February 21, 2017

"The first time I took LSD was in 1969, when I was seventeen.... The older people were drinking, and three or four of us teen-agers were tripping."

"For what I recall as a long time, I stood in front of a closet door by a washing machine. In the door’s grain I saw, to my astonishment, the span of history, as if on a scroll that was unwinding. I’d bring people to stand in front of the door with me, and I’d point out Jesus, and Charlemagne, and soldiers with lances riding elephants, and I’d say, 'See!'... Very few songs influenced by a drug reproduce the sensation of taking the drug, but 'She Said She Said' comes close. It’s a solemn song, and seems to coil snakelike in on itself... 'She Said She Said' is a witness song. A piece of theatre. You’re listening to an argument, a dialectic. 'I know what it’s like,' one character says. 'No, no, no, you’re wrong,' the other says.... I would listen over and over to the song while looking at the cover.*... Somewhere in the psyche is everything we can imagine. Cities we have never visited, characters, landscapes, circumstances that will appear in dreams, all brought into being by some agency we don’t fully understand and can’t summon easily in waking life. Alone in my room, 'She Said She Said' seemed to me like a bulletin from the other side of the fence** (even though I didn’t yet know there was a fence), and it still does."

From "My Obsession with a Beatles Song" by Alec Wilkinson (in The New Yorker).

______________________

* The "Revolver" cover is one of the 6 framed album covers on the living room wall at Meadhouse.

** That bit about he fence made me think about this video I saw on Facebook today:



It made me think: Something there is that doesn't love a fence....

25 comments:

mockturtle said...

My first time on acid I remember the wallpaper in that house fluttering wildly but not in a bad way. A friend kissed me and I could feel the taste buds come off his tongue and into my mouth. I also recall asking the host to play a certain album and he answered he could not. I asked why and he answered, "Because it's already been played." I pondered that for the longest time. Already been played...

I only took it twice after that, both times alone and not much tripping. Listened to Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun but not much happened, even though it was from the same source.

Paul said...

Alec Wilkinson? Zzzzzzz.....

But the dogs and fence video was brilliant!

Carol said...

Gee, it's hard to find a video of the original LP version. I'd kinda like to hear it now.

Sadly, my early trips were dominated by the White Album. I think the record got stuck on Number 9 or Helter Skelter or something and no one would get up and fix it.

I came to think that LSD gives you a sneak preview of your last moments. Not sure that was helpful or not. It did make me reluctant to make any real final decisions about things.

surfed said...

Revolver and Rubber Soul had the first songs I ever learned on guitar. Several of them are still in living room rotation these 51 years later. Every now and then I teach a younger person a Beatle song - usually Blackbird from the White Album but occasionally Norwegian Wood or Michelle from Rubber Soul, Revolver songs having a more difficult learning curve. I'm amazed they even know of these albums and listen to them in their entirety. Imagine that in the 1960's us listening to a Bix Beiderbecke from the 1920's! I always tell them that my arrangement of Blackbird was mushroom enhanced back in 1968 - much gentler and more organic than LSD if not as profound an experience. I always ask them Are You Experienced? They seldom catch that clue.
You have the album Revolver framed on your wall - I've seen it in a photo on your blog. I have a t shirt with the album cover that all the young people covet when I wear it to guitar pulls - though they don't call them that anymore. I've rambled enough here... great post. Retirement seems to suit you.

WisRich said...

LOL, the dog video is awesome.

Is it crazy to think it's a metaphor for the GOP and Obamacare?

David said...

Love the video.

But the dogs do love that fence. Keeps them from an actual fight.

Paul said...

"Oh shit.. do you mean we have to back up our words with our lives??

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The times that I took acid were in outdoor settings. On the beach near Sutro Point. We flew kites that got swallowed up by the low fog and patchy clouds. It was like we were flying the clouds. What power! I found some large rocks with fossilized shells embedded in the ancient sand that had fallen off of base of the cliff Spent quite a bit of time being enthralled by that, the beauty, pondering the vast vast amounts of time, the changes in the earth that brought those remnants of dead creatures to the surface to glisten in the San Francisco sunshine.

Other trips were on the banks of sierra nevada creeks and rivers. Watching the rippling water making the rounded rocks dance with the current. Being amazed by the insects, lady bugs, butterflies and how they were able to fly at all much less against the wind. Becoming aware that everything, including the massive oaks and pines were able to dance and sway in unison with the wind blowing up the canyon. It was as if everything was entwined. As if everything was part of one magnificent living whole entity. AND....it is so.

Even today, if I put my mind into a relaxed state and slightly unfocus my eyes I can see the world dancing and swaying in unison with the breeze.

Acid was pretty nice....for me anyway.

Ambrose said...

What are the other five framed album covers at Meadhouse?

Fernandinande said...

"Here Comes the Sun" esp @1:35 = a rising, flying euphoria, but Howlin' Wolf's "Backdoor Man", scared the fuggin bejezus crap outa me.

mockturtle said...

The dog video is hilarious! Paper tigers, all.

gspencer said...

Beatles to LSD loon, "Hey, we got the royalties on the song. You got the high. Seems good to us."

Fernandinande said...

The video was funny, my current dog does that with dogs she knows and plays with.

mockturtle said...
The dog video is hilarious! Paper tigers, all.


Wish that were true. Years ago my dog and a neighbor's dog would run back and forth barking at each other, then the other dog, some kind of medium size bull/pit, burst through the fence, whose wooden slats snapped back behind him, and my dog tore off half that dog's face while it ripped his leg down to the bone.

And another dog, a big athletic lab, would run back and forth barking and then start smashing into a fence until he broke in and beat up the smaller Indian dogs on the other side.

The Godfather said...

When I was in college, early 60's, the grad student who was leading a discussion session (I think the course was in Soc Rel, and I have no idea why I was taking it) brought in a friend who was doing LSD with Timothy Leary. If you are old enough you'll remember that Acid was so new it wasn't illegal yet then. So what Leary was doing wasn't illegal, but the university insisted that he couldn't provide Acid to undergraduates. The grad student who I heard praising psychedic inspiration had so obviously blown the rational part of his mind that I never had any interest in trying anything like that. YMMV.

Robt C said...

I have several framed albums on a wall of my media room. One of them is "Yesterday and Today," the infamous "Butcher Album." I bought it for $3.59 when it was first released. It's worth quite a bit now, esp. since it's stereo, which is rare.

Never got high listening to it.

Fernandinande said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Did you know? "Slut's wool" is an olde-timey word for dust-bunnies.

MaxedOutMama said...

The dogs backed away from Mutual Assured Destruction?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Fernandinande

No I hadn't heard that about slut's wool. It makes sense. I picked my name because there are many more things I would rather do than to make sure my house is spic and span. An occasional dust bunny here and there won't hurt anyone. Houses are meant to be lived in. They are not meant to be a shrine to cleaning products or have the furniture wrapped in plastic.

FullMoon said...
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FullMoon said...
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madAsHell said...

I never experimented with acid. Diane Linkletter told me it was a bad idea.

The Cracker Emcee said...

You want music to go with your psychedelics? Heavily layered Motown through a good set of headphones. It's like falling through a constellation of music. At least that's the way I remember it.

Grant said...

Sgt, Pepper has a certain aesthetic coherence on acid that it otherwise lacks. I preferred Haydn and Dufay, but that's just me.

EDH said...

Dog's take us in with a phony nobility of the beast pose.

On occasion they let slip and reveal they're as ridiculous as we are.

Jon Ericson said...

The smoker you drink, the player you get.