Hannibal Brroks; The Shuttered room; Women in Love (first male-full frontal nudity, a scene which was not in the original script, and was only included after Reed encouraged Russell to film it); Sitting Target; and perhaps his best film, The Devils.

Reed had formed a creative partnership with Ken Russell, the director he called “Jesus Christ,” since they had worked together on the BBC TV drama The Debussy film. It was because of this partnership that the non-singing Reed was cast in the role of Frank in the musical Tommy. As Reed and Moon capered and drank copiously off-set, it was to have a debilitating effect for Moon on-set:

Reed’s part got bigger and bigger as Keith Moon’s got smaller and smaller, probably due to Ken Russell’s familiarity with Oliver, and the fact that he could drink himself into stupor at night and show up on time and line-perfect in the morning, while Moonie remained stuporous.

Their friendship was an unstable chemical compound based on drink, drugs, sex and pranks, as Reed was to remark:

‘I like the effect drink has on me. What’s the point of staying sober?’

The life of excess has but one destination, and as Cliff Goodwin wrote in his definitive biography of Reed, Evil Spirits, the end came during Reed’s 40th birthday party at a swanky hotel in Hollywood, when Moon decided to liven things up with his impersonation of a “human helicopter”.  Moon jumped onto a table, grabbed the blades of an overhead fan, and began to spin around, above the heads of the invited guests. Unfortunately, the blades had slashed Moon’s hands and arms and he splattered the A-list guests with gore.

It was the moment that Reed realized the genie was well and truly out of the bottle and that he or Moon would die from their life of excess. Tragically, it was Moon who died six months later. Reed never recovered from Moon’s death, and later claimed a day didn’t go by when he didn’t think about Moon the Loon.
 

 
Previously on DM

In Praise of Oliver Reed


Oliver Reed: Wild Thing!


Who’s Next?: Scot Haplin the drummer who filled in for Keith Moon


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Page 1 of 3  1 2 3 >