If you just got a contact high after reading the title of this post, then congratulations. Take two tabs of acid and call me in the morning! But only after you’ve listened to the three tracks from Harvard psychologist and drug guru Timothy Leary’s album (which was recorded in 1968), You Can Be Anyone This Time Around.
Timothy Leary and his bass player
Leary recorded the album, in part as a way to raise cash to fund his ill-fated run for Governor of California against the then incumbent, GOP golden god, Ronald Reagan. His campaign slogan was “Come together, join the party” and his campaign song was supposed to be, “Come Together,” which was conceived specifically with Leary’s political aspirations in mind by John Lennon.
Learys and Lennons
Sadly, after Leary was arrested on December 26th, 1968 for the possession of two pot roaches (for which he was given a ten-year prison sentence, with another ten-year sentence tacked on to that due to a previous arrest in 1965, let that one sink in), his campaign went up in well, smoke.
Leary’s prison mugshot
Lucky for us, the 45-minute long, three-track record (which was allegedly recorded in one session that went on until the early morning hours at the Record Plant in New York City) that includes musical contributions not only from Hendrix (on bass guitar no less) but also Stephen Stills, drummer Buddy Miles, and John Sebastian, founder of The Lovin’ Spoonful, did see the light of day. Unlike Leary’s political career.
Historically speaking, it’s one of the very first records to use “samples.” Sonic snatches from the catalogs of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar round out the album’s unique “sound.” As if all that isn’t cool enough when it comes to rock and roll mythology—the record is actually a great listen…