Acid Heroes: the Legends of LSD

September 19, 2014

On turning 58

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
ch03smallweb

Alan Watts, possibly considering publishing a new book, “The Drunken Cosmology.”

This might sound stupid (I thought I’d give that stupidity thing a whirl and see if it works for me).  But one of my last remaining goals in life was to make it to 58.   Two of the acid heroes of my youth — Alan Watts and George Harrison —  both kicked the bucket at 58.  Both of whom I would later come to have decidedly mixed feelings about.  So it was important to me (for some stupid reason) to out-live both of them.

Alan Watts was pretty much a wasted-away, old man alcoholic by age 58.  In between writing all those books about how we could attain the higher states of consciousness, ole’ Al failed to mention that one of his favorite techniques, personally, was to pound endless fifths of straight vodka.

The famous Indian philosopher Krishnamurti used to go on tirades about Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley back in the ’60s.  He blamed them, rightly or wrongly, for helping to lead an entire generation astray with their books that linked psychedelic drugs to spiritual wisdom.  And he held them partially accountable for the Drug Epidemic that swept across America in the wake of the ’60s.

ch01smallweb

The Beatles, grooving at one of those famous ’60s LSD parties.

George Harrison, along with them other Beatles, was another one who greatly popularized the notion of LSD to a generation of youth.  People forget, in 1965 and 1966, the Beatles had an audience primarily of millions of prepubescent little kids.  Then, just a year later, they’re singing songs exstoling  the magical (as well as mystical and mysterious) virtues of LSD.  I remember as a 10 year old boy watching the Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoon Show,  and there were the cartoon Lads, singing “Tomorrow Never Knows.”  The lyrics taken practically word-for-word from Dr. Timothy Leary’s “The Psychedelic Experience”  — which he wrote as a How-To-Take-An-LSD-Trip guide.  Which is exactly how John Lennon intended the song . . . .   Nowadays, we’ve banned the Joe Camel cartoon character out of concern that it might influence children to smoke Camel cigarettes.  And yet, very little consideration was given to the potentially tragic aspects of the Beatles singing their LSD hymns to an audience of millions of kiddies.

After John Lennon’s murder in 1980 (by a guy my age who went nuts partially from gobbling down LSD by the handful back when he was a budding 14-year–old Beatlemaniac grooving to the Magical Mystery trip) George Harrison famously opined:  “This would have never happened if John had stayed in England.”  Shortly after, another Beatles-obsessed nut came within inches of murdering George in his English mansion.  Which no doubt contributed to George’s premature demise at age 58.

And me?  Somehow I’ve bucked the odds just to still be walking on two legs on God’s green earth at age 58.  Considering some of the demographics I’ve been in over the years — smoker, drinker, druggie, starving artist, long-time homeless — my life expectancy probably should have been around 40.

And if anybody just wants to write this rant off as, Sour Turd Blames Famous Celebrities For His Own Degenerate Drug Use, there’s probably more than an element of truth in that, too.

 
Advertisements

3 Comments »

  1. happy belated birthday

    Comment by Jon — September 20, 2014 @ 12:42 am | Reply

  2. ” In between writing all those books about how we could attain the higher states of consciousness, ole’ Al failed to mention that one of his favorite techniques, personally, was to pound endless fifths of straight vodka.”

    So true.

    It was also the preferred method (brandy) of another great modern guru, Gurdgieff.

    What is it about damaged people (of which alkies are a subset) that makes them so eager to become gurus and control the lives of others?

    You see this constantly at a low level even in “the rooms” of AA.

    Comment by hardears pickney — September 20, 2014 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

    • Ya know . . . I dunno . . . Maybe they need to compensate for the lowly feelings they have about being an alcoholic by playing at being The Great Man.

      In Alan Watts’s case, he got locked into this act of playing at Alan Watts: the great know-it-all, the man with the answers, the guy who was always on top of things, the man with a twinkle in his eye. An act he couldn’t pull off when he was sober. For one thing, he was a very shy man. So he needed the alcohol to maintain the public façade. Then, pretty soon, he needed it to maintain his private façade, too.

      Believe me, I’m the last guy to be casting stones at alcoholics. It’s sort of the phoniness of Watts that grated on me a little.

      Comment by Ace Backwords — September 20, 2014 @ 9:06 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: