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‘I went straight to Hell’: Philip K. Dick did NOT like LSD
08.03.2018
08:25 am
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‘The cross took the form of a crossbow, with Christ as the arrow…’
 
The interview with Philip K. Dick embedded below, recorded in Santa Ana on May 17, 1979, touches on many of the author’s experiences and obsessions—the combat his father saw in World War I, how he came to join the Episcopal Church (“My wife said if I didn’t, she’d bust my nose”), the dying rat who shook his faith, the coming of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point, contemporary attitudes towards homosexuality, compulsory ROTC at the University of California, the time he got pancreatitis from using “bad street dope” cut with film developer, the constant threat posed by authoritarian movements—but I’ve cued it up to this vivid description of a bad, bad trip he had in 1964:

I only know of one time where I really took acid. That was Sandoz acid, a giant horse capsule that I got from the University of California, and a friend and I split it. And I don’t know, there must’ve been a whole milligram of it there. It was a gigantic thing, you know, we bought it for five dollars and took it home and we looked at it for a while—looked at it, we were all gonna split it up—and took that, and it was the greatest thing, I’ll tell you.

I went straight to Hell, is what happened. I found myself, you know, the landscape froze over, and there were huge boulders, and there was a deep thrumming, and it was the Day of Wrath, and God was judging me as a sinner, and this lasted for thousands of years and didn’t get any better. It just got worse and worse, and I was in terrible pain, I felt terrible physical pain, and all I could talk was in Latin. Most embarrassing, ‘cause the girl I was with thought I was doing it to annoy her, and I kept saying Libera me domine in die illa. You know, and Agnus dei qui tollis peccata mundi [...] and especially, Tremens factus sum ego et timeotimeo meaning “I’m afraid”—and I said Libera me, domine! Whining like some poor dog that’s been left out in the rain all night. Finally, the girl with me said “Oh, barf” and walked out of the room in disgust.

It was a little bit like when I rolled my VW. I mean, it was all very messy and strange. The only good part of it was when I looked in the refrigerator, and I hadn’t defrosted the refrigerator for a long time, and there was nothing in the freezer compartment. I looked in, and I saw this giant cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Ashtray, with cigarette butts in it? Most horrible smell I’d ever smelled! But music sounded very beautiful.

About a month later, I got the galleys for Three Stigmata to read over, and I started reading the galleys, and I thought, “Oh dear, I can’t read these galleys. They’re too scary.” Because all the horrible things that I had written about in Three Stigmata seemed to have come true under acid. So I used to warn people then, that was ‘64, and I used to warn people against taking it. I begged people not to take it.

 

 
Dick put one of the characters in A Maze of Death through the same religious bummer, and he wrote about the ways the psychedelic experience resembled mental illness in two mid-sixties essays, “Drugs, Hallucinations, and the Quest for Reality” and “Schizophrenia & The Book of Changes.” The latter includes a passing reference to the eternity he spent in Hell one night:

Yes, friends, you, too, can suffer forever; simply take 150 mg [sic] of LSD—and enjoy! If not satisfied, simply mail in—but enough. Because after two thousand years under LSD, participating in the Day of Judgment, one probably will be rather apathetic to asking for one’s five dollars back.

Biographer Lawrence Sutin reports the eyewitness account of Dick’s friend Ray Nelson, who remembers the author “sweating, feeling isolated, reliving the life of a Roman gladiator, speaking in Latin and experiencing a spear thrust through his body.” Sutin also quotes this portion of a 1967 letter Dick wrote to Rich Brown, which discloses a few more details of the acid vision of God:

I perceived Him as a pulsing, furious, throbbing mass of vengeance-seeking authority, demanding an audit (like a sort of metaphysical IRS agent). Fortunately I was able to utter the right words [the “Libera me, Domine” quoted above], and hence got through it. I also saw Christ rise to heaven from the cross, and that was very interesting, too (the cross took the form of a crossbow, with Christ as the arrow; the crossbow launched him at terrific velocity—it happened very fast, once he had been placed in position).

Listen to what the man says, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.03.2018
08:25 am
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That time two scientists killed an elephant with a massive overdose of LSD because…science

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There are times when the best advice is ignored by those its intended to help even when it’s given by example. If only Tusko the elephant had taken the hint from Nellie and packed his trunk and waved goodbye to Oklahoma City Zoo, then maybe dear old Tusko could have avoided his untimely and unnecessary death on August 3rd, 1962, from a massive overdose of LSD injected by two scientists, Dr. Louis Jolyon “Jolly” West and Dr. Chester M. Pierce, and Mr. Warren Thomas, head honcho at the city zoo..

I can’t help but think if Beavis and Butthead had ever by some miracle of fate graduated from high school and then somehow majored in sciences at the local community college, then they may have come up with the idea of injecting an elephant with humongous dose of LSD just to see what would happen. Not that West, Pierce, or even Clark were random knuckleheads. They were highly qualified science guys with impressive resumes who just wanted to know what would happen if a fourteen-year-old Indian elephant tripped out on acid.

LSD was the new wonder drug. Doctors, scientists, psychiatrists, and the CIA were all fascinated at the potential use of the drug in altering behavior, helping mental illness, possible brainwashing, and as a potential military weapon. What West and Pierce were keen on discovering was the drug’s use in determining the cause of episodes of temporary madness in male elephants called musth. During these phases of aggressive behavior, male elephants secreted a fluid from their temporal gland which, on occasion, could be seen oozing out of their ears. Musth caused male elephants to go on a rampage, stomp the shit outta stuff, kill people, and generally cause havoc. West and Pierce hoped a dose of LSD would provoke a psychotic reaction in Tusko which would cause musth to occur. If it did, then LSD could be used in the research of psychotic behavior in elephants and humans—as it was thought the elephant’s brain was similar, if considerably larger, to ours.

But here was the BIG problem: no one had ever given LSD to an elephant before, well, at least no one had owned up to it, and West and Pierce had no knowledge as to what dosage would provide a suitably effective hit of the drug. They consulted zoo-guy Thomas, who noted that African elephants were often resistant to drugs. It was therefore decided to roughly estimate the dose to be administered to Tusko on calculations based on the size of dose given to humans and increasing the dosage proportionally to the elephant’s size. Somehow this ended up multiplying Tusko’s dose by approximately 3,000 percent—which is the largest known dose ever given to animal.

On Friday, August 3rd 1962, West and Pierce watched as Thomas injected Tusko with 297 milligrams of LSD. Tusko quickly started tripping balls. The elephant became very distressed and lost control of his bodily movements. Tusko ran around his pen trumpeting. His mate Judy tried to comfort poor Tusko, but it was to no avail. Believing they may have injected him with waaaay too much acid, West, Pierce, and Thomas quickly administered an antipsychotic drug—-2,800 milligrams of promazine-hydrochloride. It didn’t do much. His eyes rolled back, his tongue turned blue, and the elephant showed signs of seizures.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.25.2018
08:13 am
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Check out the (primitive) psychedelic visuals from this ‘trippy’ 1979 Betamax tape
04.09.2018
10:25 am
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VHS edition of “Electric Light Voyage”—the uploaded version is from a Betamax source.
 
Here’s an interesting find from the early days of home video.

This Betamax format tape, titled Ascent 1 from Astralvision, was released under the title Electric Light Voyage for its videocassette release from Media Home Entertainment. The tape consists of “trippy” computer-generated visuals set to experimental music. These visuals would have been STATE OF THE ART in 1979, but seem quite primitive by today’s standards—a lot of them look like old Windows screensavers.

Aside from some of the music sounding rather frightening, the lysergic visuals on this tape seem tailor-made as a late ‘70s “trip toy” to be enjoyed under the influence of one’s favorite hallucinogen. The liner notes on the box indicate that it’s “great for parties or individual contemplation” (emphasis added): 

“This 60-minute electronic fantasy featuring computer animation can control and change your moods of elation and tranquility. To change or enhance your mood, simply play a musical selection that accompanies your present feeling – its mesmerizing! The abstract colorized computer animated visuals are artfully paced with their complimentary soundtrack. Images explode with color while soothing with flowing shapes and rhythms, Great for parties or individual contemplation.”

 

 
Copies of Electric Light Voyage I’ve seen online are boxed in Media Home Entertainment packaging, but the logo at the beginning of this upload indicates “Meda”—which was the original name of Charles Band’s video company before the name was changed to “Media.” This was one of only a handful of titles available from Meda/Media at the time—a roster which included the first videocassette release of John Carpenter’s Halloween, which is, among collectors, one of the most sought-after and valuable videocassette releases of all-time.

As primitive as this seems today, it’s still really cool. The music, which varies from dark creepy soundscapes to proto-new age, is mostly pretty great and I imagine the visuals would still “work” under the influence of your favorite research chemical.
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel
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04.09.2018
10:25 am
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‘Out There’: The Transcendent Life and Art of Burt Shonberg

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Scene: A medical facility in California, December 1960. Dr. Oscar Janiger, a research professor at the University of California-Irvine, carries out a series of investigations into the impact of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide 25, or LSD to you and me, on the creative processes. Janiger enlisted a variety of artists, writers, and actors as test patients, tasked with discovering the drug’s potency. Among those who signed-up for the trials was an artist named Burt Shonberg who had two sessions with Janiger. During his first session, Shonberg received an injection of 100ml of LSD. This led him to see a hidden structure to the universe where “Humanity is literally hypnotized by the Dream Reality of momentum caused by life (meaning external influences).”

There is an illusion of movement in life which is not the truth. This all relates to so-called time. Time is motion—is evolution. One might say that the Big Criminal in all this is identification. To be apart from the form is the answer to real vision—consciousness. To be awake is to be really alive—to really exist.

March 1961: Janiger carries out a second experiment with Shonberg upping the dose of LSD to 150ml. At first, the artist didn’t think the trip was working but suddenly he was propelled into an experience that led him to believe he had left the clinic and had witnessed an undiscovered world where giants danced in the sky. He quickly understood that this “psychedelic experience” could “possibly reach to actual magic and beyond.”

There are, of course, certain things that one experiences in the transcendental state that are not possible to communicate in the usual way, so new types of parables would have to be created to get the message through. These discoveries I refer to could be insights or revelations into various aspects of the world we live in, nature, the mind itself, the universe, reality, and God.

The experiments radically altered Shonberg and his approach to painting. He continued his own experiments with LSD which eventually led him to believe he was, in fact, a living embodiment of Baphomet—“a divine androgyne, a unification of light and darkness, male and female and the macro and microcosm,” or Aleister Crowley’s pagan, pre-Christian deity, or “the Devil in all his bestial majesty.”
 
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‘Waking State Consciousness’ (1965).
 
Burt Shonberg was born on March 30, 1933, in Revere, MA. He had a talent for art and started his artistic studies before enlisting in the U.S. Army. After his discharge in 1956, he continued his studies at the Art Center of Los Angeles. He had interest in the occult, UFOs, and horror movies, in particular, Frankenstein’s monster which was a suitable avatar for his life and work as a creature made from disparate elements with no understanding of his true significance. His paintings drew various admirers including Forrest J. Ackerman who signed him to his talent agency and introduced him to the film world. He gained respect and began painting murals for a selection of hip nightclubs and coffee houses including Theodor Bikel’s Unicorn Cafe, the Purple Onion, the Bastille, Cosmo Alley and Pandora’s Box, eventually opening his own venue Café Frankenstein in 1958 at Laguna Beach, CA, where he decorated the walls and windows with startling imagery of his favorite movie monster.

As his reputation grew, Shonberg started a relationship with Marjorie Cameron—widow of the notorious rocket pioneer, occultist, and Crowley-devotee Jack Parsons. Cameron believed she was Babalon incarnate and initiated Shonberg’s interest in magick and the occult. Together they started an artist’s colony called ERONBU—a name composed from “camERON+BUrt.” But Cameron was a “Lady Macbeth figure, with hooks in Burt that penetrated deep,” and their relationship was doomed to failure.

His mural work drew the attention of independent movie-maker Roger Corman who hired Shonberg to paint the family portraits for his film version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher starring Vincent Price. Corman and Price (an avid art collector) were deeply enamored of Shonberg’s work, which led to more movie, magazine, and album cover commissions in the sixties and seventies.
 
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Vincent Price in front of two of Shonberg’s portraits for Roger Corman’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher.’
 
Biographer Spencer Kansa was hipped to Burt Shonberg when writing his biography of Marjorie Cameron. Kansa is an acclaimed novelist, writer, and outsider maverick who is ideally positioned to write the first major biography of Shonberg, Out There: The Transcendent Life and Art of Burt Shonberg.

Spenser Kansa: I discovered Burt’s work while I was researching my biography of Marjorie Cameron, Wormwood Star, in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s. I knew they’d been lovers but I got to meet two of Burt’s chums who raved about him and showed me some examples of his incredible artwork. And the more I got to know about him, the more I realized I just had to chronicle his life story once the Cameron biography was completed.

DM: Why do you think Shonberg is important?

SK: Firstly, he’s the pre-eminent psychedelic artist of the 1960s. Plus he’s an intriguing figure who straddles a mid-century cultural nexus that encapsulates the rise of alternative religions, the UFO phenomenon, the Beat Movement, the popularity of monster movies, sixties counterculture and psychedelia. 

DM: How did he meet Marjorie Cameron?

SK: My educated guess would be that they probably met at the Unicorn, L.A.’s first beatnik-era coffeehouse, which stood next door to what became the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip. Burt designed its décor and menu and Cameron was known to frequent the place, as well as the bookshop upstairs.
 
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‘Self Portrait’ (1958).
 
DM: What was Shonberg’s relationship to drugs? How important were they to him?

SK: His mural work was often quite time-consuming and laborious, and amphetamines helped fuel the necessary energy he needed to complete such undertakings, without losing his concentration. He would stay up for days at a time working on pieces, and his speed usage helps explain why he was so industrious and prolific. His use of hallucinogens, firstly, peyote then LSD, sparked his inner visions, and on canvases like “Seated Figure and a Cosmic Train,” he captured his transcendent state in such a moving and powerful way that many of his contemporaries, who’d also experienced such altered states, instantly related to it. Also, it’s important not to forget that he was able to translate onto the canvas, not only the occult and Crowley-inspired themes he’d been exposed to by Cameron but some rather weighty metaphysical concepts, particularly those deriving from his deep interest in Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way system.
 
More from Spencer Kansa talking about Burt Shonberg, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.22.2018
12:40 pm
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Mind-melting illustrations done in 1950 by a man tripping balls on LSD show his descent into madness
07.05.2017
09:32 am
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An illustration done by an artist 20 minutes after taking 50 micrograms of LSD. According to notes taken by the attending physician, Dr. Oscar Janiger, the patient “chooses to start drawing with charcoal and was showing no effect from the drug.” Not yet anyway.
 
Experimental psychiatrist Oscar Janiger was one interesting cat. After relocating from New York to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, he established his private practice. Later, Janiger would end up teaching his somewhat unconventional beliefs at the University of California-Irvine. While all that sounds pretty typical when it comes to the life of an academic, Janiger was anything but your average college professor. You see, Oscar Janiger was a hugely influential early advocate of the use of hallucinogens, and his experiments and research precede those of LSD’s most famous enthusiast, Timothy Leary. Janiger allegedly hooked up actor Cary Grant and author and author Aldous Huxley with LSD and was noted to have dosed himself with the hallucinogenic drug at least thirteen times, though his drug trips were taken in the name of science as Janiger was very interested in trying to establish a direct correlation between use of the drug and how it might influence creativity. Which brings me to the point of this post—an experiment conducted by Janiger in which he administered LSD to an artist who was armed with a box of crayons.

The goal of Janiger’s experiment was to chart how well the artist could cling to reality during his “trip” and his ability to draw the same portrait of a man before, during, and after taking LSD. There are nine pictures in all, and each is pretty telling when it comes to the long, strange journey Janiger’s high-as-fuck guinea pig went on. I’ve posted the pictures below that chronicle the various results of each stage Janiger’s patient traveled through during which he was administered 50 micrograms of LSD twice. Which, if you’re not acquainted with acid, is a pretty standard dose, although, the illustrations and their accompanying captions seem to say otherwise.
 

This illustration was done at the 85-minute mark following the first dose, and twenty minutes after a second, 50 microgram dose. According to Janiger, his patient seemed “euphoric.” He stated to Janiger that he could see him “clearly, so clearly.” He also sputtered out the following statement: “This… you… it’s all… I’m having a little trouble controlling this pencil. It seems to want to keep going.”
 

At two hours and 30 minutes in Janiger’s patient appears very focused on the business of drawing. He then makes the following statement: “Outlines seem normal but very vivid - everything is changing color. My hand must follow the bold sweep of the lines. I feel as if my consciousness is situated in the part of my body that’s now active - my hand, my elbow… my tongue.”
 

Two hours and 32 minutes in Janiger notes that his patient seems “gripped by his pad of paper.” The artist notes he’s going to try to create another drawing saying that the “outlines of the model are normal, but now those of my drawing are not. The outline of my hand is going weird too. It’s not a very good drawing, is it? I give up - I’ll try again…”
 

Two hours and 35 minutes in Janiger says that his patient was able to produce another drawing saying that he would “Do a drawing in one flourish… without stopping… one line, no break!’ When he finished his illustration, Janiger’s patient started laughing then became startled by something on the floor. Sounds about right.
 

At the two hours and 45-minute mark, Janiger’s patient attempted to climb into an activity box and is generally agitated. He is slow to respond to suggestions such as if he would like to “draw more.” He has become mostly nonverbal but did manage to mumble the following: “I am… everything is… changed… they’re calling… your face… interwoven… who is…” He also appears to be attempting to hum a tune (according to Janiger it sounded like the 1938 hit “Thanks for the Memory”). He would then switch his medium from charcoal to tempera.
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.05.2017
09:32 am
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Leonard Nimoy speaks out: Why Spock approved of LSD and ‘dirty movies’

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Throughout his life, the actor Leonard Nimoy appeared to be always open to discussing nearly everything in his life. He answered questions frankly and honestly on subjects as diverse as space travel, photography, or his own personal tastes in music or books. He answered these questions in a seemingly calm and rational way. His ability to do so was most possibly down to the very real personality changes brought on by playing Mr. Spock on hit TV series Star Trek. This was something Nimoy touched upon in an interview with TV Star Parade magazine in January 1968, where he discussed his thoughts about adult movies and the liberating potential of psychoactive drugs.

In the article “Leonard Nimoy Speaks Out on LSD, Religion and Dirty Movies—an unblushingly honest confession as told to Roger Elwood,” the actor was interviewed in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel. He is described as being “relaxed and comfortable” and sipping from a “glass of ginger liquid.” Who knows what was in this amber nectar but the main interest here was the actor’s comments on LSD and “dirty movies,” as Elwood wrote:

And so is the topic of LSD. The self-hallucinatory drug. The ticket to a trip somewhere at the farthest reaches of man’s intellect. Or so its proponents say without telling you of the dangers, the obstacles on the road to mental Utopia.

Leonard is especially outspoken on the subject, apparently one to which he has devoted a great deal of time and serious thought.

“It is a useful tool in the hands of proper medical experts,” he told me. “I am convinced, as a result of reports that I have read, that it will bring about some very useful effects in certain instances and under suitable and necessary medical controls. However, as it is being used by so many young people as a means of escape and personal investigation without control, I consider it rather dangerous.”

But Mr. Spock wasn’t finished there.

He paused, obviously thinking of his own children and hoping that, as they got older, they wouldn’t be similarly imperiled.

Then, clearing his throat, he continued, “There have been too many unsettling reports of young people using it without the necessary supervision and having difficulty recuperating from the trip. In many cases, I believe that young people resort to drugs with the excuse that it will help develop their minds, whereas they haven’t done the necessary work involved for themselves so that this could happen.

“The point is—they are looking for a drug or pill which will do the work for them, and this attitude in life is disastrous whether LSD is involved or not. The drugs can, I understand, be properly used, when the essential mental climate and conditions are already present—however, I believe in natural development processes of the mind. The creative process for me has always operated best at the very conscious level—in other words, only when I’m in complete control of my own thinking do I feel that I am creating at my best.”

As a sidebar, it’s worth noting that Nimoy was so in “control” of his personal life during the making of the original Star Trek series that he became (by his own admission) an alcoholic and ended up in rehab. This may have been as a result of Nimoy’s identifying with the character of Mr. Spock. He later claimed acting Spock twelve hours, five days a week, impacted on his personality making him more rational but less emotional.

More from Mr. Spock, after the jump….

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.05.2017
09:04 am
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AI ‘on acid’ fucks with classic Bob Ross footage; everybody wins


 
For many of us, Bob Ross’ PBS show The Joy of Painting was an endlessly enjoyable random staple of the TV programming of our youth. Did anyone under the age of 57 ever actually seek out Bob Ross on TV? No, for me anyway, it was always encountered accidentally, this odd hippie with a paintbrush that was unlike everything else on the idiot box. As Patton Oswalt once observed, Ross was a Quaalude version of his predecessor and mentor on PBS, the more intense German émigré William Alexander.

A man named Alexander Reben has created the ultimate psychedelic Bob Ross artifact. It’s called Deeply Artificial Trees. According to Reben, “This artwork represents what it would be like for an AI to watch Bob Ross on LSD.”

There’s more, but I didn’t continue reading. I had all the information I needed.
 

 
via The Daily Dot
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Bob Ross ‘talks dirty’

Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.07.2017
01:03 pm
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Obama finally handing out pardons, and after 22 years for pot and acid, this Deadhead will go free


 
Barack Obama has been (somewhat notoriously) light on pardons and commutations of sentence throughout his administration. As of March he had only granted 70 pardons (the lowest since John Adams), and 180 commutations, a record that the Washington Post speculated might earn him the legacy of “one of the most merciless presidents in history.” I supposed you could argue that if he did extend mercy to those incarcerated at the hands of a ridiculously punitive justice system he might get a reputation for being “soft on crime,” and then he might not get elected again… for a third term?

It’s some small comfort however that Obama is on a bit of a spree during his final months as President, recently bringing his record up to 673 commutations and providing a light at the end of the tunnel for a number of non-violent drug offenders, including Timothy Tyler, who was busted in 1994 for selling pot and acid to an undercover cop and sentenced to life. He’s been in jail for 22 years. His sister has been fighting for his freedom, collecting over 423,000 names on his behalf—from her petition:

My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He’s watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possibility of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation.

Tyler’s case was followed pretty closely by activists against mandatory minimums and long sentencing, likely at least partially because as a Deadhead he’s a poster boy for non-violent offenders. After growing up with an abusive stepfather, he saw his first Grateful Dead show at 17, and began following the band and and doing acid fairly regularly. Tyler also dealt with bipolar disorder and psychotic episodes, at times believing Jerry Garcia was God, and once ending up in a psych ward for trying to build a dam naked on the side of an Arizona highway. In prison he became a vegetarian, and though he previously dated women, he began having sex with other inmates to escape the isolation and oppressive claustrophobia of prison.

He is set to be released in August of 2018, where he will be required to spend nine months in a residential drug treatment program, after which his mother and sister will be his support network.
 
Via Death and Taxes

Posted by Amber Frost
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09.01.2016
02:27 pm
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The Move: The drug-addled, axe-wielding rock group who got sued by the Prime Minister

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It’s one of those odd quirks of fate why sixties beat group The Move never became as big as say The Who, Kinks or the Dave Clark Five or even (crikey!) The Beatles or The Stones. There are many reasons as to why this never happened—top of the tree is the fact The Move never broke the American market which limited their success primarily to a large island off the coast of Europe. Secondly, The Move was all too often considered a singles band—and here we find another knotty problem.

The Move, under the sublime writing talents of Roy Wood, produced singles of such quality, range and diversity it was not always possible to identify their unique imprint. They evolved from “pioneers of the psychedelic sound” with their debut single “Night of Fear” in 1966—a song that sampled Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—through “I Can Hear The Grass Grow” and “Flowers In The Rain” to faster rock songs like “Fire Brigade”—which inspired the bassline for the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen”—to the chirpy pop of “Curly” and “Omnibus” to sixties miserabilism “Blackberry Way” and early heavy metal/prog with “Wild Tiger Woman,” “Brontosaurus” and “When Alice Comes Back to the Farm.” Though there is undoubtedly a seriousness and considered process going on here—it was not necessarily one that brought together a united fan base. Those who bought “Flowers in the Rain” were not necessarily going to dig the Hendrix-influenced “Wild Tiger Woman” or groove along to “Alice Comes Back to the Farm.”

That said, The Move scored nine top ten hits during the sixties, were critically praised, had a considerable following of screaming fans, and produced albums which although they were considered “difficult” at the time (Shazam, Looking On and Message from the Country) are now considered pioneering, groundbreaking and (yes!) even “classic.”

The Move was made up from oddments of musicians and singers from disparate bands and club acts who would not necessarily gravitate together. Formed in December 1965, the original lineup consisted of guitarist Roy Wood (recently departed from Mike Sheridan and The Nightriders), vocalist Carl Wayne who along with bass player Chris ‘Ace’ Kefford and drummer Bev Bevan came from The Vikings, and guitarist Trevor Burton from The Mayfair Set. Each of these artists had a small taste of success—most notably Carl Wayne who had won the prestigious Golden Orpheus Song Festival in Bulgaria—but nothing that was going to satisfy their ambitions for a long and rewarding career.

It was David Bowie—then just plain David Jones—who suggested Kefford and Burton should form their own band. They recruited Wood onto the team sheet and decided to follow another piece of Bowie’s advice to bring together the very best musicians and singers in their hometown of Birmingham. This they did. And although technically it was Kefford’s band, Carl Wayne by dint of age steered the group through their first gigs.
 
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The Move’s greatest asset was Roy Wood—a teenage wunderkind who was writing songs about fairies and comic book characters that were mistakenly believed to have been inspired by LSD. This gave the band their counterculture edge when “Night of Fear” was released in 1966. They were thought to be acidheads tuning into the world of psychedelia a year before the Summer of Love—but as drummer Bev Bevan later recalled:

Nobody believed that Roy wasn’t out of his head on drugs but he wasn’t. It was all fairy stories rooted in childhood.

Young Wood and Wayne may have been squeaky clean but the rest of the band certainly enjoyed the sherbets—with one catastrophic result.

After chart success of “Night of Fear,” The Move were expected to churn out hit after hit after hit. Though Wood delivered the goods—the financial rewards did not arrive. Ace Kefford later claimed the pressure of touring, being mobbed by fans, having clothes ripped—and once being stabbed in the eye by a fan determined to snip a lock of his hair—for the same money he made gigging with The Vikings made it all seem rather pointless.

But their success continued apace. By 1967, The Move had three top ten hits, were the first band played on the BBC’s new flagship youth channel Radio One, and were touring across the UK and Europe. They also caused considerable controversy with their live stage act which involved Carl Wayne chopping up TV sets with an axe. While the golden youth were wearing flowers in their hair and singing about peace and love, The Move were offering agitprop political theater.

Then they were sued by British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
 
More of The Move, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.12.2016
09:20 am
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LSD Orgy Exposé: Have an acid flashback with these psychedelic book covers
04.08.2016
12:09 pm
Topics:
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Contrary to that hoary old adage, a book is often judged by its cover. Whether that’s right or wrong, is unimportant, that’s just how it is. Indeed, it’s far easier to dismiss a book by its cover because so many books today look stupid.

Once book covers were discussed, considered and only then created by a team of whizz kid artists and designers. Nowadays, it’s easy to find three or four books by different authors on different genres with exactly the same black & white or color stock photo. It’s bad economics and lazy design.

Even at their worst though, pulp covers are aesthetically interesting. Some artist has invested time and effort into creating a cover that would (hopefully) bring readers to the pages. Not all pulp covers work—but at least they show some intelligence at play rather than just an editor indifferently picking a stock pic of a snowy street out of a catalog to save money.

This selection of covers for pulp fiction and nonfiction books on LSD and other psychedelic drugs give some idea to the variation in style book designers once had. Not all of these covers hit the spot—but at best they suggest that the reader could possibly get a contact high with just a flick through their pages.
 
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Many more acid flashback paperback book covers after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.08.2016
12:09 pm
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The drugs that fueled the Meat Puppets’ first five LPs
01.29.2016
09:52 am
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Meat Puppets scholar Matthew Smith-Lahrman, the author of The Meat Puppets and the Lyrics of Curt Kirkwood from Meat Puppets II to No Joke, has posted a number of his in-depth interviews with the band on his blog, Perspective. Toward the end of one such conversation with main Puppet Curt Kirkwood, the singer and guitarist breaks down which drugs the band used while recording each of their first five albums for SST:

The first album was, “Let’s do it all on acid.” We thought that our heroes did. And I always thought, “Wow, the Grateful Dead and Jimi were trippin’,” and so we did it in the studio, Meat Puppets I sounds like that because we really are on drugs. Meat Puppets II we had MDA: lots of it. Really good MDA. We just had a ball with the stuff for about four or five days and recorded the record, but nobody is going to do that again after that. It’s like, “This record depends on this.” Well, it kind of does. Up on the Sun is just a big pot and beer album. “Now this one we’re going to go smoke pot and drink beer.” Then we go do Mirage and Huevos and snort cocaine.

 

 
For the Meat Puppets fan whose response to the above paragraph is “tl;dr,” here’s the Dangerous Minds easy-reference, wallet-sized taxonomy:

Meat Puppets: acid
Meat Puppets II: MDA
Up on the Sun: pot and beer
Mirage: cocaine
Huevos: cocaine

And here’s a story from Gregg Turkington’s liner notes to the Rykodisc reissue of Meat Puppets that should help you remember which drug goes with that album:

Curt once told me a story of a night he spent in the Arizona desert under the influence of hallucinogens. Wandering around in a patch of barren desert far from town, he came upon what appeared to be a beautiful Persian rug, laid out in the sand. Under the influence as he was, he couldn’t help but lie down on the rug and attempt to commune with its cascading patterns and beautiful colors. He eventually wrapped himself up in this gorgeous rug, and drifted off to sleep. Upon awakening to the heat of a desert morning, he was instantly sobered up by the realization that the rug was in fact, an extremely dead coyote, covered in maggots and stinking like the bowels of Hell from days spent rotting in the sun. The influence of incidents like these (and there are others!) definitely gave the Meat Puppets their particular and peculiar edge.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.29.2016
09:52 am
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If you do LSD, your hot dog will turn into a troll doll and speak to you!
09.23.2015
11:22 am
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This is from one of those outrageously bad drug scare films from 1969. It’s called Case Study: LSD and it’s so bad it’s funny. Apparently, if you drop some acid and decide to eat a hot dog, the acid could potentially turn your meal into a troll doll.

Honestly, if I saw this nonsensical propaganda back in 1969, I probably couldn’t wait to get my hands on stuff! I mean, talking troll doll hot dogs?! I’m so there!

The talking hot dog had seven kids and a wife to support. He deserved better.

 
With thanks to Rusty Blazenhoff

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.23.2015
11:22 am
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A housewife drops acid (legally), 1963
08.31.2015
03:21 pm
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Before it became a Schedule I controlled substance in October of 1968, there was a not-all-that-brief period in which lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD, enjoyed some respectability among the chattering classes, even benefited from the same type of breathless hype that the technology associated with the moon landing enjoyed.

According to a 2010 Vanity Fair article by Judy Balaban and Cari Beauchamp, at some point in the 1950s, the publisher of Time, Henry Luce, tried LSD and developed a favorable attitude towards it, and that was all LSD needed to receive several years of positive coverage in all the major magazines:

Another early experimenter was Clare Boothe Luce, the playwright and former American ambassador to Italy, who in turn encouraged her husband, Time publisher Henry Luce, to try LSD. He was impressed and several very positive articles about the drug’s potential ran in his magazine in the late 50s and early 60s, praising Sandoz’s “spotless” laboratories, “meticulous” scientists, and LSD itself as “an invaluable weapon to psychiatrists.”

In addition, it was well known that Hollywood luminaries like Cary Grant and Esther Williams were using LSD as a therapeutic tool:

“The Curious Story Behind the New Cary Grant” headlined the September 1, 1959, issue of Look magazine, and inside was a glowing account of how, because of LSD therapy, “at last, I am close to happiness.” He later explained that “I wanted to rid myself of all my hypocrisies. I wanted to work through the events of my childhood, my relationship with my parents and my former wives. I did not want to spend years in analysis.” More articles followed, and LSD even received a variation of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when that magazine declared in its September 1960 issue that it was one of the secrets of Grant’s “second youth.” The magazine went on to praise him for “courageously permitting himself to be one of the subjects of a psychiatric experiment with a drug that eventually may become an important tool in psychotherapy.”

Over the weekend a Retronaut page by Alex Q. Arbuckle has been making the rounds with the title “April 16, 1963: Housewife on LSD.” The page, which is light on text, features several photographs taken in 1963 by LIFE photographer John Loengard of a session in which some test subjects—i.e., regular people—were given LSD. The centerpiece of the series is a woman named Barbara Dunlap, identified as a housewife from Cambridge, Massachusetts, as she contemplates a statue of Buddha and a sliced lemon in tripping wonderment. The photos, all black and white, can’t begin to suggest the blazing psychedelic visions Dunlap was experiencing, but anyone who has ever taken LSD can fill in the blanks perfectly well.

One weird note: The Retronaut title contains the date April 16, 1963, but it’s not clear to me that that date refers to anything, actually. Arbuckle’s text mentions April 16, 1943—twenty years earlier—as the date on which Albert Hofmann first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide. Loengard’s photographs were not taken on April 16, 1963, which is abundantly clear primarily because some of the photographs appeared in the March 15, 1963 issue of LIFE, to ameliorate a lengthy article by Robert Coughlan called “The Chemical Mind-Changers.” That article was actually the second of a two-part article—the first part, which appeared a week earlier, was more technical in nature and didn’t focus at all on the test subjects.

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.31.2015
03:21 pm
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Cocaine, heroin, and LSD molecules become wearable works of art
08.07.2015
01:04 pm
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Cocaine molecular necklace
“Cocaine” molecular necklace
 
After working for a biotech lab in Vancouver, BC, science “nerd” Tania Hennessy, originally from New Zealand, decided to start making jewelry based on the molecular structure of various vices, such as cocaine, heroin, and LSD.
 
Overdose molecular necklace
“Overdose” molecular necklace
 
Hennessy laser-cuts her 3D designer drugs from lightweight stainless steel in various finishes, and the results are quite stunning. In some cases, Hennessy combines the addictive molecules, such as LSD and MDMA (a practice known as “candy flipping” if you’re into that kind of thing), to create a wearable drug cocktail without all the nasty side effects. Hennessy even created a piece called “Overdose” (pictured above) that combines the molecular images of the following drugs: LSD, psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms), cocaine, DMT (the powerful psychedelic dimethyltryptamine), THC (marijuana), and MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). Trippy.
 
LSD molecular necklace
“LSD” molecular necklace
 
There are also a few less life-threatening vices in Hennessy’s collection such as chocolate and caffeine, as well good-vibe neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, among others. The pieces in Hennessy’s collection will run you anywhere from $25 to $95 and can be purchased on her website, Aroha Silhouettes. More images of Hennessy’s druggy designs follow. 
 
Cannabis molecular necklace
“Cannabis” molecular necklace
 
DMT molecular necklace
“DMT” molecular necklace
 
MDMA molecular necklace
“MDMA” molecular necklace
 
Psilocybin (magic mushroom) molecular necklace
“Psilocybin” (magic mushroom) molecular necklace
 
Heroin molecular necklace
“Heroin” molecular necklace
 
Methamphetamine molecular necklace
“Methamphetamine” molecular necklace
 
Ketamine (Special K) molecular necklace
“Ketamine (Special K)” molecular necklace
 
Oxycontin molecular necklace
“Oxycontin” molecular necklace
 
THC molecular necklace
“THC” molecular necklace

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Images of LSD, cocaine, meth and other drugs exposed to film

Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.07.2015
01:04 pm
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Funky glasses give you psychedelic visual effects without LSD
07.28.2015
01:00 pm
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Supplying more fun than can reasonably be expected at the optician’s, these intriguing lenses created by Hungarian designer Bence Agoston for a 3D printer enable psychedelic visual experiences while requiring the insertion of round optical lenses into the waiting slots—the effects include “a landscape modified by combinations of colors and patterns.” Anyone who remembers Dr. Timothy Leary might hear in those words connection to good ol’ lysergic acid diethylamide, which, even in this age of rampant drug legalization, is still a Schedule I controlled substance.

The glasses came about through a class project in which each student was assigned another student for whom they were tasked with designing some personal object. Agoston and his classmate quickly found a connection in music, so he looked to design an item that would enhance the experience of listening to music. Said Agoston,
 

The person for whom I was designing, whose name I pulled from a hat, first had to get to know each other to see if we could find a common point. I interviewed my “client” and luckily he really likes music and he always listens to music while he is traveling. That became the point for our connection because I also love music, but I just listen to it, really a first stage kind of activity. When embarking on this project my goal was to take it to a second stage and give the user a way to experience music by both listening to it and altering their visual experience of it.

 
The frames are 3D-printed in ABS plastic and can accept up to three of the set of six patterned lenses. The lenses can be rotated in relationship to each other to provide a virtually endless array of psychedelic viewing experiences, which work especially well when looking out of the window of a moving vehicle. The glasses also partially obscure vision, so it’s quite clear that the glasses should in all instances be worn by passengers, not drivers.

Amusingly, Agoston based his selection of colors to use in his lenses on colors most often found on album covers featuring indie psychedelic music, but he may come up with different series of colors for other kinds of music.
 

 
via 3Dprint

Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.28.2015
01:00 pm
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