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No purple or brown acid - they warned us off.
However, my high school girl friend, who was by that time, a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara, had obtained for me a small jar of genuine Owsley Sunshine LSD - the primo acid of the time! So, yes, I was blazing from the time Santana took the stage on Saturday afternoon until Jefferson Airplane closed day two as the sun came up on Sunday morning.
Having returned from a year in Southeast Asia just three months previously, it was just what the doctor ordered *chuckle*, but I was hardly your standard model hippie. Stationed at the Military Academy at West Point, NY, I'm pretty sure most of my fellow concert goers though I must have been a narc . . . until they didn't.
Anyway, camping out in the rain and muck was no hardship for me. At least I could rest assured that Janis Joplin wouldn't be taking pot shots at me, although when the choppers arrived to evacuate the drug casualties, I did suffer a momentary flashback . . .
Wow what a concert that must have been! Green with envy!
I'm amazed you can remember it!
They say if you can remember the 60's, you weren't there.
Of course, it became much more than a concert. A singular event, never to be repeated I'm afraid, at least not in my lifetime.
It was totally unexpected which is why every attempt to recreate it has failed. I was out of the Army and home in California when Altamont was announced, but I figured, 'been there, done that.'
Good choice - it was a disaster . . .
Sadly, that is true for so many, but having dabbled with psychedelics when LSD was still legal, I had determined my own ability to enjoy the experience without mishap or 'memory loss.'
I should admit, however, there was one exception to that general rule. In the early 1970's, Steely Dan gave what for them was a rare concert at UC Irvine. I was living at the beach at the time, and I really liked this new band, so I decided to go. As I had done dozens of times previously with everyone from The Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa, I wanted to drop a tab to 'enhance' the music.
All I remember is starting to come on as we entered the UCI venue, and I mean, that is all. I have no memory whatsoever of the concert or the rest of that night, but that was the only time that happened *chuckle* . . . I think.
It still pisses me off!
Just to be clear . . . from 2012 . . .
In the latest episode of Mad Men Roger Sterling, the silver-haired drunkard rascal of SCDP, attends a high society LSD party. For some 21st century viewers this seemed strange - wasn't LSD a hippie drug? Wasn't it all about long hairs and weird tribal imagery? Eventually that would be the case, but the early of history of acid - before it became illegal - was filled with trippers who were at the very top of the social order - the richest and most famous people in America.
LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hoffman in Switzerland, but it wasn't until five years later that anybody knew what it did to you. That's because it wasn't until 1943 that Hoffman accidentally took some of the drug and embarked on history's first acid trip. While man had been tripping on hallucinogens since the dawn of time - we have receptors in our brains designed to accept psychotropic chemicals - acid is quite different. And besides, it's unlikely that Dr. Hoffman was doing a lot of peyote, so he wasn't very prepared. His first experience was actually fairly nice, but three days later - April 19! A day before dumb 420! - he dosed himself on purpose. That didn't go so well; bicycling home he really fell apart, thinking his neighbor was a witch and that LSD had poisoned him. Eventually he got his shit together and had a nice finale to the trip.
Everybody knows that the CIA seized on acid as a possible mind control drug, using it in their MKULTRA experiments. They would pay prostitutes to dose unsuspecting businessmen and then watch what happened; there were deaths, including that of Frank Olson, who either freaked out and jumped from a 13th floor window or was pushed by the CIA (the reason he was pushed, perhaps: he knew that in 1951 the CIA had dosed an entire French town, Pont-Saint-Esprit, leading to 50 psychotic episodes, a number of people being institutionalized and four deaths).
But acid wasn't just being used for sinister purposes. At the same time that the CIA was conducting MKULTRA experiments, a Los Angeles psychiatrist named Oscar Janiger began experimenting with the drug for therapy, with a special focus on how it impacted creativity. While Timothy Leary will forever be remembered as the foremost medical advocate for LSD, Janiger was the true pioneer. His patients included Aldous Huxley (who had already written The Doors of Perception about his experiments with mescaline), Anais Nin, Andre Previn, James Coburn, Billy Wilder's writing partner Charles Brackett and Cary Grant. Grant dropped acid probably well over a hundred times, a pretty remarkable number of trips for a guy who seems like the emodiment of the squarely suave 40s.Grant swore by the drug. At one point he told Janiger that it should be added to LA's water supply to help more people. In the early 60s he went on a small publicity campaign telling the press it was the secret to his newfound happiness, and Good Housekeeping Magazine said it was the key to his 'second youth.' And he wasn't
Crazy times indeed! But more fun and adventurous than today, no doubt.
Actually the Pont-St.-Esprit story is incorrect. It was proven that the poisening was due to ergot contaminated rye flour. All sick had eaten bread from the same bakery. Or nitrogen chloride which was used to illegally bleach flour.
I had fun with acid in my punk and goth days.
No bad trips for me.
I do have friends in the ground because of drugs, but I always had a line I would never cross - never inject anything.
That rule kept me safe.
Yeah, who likes needles anyway.
Don't know if it's still there, but when I took R&R in 1968, I stayed at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney. While there I dropped one of the previously mentioned Owsley Sunshine barrels that my high school squeeze had sent to Vietnam. I recall leaving my room and 'wading' down the hall to the elevator on their blue and green carpet which approximated the look of water *oh, wow FLASHBACK!*
Kind of like this:
I wish that I had kept a record of the various venues I enjoyed under the influence. I could have filled a fairly substantial notebook *chuckle*. The ocean was always a prime spot - surfing or sailing, no scuba! Tide pools teeming with life! Disneyland was a trip with or without. Woodstock, of course, and too many rock concerts to count. Hollywood jazz clubs, or even just staying indoors. Bob Dylan was the soundtrack of my initial journey in '64 and oranges were a new a strange mystery fruit *far out*.
The effects were salubrious in youth, but I haven't partaken for maybe 30 years. I've still got a tab in the freezer (in case of the apocalypse), but I fear the effects won't mirror those felt when I was young and immortal.
Actually, there's a pretty good chance that I was blazing when my profile photo was taken . . .
. . . yeah, a good chance!