Oh Dear.I seem to have blogged myself into a corner here....ok.away i go, this is my "LSD POST".make of it what you will. .................................(sorry.It's long and boring.............but a few interesting bits at the end if you are still awake by then.people often remark on the narcotic-quality of my blog posts...........................)
The reason I have been thinking about acid is threefold.
First off, I attended a talk by the author & Guardian writer Andy Roberts in London a couple of weeks ago.Its title was "PSYCHEDELIA FORTENA".Essentially about the history of LSD in Britain.He rightly pointed out that we imagine LSD to be an American thing.Yet its main movers& shakers were Brits.& the majority of its manufacture was in England.All those Yankie Hippies grooving away in San Francisco to The Grateful Dead were fuelled often by little wee pills manufactured by Asian chemists in the backstreets of North London.
Secondly I talked to Andy & bought his book on the subject.I have been reading it this week.
Third.I have been rather feverish these past 10 days.I'm mending.but.seriously, at times this week i imagined Pneumonia or some such.
ok.....hypochondria maybe...but scientists have yet to come up with a cure for it!
My attitude to drugs in general is that they release whats inside you already.Nothing gets "put in" by the drug. If you fuck up on drugs it the fault of whats already inside you not the clump of chemicals you drink:smoke:swallow;inject:snort;stick up your bottom..... ..etc .
But then, I'm no expert.Ive never taken cocaine:crack;heroin;Ecstasy:...............I have smoked Cannabis/hash: I have smoked Opium:i have smoked tobacco:Drunk booze:taken Speed (& other assorted amphetamines.~i loved speed!)............I don't consider I'm any sort of expert.
But I do have a cunning theory!!!!!
If you drink beer.Get Drunk.Become a bully & violent.it's not the beer.You are a bully.You are violent.the beer just leeches out what is always inside of you........
With this in mind, let me tell you I have taken lsd 3 times.In the space of 6 months back in 1978.
I now understood it was good grade acid.200 ug.It was probably remnants of "Operation Julie Acid" ?
I don't know what the score is these days.but i guess if you can find acid today, it would be much poorer quality & probably much more unstable+problematic. "Ahh.Son! The Good Old Daze.........LSD was LSD when I were a Lad..".Actually, Andy's book makes the point that "Acid-Stories" were the "War-Stories" of my generation.
Anyway............I had been aware of LSD since 1971 when i had read Timothy Leary's book. I had avoided taking it, waiting for "The Right Time".I wanted it to be a" religious affair".I understood the importance of "Set" & "Setting".I knew you had to have calm surroundings;A calm mind & an experienced guide.when you took a trip.A bit like an anxious virgin waiting for MR RIGHT! Quite ironic in my case..................
I took acid in 1978.In a place as far removed from Hippy California as you can imagine.More Dickens than Huxley.The East End of London.A squalid bedsit.I was in my first year as a teacher.
A few months earlier, Phil the former fireman had driven me& my belongings (I didnt drive in those days) from Halifax to East London.He said later he "didnt like leaving me there.........." I paid £6 a week for a flea-infested room.About ten rooms in a terraced house in East Ham.Originally the house had 5 rooms but the landlord had divided each room into 2 by thin plaster board.The person in the other half of my room was an Irish Alcoholic who came home every night.Pissed And started playing bagpipes and singing rebel songs until 2 in the morning.I kid you not!
While searching Google today i came across this blogspot which claims that Itchycoo Park is based on an area in East Ham! Honestly.I didnt know this until today!Neither until today did i know that The Small Faces have strong connections with the pub i bought my acid in!
I had been in my ram shackled bedsit a couple of months when we got a new lodger.The Dude went by the name of Rick.Blond.Longhaired.Canadian. He had an aura about him .I was always a little in fear of him.For some reason he latched onto me.I told him about my Alcoholic bagpipe player.....Rick went round one night to see him...................i never heard a bleat out of my Irish neighbour ever again!
At the end of our street was a Pub. called The Ruskin Arms .Rick soon made himself at home there.My most vivid memory of him is sitting in the pub.At The bar.playing with a flick- knife he had just bought off a local low-life.The pub had been used as the set of some 1960's Micheal Cain-ish film.The Krays had used it as a local ...........but they said that about every pub in the area!so i have no idea if it was true.The East End was so rough in those days, even The Krays had to go around in pairs............
Strangely.The Ruskin was demolished less than a couple of months ago! What an odd series of coincidences...........read here
I have no photos of the period.I have no photos of Rick. He did look a bit like the Sean-Geezer in Eastenders............. Although was a lot darker me'thinks.
Anyway.One Friday night, after several pints.Me & Rick were sat in The Ruskin.He whispered to me " that guy.he' sells acid." He asked me to score for us.I did (clever move.it would have been me who would have got nicked...bybe teaching.......!).Several pints later...we went back to the house.My Room.We took the acid.My first trip.but he said he had taken plenty before.
Pure Stupid me!Sitting pissed in a dump.taking my first trip with a Psychopathic Canadian ! So much for "Set" & "Setting" Doctor Leary!
At this point .If your expecting some description of a Psychedelic Disneyland.Tales of Yellow Submarines sailing majestically down the Romford Road.Forget it.I certainly did.in fact i remember only fragments of the experience. It was more abrtract than visual............+ I dont have the words to describe it.........Sometime i would like to get hypnotized to remember what happened.
In retrospect it was one of the most important things I have ever experienced.I had (against all odds) a "Good Trip". for days afterwards I felt wonderful as i came down. I started the evening an atheist.Ever since, I now know that God exists for me(albeit ., my Faith is very "freelance").
what i DO remember of the actual experience is all positive.I remember feeling like my body was growing.I was getting Taller&taller...7foot!!!!.8foot!!!! 13 foot!!!!!! 27 foot!!!i just kept growing!!! My arms stretched out forever.i was a Giant in the land of little people!! I wondered how the building would hold my bulk....?
I stayed that way for 6 hours or so..we talked about our pasts...........We watched "Whatever Happened The Baby Jane" on telly.I jumped into the film!i was part of the set! I listened to Nick Lowe's new album...........& i was the breaking glass! But that was fine!Smashing in fact!
As I have told people often since ,"Acid is a lovely place to visit but I wouldnt want to live there" (again).
i moved out a couple of weeks later.......+moved in with an old college buddy from Liverpool.i quickly lost touch with Rick.2 months later I did see him walk past my new flat....i opened the window.Looked out......but didn,t shout after him.......But (over the following summer in Halifax).i did take the other two pills i had scored that night..............HA!
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.’ — Nietzsche