Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Acid Flashback

In the middle of one of Eric Kirk’s political rants, which make no sense to me. Not that Eric doesn’t make sense to me, but politics don’t. Anyway, in the middle of his rant, he dropped this slap on my sixties face:
“Maybe some of you older sixties types can explain all that to me. Then maybe you can explain the lyrics to Desolation Row.[By Bob Dylan] I know, I know…. I had to be there to “feel it.”

In the sixties we looked for the logic and reason in everything. It was an age of mind expansion. We threw off the shackles off our ancestors, we burned our bras, we objected to war. We threw open the doors of the insane asylums. We objected to any form of prejudice. We worried about deep concepts like “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?”

These seemingly unanswerable questions seemed like great mysteries to us, and we felt that there must be some deep knowledge in finding the answers to it all. We knew that whatever was happening that it was our parents fault, and it needed to be corrected.

Great music and art came out of the age of the sixties, and it all had a mind challenging element to it. It was not good, or “deep”, if it didn’t leave you somewhat confused and wondering what it was all about. Some great thinkers suggested that all of these questions could be answered if you just dropped a little acid. It was great to see someone on acid explain something like the lyrics to that song, and many others, “A Horse with no Name” comes to mind.

It seemed to make perfect sense to them while they were in their drug induced stupor. Some realized that their “clarity of insight” came from the drugs, and their great knowledge was just a deception. Others actually believed the lies that drugs induce. The phrase “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” had great meaning to them, as in this quote from Dr. Timothy Leary:

“Turn on' meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. 'Tune in' meant interact harmoniously with the world around you - externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean 'Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity”.

Some people that had great potential, actually dropped out of school, stopped their education, and became vagabonds and hippies. Some of them still defend the great “mind expansion” that they gleaned from dropping acid. Who is to actually say whether they are better, or worse, off for dropping acid. I don’t know, I never have, and never will. I saw too many of my friends and classmates play with drugs of all sorts. Some totally fried their brains, and others actually seem to be better off because of it. But, I am the eternal coward when it comes to drug use. My mind may not be much, but that is all the more reason to not take chances with it by trying to alter it.

Maybe that answers Eric’s Question. Maybe if I dropprd a little acid, politics would make sense to me.

24 comments:

samoasoftball said...

Don't drop that acid, Ernie. Politics would still make no sense.

1/2 D. Witt said...

Politics makes me drop antacid.

suzy blah blah said...

Scientists did experiments with spiders and proved that caffeine is more dehibilitating than pot

no wonder everything is all fucked up.

Indie said...

LOL, 1/2 D. Witt!!! I admired the '60s so much I tried to recapture them with the Deadhead/Rainbow lifestyle of the '80s. And dropped acid several times. It was fun, mostly.

Certain drugs sort of estrange familiar things and let you look at them from a different perspective. Overdoing it, however, completely nullifies any usefulness that might come from this analytical process. Academia does the same thing: analysis, synthesis, looking at things with different "lenses."

Nowadays, I can certainly relate with the notion that my mind is something too precious to be messed around with by silly chemicals.

Though, Suzy, I do love coffee.

spyrock said...

actually that dylan song was recorded in the summer of 1965 when nobody had ever heard of acid. the first sign of the hippies on haight street was a manikin with xmas tree lights around it in the window of the psychedelic shop in the spring of 1966. but the shop was never open. when i came back in the fall of 1966 they were giving out those posters of the concerts and poor richards had opened next door. that's all there was. the first sign of dylan was around november of 1966. he supposedly showed up at a trips festival at longshoremans hall which was the straight rock and roll place back then. i was on a date that night and we ran into this acid test event and we saw someone that looked like him.
america was founded by an air force brat whose mother was british and almost the whole band was british and they didn't record that nameless horse song or do much of anything until the 70's. timmy leary was a harvard dude who was on acid when he said those famous words at the human be in in january of 1967 at the polo field in golden gate park. but that's all he said. the poster band for acid in the sixties was the grateful dead.
when they first started out they would play real songs like everyone else that lasted 3 minutes. after awhile, their songs kept getting longer and longer and longer. i saw them over 30 times in those days and most of the time they were stoned out of their minds. there were a few other acid bands to be sure, but to most people out there, the dead were the only real acid band.
what that had to do with politics is beyond me. all the politicos were over at berkeley protesting everything. in the city everyone was too busy doing their own thing than worry about protesting what someone else was doing.
but what do i know, i'm not even supposed to remember this stuff. and i'm still waiting for those acid flashbacks everyone promised.
when do i get mine. when i'm 64.

udder half a witt said...

Is acid reflux a kind of acid flashback...I am having those all the time...I think coffee makes me acidic. But thanks to Suzy I won't try and spin any webs after coffee.
I think yarns are ok.
I had a friend who was in a mushroom one afternoon, and as she lay upon the bank of a stream she was serenaded by coffee demons. She said a whole row of little brown flame beings were taunting her with "have another cup, have another cup, have another cup".
She wasn't scared, but she thought it was time to get off the...coffee, and didnt have another cup for a decade.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spyrock, The politics thing came from Eric's blog, I answered him on mine. Sorry to be confusing.

You are right that acid came later. The stoners would sit and wonder forever about the noisy tree in the forest, but Timothy Leary promoted acid as a way of knowing the answers. At least the "enlightened ones" thought that they did.

I went to school with the soundman for the Grateful Dead, he is a lifelong friend of mine. So I know a few stories.

Bob Dylan was the first singer to prove that you didn’t have to know how to sing to be a singer.

Dave Kirby said...

I remember a study that Duke University did on the effects of LSD on musicians. They dosed a number of players from all disciplines Classical to Pop and asked them to play a favorite piece. They then were asked to rate their performance. Many thought it was their best performance ever. When it was played back to them several days later most felt they were mediocre at best. This also applies to Grateful Dead fans. Although I will say if you haven't heard Hendrix or Zepplin on acid you missed a whole nother dimension to their music ....I think.

Anonymous said...

Spyrock - I don't know where you grew up but Dylan was definitely on our radar scope before Nov '66.
I saw him - totally acoustic = in Alb, NM with my step dad in 64 or 65 (the step dad was gone by '66). I was just an elementary school girl and will never forget sitting so close up front we could actually see Dylan , his guitar, and harmonica. All alone sitting on a stage not a foot off the ground level.
As for acid I never did like that drug. And I know for a fact (NOT form experience) that crystal meth was a big thing in the SW in the mid - late '60's. Acid came along (via the siblings you - know?) after we moved to Berk, CA in 1968. We were in the Haight 1967, but I was too shell shocked to take it all in. Just a jock form NM.

suzy blah blah said...

Aint it a nice day gang? Suzys feeling good and never mind what im on but ... LOL, its like Ken Kesey said in 65, I was walking by the railraod tracks in Mexico and I realizes its all a trip.p.p.p . . and everything LOL is a dream, with rainbows and LSDylan and turning in and dropping on and tuning over, and over and over --like the Dead did on stage for hours and then Kesey went off to raise cattle ..rolling, rolling rolling joints and like a rolling stone is on and over and out, and back over the bridge to Berk cuz somebody forgot the acid flash back over the bridge and time keeps on slipping slipping slipping LOL --or is it a deja vu? but...

but Suzys most disired higher elevated consciousness experiance, the only one that ive never had yet, is to be a settin on the old porch with Oregon on a sweet summer day tippin back a cold chilly lager or two and spinnin yarns ... thats as close to heaven as i can imagine ...

huggles,
s

Ernie Branscomb said...

Don't let it go to your head Oregon, that's probably because Suzy doesn't know you.

spyrock said...

i remember dylan from when he first came out. he was more of a folk singer and a beat poet to me than an acid person.
at first the people in the san francisco bands acted just like regular people trying to play good music. it only cost $2 or free most of the time. and while the concert was going on, several people were doing light shows, people were roller skating, painting each other and the floors and walls with day glo paint. eating food in the upstairs deli. the rest of the people danced. all over the place. the average age at these concerts was about 25. we were usually the youngest people there.
it wasn't great music that made these average musicians famous. it was the war on drugs.
a lot of them didn't survive the media attention that they received. and those that did survive paid a price for their fame. i saw a lot of good musicians from other places encounter that scene and go down the tubes as well. it's amazing to me how big some of those people became who were just very average musicians. so i can see it like ernie does. what's the big deal. drink a few beers and everyone starts looking good. i spent seven of those years at the beach every day going in the water 4 or 5 times a day mostly without a wetsuit. that's what i really miss about the sixties. uncrowded waves, good health and cheap entertainment.

Robin Shelley said...

Not to mention youth, Spy - heh, heh!
I met Bob Weir in Laytonville once. He came into the pharmacy for something & I waited on him. He was wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt so I asked him if he was a Dead Head. He looked at me blankly & I said, "Your T-shirt." He looked down at his shirt then said, "Oh that. Yeah, I guess I am. You?"
"No," I said. "I never did care for The Dead." He thanked me & left.
A man who used to (might still, I don't know) do a show for KMUD was in the store. He asked me if I knew who I was just talking to. I said no & he said, "Bob Weir". I said, "Bob Who?" & my friend the disc jockey could be heard laughing all the way to his car!

Anonymous said...

SPYROCK,you have a never ending list of"girlfriends" LOL!

spyrock said...

i'm about a month younger than bob weir. i grew up down the street from lee michaels. he was a few years older and a loner. it was just him and his mother living in a garage in an alley. he played piano for me when i was about 8. he was a prodigy. in 61 we were in band together and we started playing rock during school in a sound proof room. greg elmore and i were the drummers, but greg had a drum kit and was older so i would play piano and lee, eddie and melvin would play guitar. greg asked me to be in his band but he was a drummer and as i was first chair drummer in the band i didn't see how it would work out. lee had already graduated and was teaching and playing music down in los angeles. greg and eddie formed a band called the brogues in 1964 which was the first rock band in our area. eddie and another guy wound up going to nam and greg and gary went up to san francisco and hooked up with quicksilver messinger service. so when i went to the city to go to school. the first thing i did in the fall of 66 was go see greg play at the avalon. Janis and big brother played first. then quicksilver. the dead finished things up. they had quite an entourage with them in those days and a lot of energy. pig pen was the front man at that time and i remember someone interviewing him that night. that was my intro to that kind of music. all for 2 bucks.
i saw lee michaels when he played at the fillmore. lee was very professional at the time. lee played every instrument except drums. frosty did that. i knew his girlfriend bobbie that his song is about. but he never had any friends or best friends. do you know what i mean. he was a loner. i think he lives in hawaii now. bob weir was just a young guy like me back then. he looked happy just to be there. jerry garcia had a terminal case of acne and with phil lesh they sort of looked like that band in revenge of the nerds. pig pen was the only cool thing about them. just a bunch of kids from the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Ernie April 8th 11:13 AM

Well Ernie, I am good at spinning yarns after a couple or more lagers. Besides I think it would be a previlage to sit on any porch with susy blah blah.

Oregon

Heresiarch said...

Dr. Leary’s Exo-Psychology recontextualized

suzy blah blah said...

really great link Heresiarch, TL was a really really great psycholagist, inspiration to us all, and really great role modal for being self-reliant committed and on drugs. He helped to accelerate evolution but we need to accelerate more.

suzy blah blah said...

Besides I think it would be a previlage to sit on any porch with susy blah blah.

the previlage would be mine :)

Eric V. Kirk said...

For the longest time I thought Horse with no Name was a Neil Young song.

suzy blah blah said...

LOL!!! just when Suzy thuoght i heard it all! :) heeheehee!
How cuold anyone be sooo unhip as to mistake America for NIel Young?!! LOL!
But dont get me wrong thats whats so luvable about Eric --his naevitay.. Hes sooo adorable in his innocence. Kinda like the Beeve. Its refreshing.. LOL!
-he probably doesnt know what the words to the song are about either ;)

grinnin n rollin (my eyes)
s

Robin Shelley said...

Ha, ha, Suzy! I seem to recall that Eric V. Kirk was a "defender" of Tim Stoen when Stoen forayed into your fine county a few years back... probably thought he looked like Al Franken - you know, of Mel Brooks' fame.

omr said...

i hate to creche the party and cause a naevitay scene, but what do the words mean suz? it would help me sing the lyrics with feeling in my car. thanks.

suzy blah blah said...

OK OMR but its a highly controversial subject and im sure my interpretation will be disputed

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
this describes how he saw plants and birds and rocks and things


The first thing I met was a fly with a buzzthis describes how he saw a fly


And the sky with no cloudsHere hes talking about the sky and how it had no clouds\


The heat was hot and the ground was drythis means the heat was hot and the ground was dry

But the air was full of soundlike flys buzzing


Ive been through the desert on a horse with no nameHis horse didn't have a name


It felt good to be out of the rainthis means it wasnt raining

In the desert you can remember your namesorry Suzy dont gnow what the fuck hes talking abuot here

cause there aint no one for to give you no paincuz theres no one there

La, la ...La, la ...

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
he was getting sunburned

After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead
he came to a dried up river

After nine days I let the horse run freehe let the horse free

cause the desert had turned to seahe came to the ocean

There were plants and birds and rocks and thingshe saw plants and birds and rocks and things

There was sand and hills and ringsThere was sand and hills and rings

The ocean is a desert with its life undergroundthis means the ocean looks like the dessert to him cuz hes an idiot

And a perfect disguise abovea fool

Under the cities lies a heart made of groundthis means there is earth under the cities

But the humans will give no lovethis means he never met Suzy