Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD

April 21, 2014

Familiarity breeds celebrity which leads to contempt

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:55 pm


The 20 Most Hated Celebrities!
Click through the gallery to see who Star readers voted as the 20 most hated celebrities in Hollywood

This kind of annoyed me.   They just announced “The 20 Most Hated Celebrities.”  And I had never even heard of 9 of the people on the list.   I keep thinking of all the good hatred I’m missing out on by not keeping up to date.

The thing I wonder about:  If a celebrity was, like, rated in the top ten most hated celebrities last year, but then this year they slipped down to around number 14 most hated, does that make them pissed off or worried?  Like they feel their careers might be slipping if they’re no longer generating the same wattage of hatred.  Like:  “That bitch Lady Gaga!!  I’ve got MILLIONS more people who hate me than that cow!!”



Chelsea Clinton announces: “Satanic spawn from Hell shall soon walk amongst us”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:29 pm
     Chelsea Clinton announced her pregnancy today.  According to a statement released by her press secretary, the pregnancy was the result of a Democratic sperm joining with a Democratic egg.  While the effect of the Clinton pregnancy on the 2104 mid-term elections is being hotly debated by political insiders, the latest polls indicated that there’s a 50% chance that the baby would be either a boy or a girl.  When reached for a comment, Bill Clinton blamed the Koch brothers for “corrupting the political process with their big money.”
     The Clinton fetus has reportedly already begun negotiations with Washington DC lobbyists, PACS and special interest groups in anticipation of a possible presidential run in year 2052.
     Meanwhile, Clinton’s husband and alleged impregnator, Marc Mezvinksy, testified under oath before Congress, and categorically stated:  “Yes, I did have sex with that woman.”


I’m an anomaly

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:10 pm

I’m not a liberal.   I’m not sure exactly what I am.   But I’m definitely not a liberal.  Anyways, the other day I was gassing off on Facebook.  Expounding on “world affairs” and etc.  And this guy said:  “Man, you must really be an anomaly in Berkeley!”

Well sir, that stopped me in my tracks.  Anomaly?  It’s one of those words that I’m not sure exactly what it means.  Ya’ know?  It’s not a word that I’ve ever used in conversation.  “Hey bro, cut  the shit, you’re acting like a fucking anomaly.”  The word is a little too gummy to actually use.  So I looked it up in the dictionary:

“Anomaly  1. Deviation or departure from the normal or common order,  form or rule  2. One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal or difficult to classify”

Holy shit.  That’s as close as I’ve ever come to describing myself.   Especially the “abnormal” and “irregular” part.  Ha ha.

An Easter Sunday message from Jesus Christ, on behalf of God

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:56 pm


Photo: "Hello, earthlings.  Jesus Christ here.  Its been about 2 thousand and 14 years since I last talked with you directly.  But since its Easter Sunday I thought I'd check back with you guys and give you my latest updates regarding my plans for humanity.  Well, I mean, of course, Dad's plans.  Ha ha.  I'm just your humble middle man....... First off I'd like to clear up all this End-of-the-World stuff.  Needless to say some people have been talking out of school lately.  Let me assure you, there's nothing in the works regarding impending Apocalypses.  And the people who have been spreading these false rumors on my behalf have been condemned to eternal torment in Hell . .. Secondly, I'd like to clear up the Beatles thing. I'm a big enough of a Messiah to concede that, yes, they are more popular than me.  No biggie . . . Thirdly, contrary to what you might have heard from certain Republicans, I have yet to officially endorse a candidate in the up-coming 2016 presidential race. Though i will say one thing.  Joe Biden is a loser. ..  Well, that's about it from this end.  Oh and yeah, I thought that line from San Kineson about how I wouldn't be returning to Earth until I could play the piano was genuinely amusing.  Don't let nobody tell ya Jesus Christ doesn't have a sense of humor,,, , Well, thats it from me, Jesus Christ, speaking on behalf of God .  Amen and all that stuff.
     “Hello, earthlings.  Jesus Christ here.  It’s been about 2 thousand and 14 years since I last talked with you directly.  But since its Easter Sunday I thought I’d check back with you guys and give you my latest updates regarding my plans for humanity.  Well, I mean, of course, Dad’s plans. Ha ha. I’m just your humble middle man…….
     First off I’d like to clear up all this End-of-the-World stuff. Needless to say some people have been talking out of school lately.  Let me assure you, there’s nothing in the works regarding impending Apocalypses.  And the people who have been spreading these false rumors on my behalf have been condemned to eternal torment in Hell . ..
     Secondly, I’d like to clear up the Beatles thing. I’m a big enough of a Messiah to concede that, yes, they are more popular than me.  No biggie.
     Thirdly, contrary to what you might have heard from certain Republicans, I have yet to officially endorse a candidate in the up-coming 2016 presidential race.  I will say one thing. Joe Biden is a loser. ..
     Well, that’s about it from this end.  Oh and yeah, I thought that line from Sam Kinison about how I wouldn’t be returning to Earth until I could play the piano was genuinely amusing. Don’t let nobody tell ya’ Jesus Christ doesn’t have a sense of humor . . .  Well, thats it from me, Jesus Christ, speaking on behalf of God.   Amen and all that stuff.”

April 17, 2014

Life is a mirage


Over the years I’ve been involved in a lot of different subcultures.  At the time, these subcultures seemed like exciting and dynamic forces in the world.  But over the years, they would mostly all evaporate into nothingness.

This first subculture I was involved in was the Psychedelic ’60s Hippie subculture.  When I first moved to California  in 1976 as a teenager, one of the first things my older sister and her hippie boyfriend (who were members in good-standing in the subculture)  did was take me to a Hot Tuna concert at the Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco.  Ten years earlier, in 1966, the Longshoreman’s Hall had been the venue for the first Trips Festival,  one of the seminal events of the Psychedelic ’60s Hippie subculture.  And here we were ten years later, stepping into the lineage.

And of course we were tripping on LSD at the concert.  Hot Tuna was up on stage, decked out in their finest hippie finery.  And to the right of the stage there were about hundred people sitting in chairs.  The VIP section for the “Hot Tuna family.”  Their friends and associates and groupies.  It was like Hot Tuna was one of the royal families of the hippie subculture, and the people in the chairs were the royal court.  And we in the crowd were the commoners, dancing along.   And, of course, the Hot Tuna family was an offshoot of the Jefferson Airplane family, who were central to the whole lineage.  There were all these different offshoots.  Like if you liked the Grateful Dead you could join the Deadhead cult (short for “subculture”) and be part of the Grateful Dead family    It meant more than just Going To A Concert back then. It was more like going to church.  More like a way of reaffirming your membership in the cult.

KSAN was the famous San Francisco “underground radio station” of the time.  And they played a central role in connecting all the inter-connected families of the subculture.  And of course we looked at all the DJs at KSAN as part of our family.  I remember drawing a comic strip about Scoot Nisker and some of the other KSAN DJs and getting it published in the Berkeley Barb (one of the house organs of the cult).  And then some of the KSAN DJs invited me down to the legendary KSAN radio station  on Sansome Street in San Francisco, to discuss the possibility of collaborating on a comic book about KSAN.  I remember seeing Bonnie Simmons – one of the program directors and one of the unofficial Queens of the Scene — in her office.  Actually I didn’t see her, but I heard her talking, her legendary voice which you could spot a mile away. And her office was packed with flowers (I think this was around Valentine’s Day).   But that’s what it was like back then.  You could immerse yourself in the subculture as deeply as you wanted to push into it.

Then in 1978 I started getting involved in the Punk Rock subculture.  And that was exciting.  Because instead of getting in on the tail-end of the old-fart hippie subculture, I was getting into a subculture from the ground floor up, with people my own age, and making up all the rules as we went along.  People were always talking about “networking” back then. And “be more than a witness.”  And over the years, the Punk Rock subculture built up from a handful of bohemian weirdos scattered in a handful of cities in England and the USA, to this international phenomenon.

Then in 1982 I immersed myself in the San Francisco Bike Messenger subculture.  A good percentage of the bike messengers were offshoots of the Hippie and Punk subcultures.  So it was getting to be sub-subcultures within subcultures.  Within the culture at large.  The bike messengers were a true community. And we all partied together after work. And put on bike messenger shows featuring bike messenger musicians and bike messenger artists.  And we were all joined together by the common bond of the secret world we all shared that outsiders could never understand.

Then, around 1986 I immersed myself in the Underground Comics/Fanzine subculture.  The lineage in the Bay Area started with Last Gasp press (with R. Crumb as their main honcho) and Rip Off Press (with Gilbert Sheldon as their main honcho) and all the ’60s underground newspapers.  And it developed from there.  It was sort of a telepathic subculture in that we rarely saw eachother in the flesh.  But we communicated with eachother via our comics and publications and interviews and letters.

Then, around 1993, I immersed myself in the Telegraph Avenue Street subculture. The scene at the time was kind of a village-within-a-village.  And we all knew each other. It was kind of like high school, where you had the Cool Kids, the Nerds, the Hot Chicks, and everybody in between.  To this day I still think of what I call “the Class of 1994.” All the people that happened to be inter-connected during that particular time and place.

But like I said.  The odd thing about these subcultures — which seemed so real and vibrant at the time. They would all sort of peak and then fade away.  It was as if you had finally found this wonderful place to live.  This wonderful desert island full of fruit-trees and lush vegetation and topless Hula girls strumming on ukuleles and swaying in the breeze.  And then they all evaporated right before your eyes. Like they had just been a mirage all along.

Nowadays, I’m not connected to any kind of subcultures.  Or much of anything, for that matter. I mostly live an isolated and alienated lifestyle.  I’m not complaining. That’s just the cards I’ve been dealt at this point.  Sometimes, I would spot Scoop Nisker, the former KSAN DJ, on Telegraph Avenue.  He was almost always by himself, sitting alone at a coffeeshop, writing on his laptop.  And I always wondered if he felt a similar sense of loss. Or if he still felt connected to the Psychedelic ’60s Hippie subculture. Or if he had found a new subculture to be a part of.

It all reminded me a little of an episode of Cheers, this TV sit-com.  Once a year, for 50 years, the members of this World War I platoon would all get together at this bar for a reunion.  They would reminisce and re-connect with each other, and the common bond they shared as members of this unique group. And every year there would be less and less of them showing up for the reunion.  Until finally, it was just this one old man, sitting at the bar, waiting for his compadres to show up, until it finally dawned on him that he was the only one left.  Everyone else was dead.  And his group had disappeared like a mirage.

As you get older, you realize finally that there’s only one group left to join.  Its a very big group.  And we all join it eventually.


Photo: What I don't understand is:  If I make a comment that is critical of Liberals, I immediately get attacked for being "brainwashed by Faux News."  But if I make a comment that is critical of Conservatives, nobody attacks me for being brainwashed ny MSNBC.

April 14, 2014

“The Big Rifle Bonanza Prairie Valley”

The following story is fiction.  Any resemblance to any person living or half-dead is purely coincidental.


Nevada is the 7th largest state in the country.  So we’re talking a lot of land.  70% of the people in Nevada live in Clark County.  So that’s the valuable land.  Clark County is about 8,000 square miles.

Once upon a time there was an old coot named Rancher Bundy (no relation to Al or Ted).  Rancher Bundy had a ranch in Clark County, coincidentally known as the Bundy Ranch.  His grandpappy — commonly known as Grandpappy Bundy — had claimed several hundred thousand square acres as his own back in 1897. And he paid for the land with beads and wampum and bootleg whiskey. Plus he had it notarized in a court of law.  So it was an official done deal. The Bundy Ranch.

Well sir, things was goin’ fine.  Until one day, the evil one, Harry “Black Bart” Reid —  armed with an army of devious rat lawyers and forged documents —  declared “habeous corpus” and “jurisprudence.”  Reid decided he was gonna’  wrest control of the Bundy Ranch and take the land and cattle for himself.  He was fiendish, that Black Bart Reid!!  So he rounded up his gang of outlaw cattle rustlers, disguised as deputies.  And they rode to the ranch in a cloud of black dust, armed with gatlin guns, assault weapons, stink bombs and whoopee cushions.

The situation looked dire.  Several of the ranch hands even got diarrhea from quakin’ with fear.  All seemed lost.  Harry “Black Bart” Reid was licking his chops and waxing his mustache.  And they even tied a fair damsel down to the railroad tracks and she done got runned over before Mighty Mouse could rescue her.  So all seemed lost.

Until way off on the horizon was spotted a mass of quickly-approaching, horse-ridin’ galoots.  Padner, I’m tellin’ ya, it was none other than Rancher Bundy’s long-lost sons, Hoss Bundy and Little Joe Bundy  and Frank (the odd one).    And they had rounded up a posse with the Rifleman (starring Chuck Connors) and the Lone Ranger, amongst many other guest stars.  And they came ridin’ into the Big Valley with 6-shooters a-blazin’.  And they killed a bunch a people and they hung a few varmints just for kicks.  And before you know it, the outlaws had beat a hasty retreat with tails between their legs.  And Harry “Black Bart” Reid crawled back under the rock from whence he came and was never heard from ever again, aside from an occasional guest appearance on “Meet the Press.”

Needless to say, the west was won.   The outlaws had been defeated and everybody ate home-made apple pie and went back to watching pornography on the internet.   The end.


April 11, 2014

Unrequited Love

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

I remember the first time I “fell in love.”   Beth Shea; 3rd grade.

Beth Shea sat a couple desks across from me.  And every time I looked over at her I would get this funny feeling.  Like the air around her was sprinkled with magic pixie dust or something.  I don’t remember much about Beth Shea except she had light brown Buster Brown bangs, and she wore little white schoolgirl dresses.  And one time during class she raised her hand and said: “Teacher, I think I smell a fire.”  Sure enough, the dumpsters behind the school had caught fire.  And the teacher alerted the custodian who put out the fire before it burned the entire school  to the ground and we all died a horrible death (so she saved my life!).  That’s just how I liked my women:  cute and smart.

Everything about Beth Shea seemed magical.  It was like there were all the other billions of people on the planet.  And then, Beth Shea.  Like she existed as a special species of one.  Even her name seemed magical.  “Beth Shea. ” Years later I would become a big New York Mets fan, and I always wondered if it had something to do with them playing at Shea Stadium.  Such is the mysterious power of love.

The second girl I fell in love with was Charlene Hamilton; 5th and 6th grade.  Charlene was a skinny little thing, with big, saucy cat-eyes and a look of pure mischief on her face.  I was constantly mocking her and making fun of her.  I guess to hide the fact that I liked her, or maybe just as a gambit to get her attention.  One time, the teacher even reprimanded me in front of the whole class and told me to never say that Charlene had cooties ever again.  So it dawned on me that the making-fun-of-her gambit wasn’t working.

After school I’d watch as Charlene Hamilton walked off in the direction of her house.  I was intensely curious about where she lived and who she played with.  I was convinced it was some kind of magical realm where she lived.

The first boy-girl “party” I ever went to was in 6th grade, and I knew Charlene would be there so I really wanted to look sharp.  I wore my favorite shirt — this purple and green paisley shirt (this was the Swingin’ Sixties after all) along with an orange dickie (this fake turtle-neck thing).  My fashion sense hasn’t improved much over the years.  I remember we all stood around in the cafeteria listening to records (singles) on this cheap record player, and drinking Coca Colas out of the bottle.  I remember “Penny Lane” by the Beatles, so it must have been around 1967.  I mostly just stood around in my orange turtle-neck trying to look cool, and nothing much happened.  Which is pretty much how it would go with me and parties for the next 45 years.

The other thing I remember is finding a love note on my desk one day.  I came back to my desk and there it was, hidden under one of my books.  It had been folded many times, and my name was written in pencil on the top.  When I opened it up I was bitterly disappointed to find out it wasn’t from Charlene, but from Ann Catanzeretti — this quiet little Catholic girl who sat two desks behind me.  And that would be a fore-runner of my star-crossed destiny in the game of love, for pretty much the rest of my life.

Every now and then, I’ll still do a Google search on “Charlene Hamilton” to see if she’s still out there.  But so far nothing has come up.  Typical.

April 7, 2014

David Letterman nostalgia

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:24 pm
Letterman nostalgia from 1989.
Photo: Letterman nostalgia from 1989.

They announced the other day that David Letterman would be retiring.  And for me it was another one of those  “MAN I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW FAST THE TIME FLIES BY” moments . . .

And the other guy, Jay Leno, had just retired last month, too.  I remember reading this issue of HUSTLER (for the articles, natch). And it had a big article about the “new and up-and-coming comedians.” And one of the baby-faced, new comedians featured in the article was Jay Leno. And it doesn’t seem like that LONG ago that I was reading that article.
And I remember when Letterman was the fresh-faced new kid on the block, too. And that doesn’t seem like all that long ago, either. And now, all of a sudden, these up-and-comers are already over-and-gone. Sheesh.
For a lot of the years that I was doing my Twisted Image comic strip (1986 to 1995) I had a nightly ritual where I’d sit down at the drawing board and start drinking coffee around midnight, turn on Letterman at 12:30, and draw away all night long with Letterman on as background noise. In retrospect I wonder if any of his humor seeped into my comics by osmosis.   And I always liked Paul Shafer and the band.  I’m sure playing in that band was the dream job for a lot of the rock musicians of my generation.  …..
Anyways, I  pretty much did that every night for about 3 or 4 years.   Until 1991 when I threw my TV set in the garbage and never watched TV ever again. Deciding that alcohol and drugs were a preferable way to ruin my mind.
Photo: Letterman nostalgia from 1990.

Letterman nostalgia from 1990

Photo: Here's where the Letterman show peaked for me.

I still have a copy of the videocassette that Harvey sent me and Duncan from his first appearance. Does anybody have a VCR?



April 4, 2014

“I Failed” by Ace Backwords

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,


I had a great idea for my next book!!  “I FAILED” by Ace Backwords.  I certainly won’t have any trouble coming up with material for this one. It could easily run a couple thousand pages.

I could have chapters on all the different facets of life in which I’ve failed at.  I failed with Women.  I failed at Sports.  I failed at a Career.  I failed at finding a Home.  I failed at Friendships.  I failed at Spirituality.  I failed Racially. Of course I was a complete success at Love (kidding:  FAILURE!).   I failed at virtually every way in which a human being can fail.

In fact, I’m virtually an expert on the subject of failure. I’ve been researching it on a daily basis for over 50 years.  It’s a genre I was born to excel at.

And it’s such a universal subject, there’s probably a huge built-in audience just waiting for the thing. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that this could make for a great book.  I can hardly wait to start working on it.

But knowing me, I’ll probably fuck this one up, too.



April 1, 2014


Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 8:21 pm
Tags: , , ,


That “Oh-fuck-what-did-I-say-last-night” feeling

(click on picture to watch video)

I decided to see if I could go a week without drinking.  This might not seem like much, but I probably haven’t gone 2 days in a row without drinking over the last 10 years.  So this could be a challenge . . .   Generally, I’m somewhat of a “controlled” drinker.  I’ll usually start drinking around 6 PM.  And keep drinking until I go to sleep around midnight.  Usually I’ll drink about two 40s of Olde English malt liquor (alcohol content 7.4%).  Or occasionally a half a fifth of bourbon whiskey.  And I’ll sip away at that for about 6 hours.  What can I say.  I prefer doing that to watching TV.   And I’m almost always sober during the daylight hours.  I’m just mentioning this because I don’t want to give the impression that I’ve been on a nonstop, 10-year drunk.
DAY ONE:  It’s 7 PM so I poured myself a big glass of . . .  soda pop! . . .    So now I’m thinking:  Now what do I do?  I’m completely out of my usual rhythm and routine . . .   8PM:  I don’t know if I’m over-compensating but I just ate an entire jar of dill pickles.  The first seven pickles actually tasted pretty darn good.   But now I’m feeling sort of . . . UGHH! . . . .  7AM:  It was a weird feeling to wake up this morning in the same head space I went to bed in.  That’s usually one of the most jarring things about alcoholism:  the dreaded Next Morning.  It’s a very schitzophrenic feeling, because I wake up a completely different person than I had been the night before.  Vaguely remembering all the cocky and insulting things I had said last night when I was on top of the world, feeling no pain, and operating under that alcoholic state of grace (that coveted “I-don’t-give-a-flying-fuck” feeling).  And then reviewing my transgressions the next morning in the fragile hangover state of weakness and self-loathing.  So it’s nice to wake up for once without my first thought being;  “What do I have to immediately delete from my Facebook page now?”
DAY TWO:  Its my second day without drinking and I’ve been giving a lot of thought to exactly what is it that attracts me to alcohol.  It must be something.  Because I’ve been spending about $200 a month over the last 10 years on booze.  And I’m usually pretty tight with a buck.  One thing alcohol does:  It gives me a sense of purpose and direction.  Maybe a stupid sense of purpose and direction.  But purpose and direction nonetheless.  By that I mean:  I start off most evenings wanting to go from Point A (sobriety) to Point B (drunkenness).  So there’s a process that takes place.  A personal transformation even.  Because alcohol transforms me into a different person.  Which is something apparently that I want.  And I do think there’s a certain inherent human need to want to change one’s state of consciousness.  By all sorts of different means.
DAY THREE:  Third day without drinking.  Last night, experiencing this unfamiliar state of sobriety (so-called). . . .   This bland, stable, normal, nothing-happening state.  Occurred to me how drunkenness is often a state of mental derangement.  Not so much the first 2 or 3 hours of drinking.  But by the fourth hour, when my system is thoroughly saturated with alcohol, and the booze is surging through my veins and swirling ’round my brain . . . . . .   I’m also struck by this strange dichotomy about drunkenness.  Its synonymous with mental impairment and derangement.  As well as partying and celebrating life.  You think of the Skid Row alcoholic reduced to complete failure by booze.  And then you think of every sports team celebrating every championship with flowing champagne.  And alcohol is both, I guess.  And everything in between.  Maybe that’s why its so hard to get a handle on precisely what it is.
DAY SEVEN:  Well, I actually went seven days without drinking.  It was actually kind of pleasant.  I enjoyed the bland, mental stability of sobriety.  Made me realize that being drunk is a form of temporary insanity in a way.  There’s the Doctor Jekyll/Mr. Hyde lunacy of alcohol where it turns you into a completely different person.  As the songwriter Randy Newman put it:  “It takes a whole lot of medicine for me to pretend that I’m somebody else.” And some times you’re not pretending . . .  Of course this is part of the appeal of alcohol. I’m a painfully shy person so I drink to be transformed into a sociable person.   And then (unfortunately) there are the ones who with a lot of pent-up anger who use alcohol as an excuse to be transformed into their inner Hulk.  And I’ve known plenty of sexually-repressed people who need alcohol in order to become sexual.  I know this one closet guy gay who couldn’t accept he was gay, and he couldn’t get laid unless he was drunk. Then he could say;  “It wasn’t me, it was the alcohol.”  And maybe he needed that psychological out.  It would be nice if we all had perfectly psychologically integrated personalities.  But most of us don’t. . . . .    At any rate, this sobriety thing was an interesting experiment.  And I might try it again in a decade or two.

Eight days without drinking and I’m starting to get a little green around the gills.

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