EXPERIENCE TRUE PSYCHEDELIC TRIPS!
MIND-BLOWER #2 – 4th of July – 1970
It was the 4th of July, 1970; the perfect holiday to take an LSD trip.
A few of our “Goon Squad” cruised down to Newport Beach to see the fireworks from a hill over-looking the harbor. We had fellow dope fiends that lived on the beach that graciously allowed us to use their pad as our home base for the day. We brought plenty of fun drugs to share in return for their hospitality.
The fireworks display was to be shot from a boat in the harbor and the resulting reflections on the water made the experience doubly cool! This is common today but forty years ago it was unique.
Back then there were fireworks stands set up all over the city as most people bought and set off their own fireworks in their backyards. So to go somewhere to watch a big display was fun and a good reason to dose ourselves – but back then we had many good reasons, like, “Hey, it’s Tuesday afternoon, let’s drop acid!”.
I remember this day extremely vividly for two reasons; one, the observance of the molecular structure of a lit candle and two, the fact that while watching the fireworks a large boat manifested and drove past us on the over-looking hill!
We dropped either Double Dome or White Lightning acid (both strong and long-lasting – umm-umm!) about mid-afternoon, as a day goofin’ off at the beach on acid would be a great build-up to the nighttime festivities. As we walked we talked and that in and of itself could be very interesting and more so if the subject matter was heavy – which it usually became because LSD stimulates parts of you that you normally don’t acknowledge; the part where higher thoughts drown out the mundane concerns of daily life and allow you to see things clearly and as they really are.
At some point after some uninhibited displays of psychedelic weirdness and fun we decided to take the short walk back to the beach pad and smoke a couple joints and then head out to the Harbor hills.
Although it was a sunny day, the beach pad interior was coolly dark except for a few lit candles.
Now I’m not new to candles; I was a candle maker myself around that time (see: KPPC / Hippie Candle Factory) but the LSD was hitting me perfectly to see an amazing event. I could see into the candle on the table in front of me, but not just inside, the whole molecular structure of a decent-sized 6” square candle.
Not only could I see through it but I could see each interior side as if it were a clear cube. But it was far from clear as there was a whole lot of activity going on in there. The light from the candle wick cast back down throughout the candle giving the already yellowish candle a golden glimmer as symmetrical strands of what looked like live electricity crisscrossed back and forth much like the wire-framing of today but not seen on a screen or monitor but in real Superman see-thru 3D vision – in three dimensions – but this must have been the fourth dimension!?!
I was amazed! I’ve tripped many times before and had seen many things but this was the first time I could actually sit and continue watching this event, for what seemed like as long as I wanted.
Soon other colors of live electricity began to inter-mingle and then I saw what was really going on; those strands weren’t strands, they were highways! As I looked even closer it seemed as though my eyes became microscopes as I could view in as close as I wanted. It was then that I saw it; a teeming metropolis with everything you’d see in any major city except that everything was still tinged in a golden glinty light – the light from these inhabitants’ sun – the lit candlewick above!
Unfortunately I was jolted-back to somewhat reality with the demands to hit the road, it was getting to be twilight so I was forced to leave that relatively little universe behind.
Once up on the hill the thrills of the psychedelics were hitting all cylinders and we were privileged to view the most far out wicked display of phantasmagorical sight and sound!
Without acid, fireworks can have the illusion of coming at you and pretty convincingly if you’re at the correct angle – with acid it’s no illusion as the fireworks are absorbed by you!
And here’s where weird synchronicity and normal strangeness intersect right when you’re peaking – and it seems to happen a lot – like one time when we were all really psychedelicized on acid and watching TV with the volume down and listening to records when all of a sudden this large, what looked like a woman, in jean overalls and tight curly hair, looking a lot like a country Fatty Arbuckle comes on stage and starts playing a guitar (which looked like a ukulele compared to her very large size) and just as she starts Captain Beefheart’s “I’m Gonna Booglarize You, Baby” synches exactly with what we’re watching this “woman” sing and play!
But it gets better, at first we knew what had happened, we were stoned, not stupid and this was highly entertaining, but as the song and her performance began to synch-up to perfection it began to get really weird as she now became the anti-Bowie the next Superstar as we were seeing this become real in front of us!
This track off “The Spotlight Kid” was four minutes and thirty-three seconds; a good long song and even longer on acid.
But then things turned ugly as the Captain’s Mack truck-grinding-gears voice coming out of this “woman” was becoming more than fairly demonic; it was a very creepy pre-cursor to next year’s debut of the scariest movie ever, “the Exorcist” which had one of the film’s most twisted scares with Mercedes McCambridge’s demonic voice coming out of sweet little innocent Linda Blair.
Another very cool LSD experience that “just happened”.
So strange as it seems, when you’re on hallucinogenic drugs it sometimes acts as a catalyst for experiences of “synchronicity of strangeness”. Like attracts like – when you’re strange and weird you attract the strange and weird – makes sense to me.
Now back up on the hill:
We’re way up on this hill over-looking the harbor/bay and during a pause in the fireworks before the big finale we see the silhouette of something big coming our way from off in the distance to our right. Nothing to be concerned about until it got closer – it looked like a … boat, a fairly large boat, but it was on wheels and had headlights.
As it got closer we all just stood our ground, as it were, because at the time and under the circumstances this was highly strange, bizarre and out of place – all the things that make acid trips the exceptional experiences that they are.
It passed right in front of us and disappeared in the distance as quick as it came, the fireworks resumed with a terrific finale that blew our minds and we went back to the beach pad for some late night tunes and an acid comedown smoke-out and always many laughs.
We never found out what that thing was or why it was up on that hill and I never saw another universe, but since then I have always known they exist.
LSD Lesson Learned: Everything is relative and nothing is solid.