09 September 2009

Wogan Walks/Ursa Psychedelica

18 Shahrviar - Year 1388

The morning impresario of Radio 2, Sir Terry Wogan, is hanging up his mic soon. Radio 2 has reported that Chris Evans will be taking his morning-show spot. Evans does annoy me a bit - I dunno, maybe he tries too hard to be "zany". I will kinda miss hearing Wogan waffle on about TV shows and performing those horrible skits with the rest of his crew. In honour of 'Sir Terry', here's a vid of the excellent Peter Serafinowicz parodying Wogan and portraying him as a mellow stoner. If only...

I've started reading The Brotherhood Of Eternal Love, by Stewart Tendler. The Brotherhood were a cabal of psychedelics dealers whose idealistic (if somewhat naive) goal was to turn on as many critters as possible. In their view, the more folks who had been 'experienced', the more peaceful the planet would become. The book seems pretty good to me so far--it's quite a task to try and weave all of the various threads of the story together.

One of the main protagonists in the first half of the book is none other than the chief 'Acid Chemist' himself, Augustus Owsley Stanley III. Owsley's name was synonymous with good-quality LSD in the late 60s. He made a lot of money cooking up batches of psychedelics, of which a lot was spent supporting The Grateful Dead and other projects throughout California. Stanley's nickname was (is) "The Bear" and his acid-operation was called Bear Research Group. He made many recordings of The Dead, amongst other S.F. psych bands. Some were even released as legitimate albums, the most famous being Bear's Choice. I especially like the 'three-eyed bear' graphic on the back cover of the LP (er..at least that's what it looks like to me). I hadn't heard anything about ol' Owsley lately and I thought maybe he wasn't on the planet anymore. I did a search and yep, he's still around. He's even got his own website, where he sells his art pieces. The site's pretty low-tech, but he explains why on the face page. Apparently, he moved to Australia in the early 80s and pretty much stayed there. He does make occasional visits to the U.S., as shown in this 2007 article.

He's survived throat cancer and most of his 60s contemporaries...Leary, Kesey, Garcia..the list goes on. He even survived most of his 'enemies', too..Nixon, Reagan..maybe even ol' Neal Purcell, the Laguna Beach cop who busted Leary in 1968, which led to Tim's conviction and prison sentence. At 74, "Bear" is alive and fairly well and still convinced that psychedelics can benefit the human species. More power to him, I say.

Now back to the book...

No comments: