Thursday, April 9, 2009



I am going to try and remake a point that I believe has not been fully understood regarding my description of a bad acid trip. I received emails and comments that led me to do this because I didn't just tell that story for the telling sake. Following that trip I was informed by HENRY JAGLOM, the person I got the LSD from, that it was a multiple hit of dry OSLEY ACID and was enough to get a number of people extremely high. I was pissed off by this information after the fact but in essence I was the one who took it. There was no gun to my head, I made the choice. Ok! What's the point? The point is that this changed my life. It left me so shattered at the time paranoid, with a sense of something irreversible having taken place, and a peculiar knowledge of the power of the human mind that I had never glimpsed before and was sure I didn't want to again.

When I write it on these pages, the sense of it is lost in the words inability to correctly describe the point I am attempting to make. It was in the aftermath that the real point lies, not the trip or the hallucinations themselves. I hallucinated big time many times before, but this stuff and the fact that I took way too much of it, was totally different. It would be like somebody who used heroin for a long time and then getting something close to pure and dying from it. This was not just an acid trip. This was a life altering experience. It caused more than anything else the major upswing in my use of other drugs and alcohol, for the sedation effect they had, regarding the anxiety I was left with after this experience.

This traceable lineage of what happened, and caused other things to occur in a line of progressive events that led from where I started to where I ended up, is key to the story of these events as they unfolded in my life. Without context what I write becomes a series of stories without a point. There is a point to everything I write because each thing written about was central in some way to the overall context, like dot to dot drawing. The music I wrote after this experience was completely different than what I wrote prior to it. The music was altered as was I. Before I recorded "WORKING" in 1968 I wrote and recorded a number of songs that I worked on with Steve Clark, but which were never released. The titles of these songs indicate to some degree the text of these unknown works. "HOLY HOLY HOLY" "HITLER AND JESUS" and a number of other songs I have little recollection of. I will try and discuss as best I can how these songs came to be and what events preceded and followed their creation.

As "COLOR HIM IN" began to fade out of my consciousness, as the thing that would make my life better, I ended up in New York City at Verve Records. I wanted to know why they weren't working the album better and I wanted to see TOM WILSON, which I did succeed in doing. I found Tom in a recording studio working with JOHNNY NASH. I told Tom that I wanted to cut another record and that I needed his help. Tom was gracious as always and tried to get me to see that he was busy at the time with the NASH record and that I was putting him on the spot, which I was. I told him I had come to New York and it was a big deal for me and I had to get something going with him while I was there or my coming would be for nothing.

As I said Tom was extremely respectful of me and literally stopped the NASH session and said ok let's hear what you got in the way of material. For the first time in my life I was unprepared to whip out some songs to record. I stood there like an ass hole and knew it. Tom told me to go put my music together in LA and that we'd get together on it at a later date. As I left the studio feeling awkward and foolish for not having any tunes ready, both JOHNNY NASH and TOM WILSON made me feel that it was ok and that I hadn't done anything to hurt them and what they were doing. I have never forgotten how well they treated me in light of my forcing myself into their important work at the time.

As I wandered aimlessly through the streets of New York, following my time with Tom Wilson at the Nash session, I began writing a song called "BLACK BRICK WALL", which I eventually recorded but it was never released. The title speaks for itself in that I felt like I had hit a brick wall and that it was indeed black. After a couple of hours or more I ended up In GREENWICH VILLAGE where ZAPPA was playing with THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION at the GARRICK THEATER. It was in the summer of 1967 so it was warm and sticky in New York City. I found Frank and he was glad to see me, which was a relief. I told him about Tom Wilson and what had happened and he told me not to let it get me down and just go and write some songs.

I told him I had already started and recited some of the lyrics I had been working on for the past few hours. He nodded his approval and we let it drop. Frank said he wanted to take me to a little club near by so I could hear this guy play guitar and I agreed. When we got there a short time later I heard this thundering sound coming out of the place. When you touched the door handle to open the door it was literally vibrating. As we walked inside the club there were three people playing on a small stage making more noise than I had ever heard in my life, when I use the word noise I mean it in the most positive way. I looked at Frank and smiled my approval and Frank yelled in my ear. "This guy's going to be the next Elvis Presley," he was referring to popularity not sound. "What's his name?" I yelled back at Frank, "JIMI HENDRIX!" Frank yelled, "His name is JIMI HENDRIX.

1 comment:

  1. Black Brick Wall is one of the most unique songs I have heard to date. It is brilliant. Paula