Friday, December 22, 2006

Bad Acid Trips - an occasional series - No.1

It was a beautiful 1968 summers evening and I was working at CBS records sorting out the returns from the shops. Many of these records were faulty and it was our job to play them and see if the supposed fault was in fact true. Often it was no more than an excuse for people to return records they had bought but didn't want to keep. We kept a log of all the returns and then had to throw them in a skip outside.
Well, as you can imagine throwing away Bob Dylan records in perfect order was not an easy task, and it didn't take us long to work out that our meagre wage could be very greatly enhanced by a little bit of what these days we would call recycling. I won't go into the details except to say that just for those few short weeks I had more money than I knew what to do with - just wads of it in every pocket.
We spent the evenings at a couple of pubs in the centre of town. We had what was known in those days 'quite a cool scene' going at those pubs, and there was always a lot of excitement. Loads of drink, loads of dope, and loads of girls - for me as a young guy it was like being in heaven. Anyway to cut a long story short, that night I was well away and we were all outside sitting on the pavement having a great time. My mate Jo came up to me and slipped me a tab of acid, and said, 'bout time you tried one of these Tom'. Well, dropping acid wasn't really in my plans but he caught me with my defenses right down and I popped it on the spot.
Do you know, my only recollection of that first trip was sitting on the pavement looking down at this huge shiny black boot about the size of a football. I looked up to see a policeman's cute little red face under an enormous helmet with a huge silver badge on it. He was looking down at me and he politely asked me to move into the side to make a bit more room for people to walk by. I clearly remember thinking 'Oh shit, this could be bad. I have no idea what is going on at all, and I'm pretty sure I need to stay just here right now'.
What seemed like forever passed by and finally he walked on his way - thank the lord, the gods were with me that night.


  1. Are you still there?
    Do you think you are still there?
    Did you see the fault in the practice of ingesting hallucinogens and become a renunciate?

  2. Tommy, Did you have a bad flash back? Is that where you have been? We missed you so much. Welcome back.

  3. I won't tell you how old I was in that year....

    Glad you came through that unscathed.

  4. Happy Christmas Tom!

  5. I suppose in 1968 it was pretty common to encounter teenagers embarking on their first trip, which is why the fuzz didn't give you no hassle man.

    Ho ho ho. Merry whatsit.

  6. I avoided acid like the plague, taking to heart the warning that I would be forever at risk of having a flashback at the worst possible time, like climbing a tree or driving a car on the interstate. I passed up the most delectable looking purple jesus at a wild party because someone mentioned it was laced with some kick-ass I stuck with beer and got ordinarily soused.

    I honestly don't miss tripping, especially considering that many of my friends that did didn't make it to my age.

  7. Happy holidays, Tom.

    Thanks for the wonderful words...I left you a shout on my blog.

    Merry Crimbo to you and yours!

  8. Seasonal felicitations, Tom.

  9. Vicus, you actually know that is exactly what I did do. But then I saw the limitations of becoming a renunciate and so I set about the gargantuan task of satisfying my sensual desires. Yes, and now 35 years later and I'm still at it and the job is no nearer completion. But it's good fun isn't it.

    Kindness - you are so near the truth there. When I was writing this post I actually really felt the exact same kind of totally out of control and at the mercy of the creator feelings that I used to get when I took acid. I was just sitting at my computer and the whole thing just kind of did what used to happen when the acid started to kick in. I almost backed off and then I thought, no, fuck it, go for it, but then it subsided. Many is the time I crawled into a sleeping bag and waited for that feeling.

    Pammy, you didn't want to know me then - I was well out of control. I know it doesn't sound like all great times, but somehow or other it felt like we were having so much fun.

    Ziggi, happy xmas and thank you for your insightful comments over the months.

    Betty - god I'd forgotten about 'the fuzz'. I remember once when they busted us and I told them I'd hidden the dope in a can of gloss paint. They took it away to search later.

    The Michael - I would never recommend anyone taking acid, but at the same time, I still actually think that for me personally it was really good. To just be able to see so clearly that what you see and how you see it depends on your state of mind is a pretty useful lesson. Not to say you couldn't learn it without acid, or that taking acid definitely teaches you it.
    I only met a couple of acid casualties - see future posts in this occasional series.

    Awaiting - thanks for visiting my blog, and hope you are having a great Mississippi xmas.

    Richard - sleeping off your xmas pudding or what.


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