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.
6 days ago