Well now we get started with week seven of the course, the final week of this part one of the history of rock. We'll be talking about the Psychedelic era, which is generally thought of the time from about 1966 through 1969, the very end of the 60's, I call this chapter I think in the book "High Times and Big Ideas. And I say that somewhere, I'm not really quite sure where. but let's review where, how we got to this point. we talked about the British Invasion, The Beatles coming to this country in 1964, February 1964, and starting a craze for British music. we talked about an American response, The Byrds and Bob Dylan, the summer of 1965 and their response to the to the the music of the Beatles and the British invasion, and bringing the, the rise of folk rock and, and a lot of the music that came with that. and then we talked about at the same time. The rise of Motown and Stax during the mid 60's and this the black pop scene during those years. And so all of that is kind of blending together as we get into 1966 and. we have a psychedelic scene that begins to arise. So, we're going to talk about that this week and I, I want to, just before we start, I want to talk about some of the main ideas that are going to come up during this week's lectures. One of the most important ones that we're going to talk about is the idea of mainstream. Versus subculture. when we talk about subcultures, musicial musical scholars like to talk about this topic an awful lot because a subculture means something that's going on in a musical scene that's sort of off the mainstream radar. So, in, in this case, for example, we're going to talk about a psychedelic subculture that's happening in San Francisco. And a parallel one that's happening in London. And for the first year and a half, maybe two years of that scene, it's pretty much off the radar. The only way you would know about the Psychedelic subculture is if you actually went there and visited. Every now and again it was in the news, but not really sort of mainstream. So you've got mainstream acts doing one kind of thing, sort of in the public eye nationally and internationally. And you've got other acts that are, that are developing something as well, what we're going to call the psychedelic movement, the psychedelic, psychedelic music, is happening in a subcultural thing. And so we're going to make a distinction between mainstream acts and subculture acts, and talk about, a bit about the subcultures in San Francisco and London, and to a certain extent, Los Angeles. The second big idea is what we're going to call the growth of musical ambition and the formation of something I call the hippie aesthetic. this is the idea that as we, as we go. From the end of the 50's through the 1960's, we can begin to trace a pattern of musicians, at least some musicians getting increasingly ambitious about what the music should do. The music starts to become much more important as a kind of artistic utterance. An artistic creation. As opposed to just being a kind of a, a kind of thing that where the music is made and then easily disposed of like a paper towel or a dixie cup or something like that, use once and throw it away. Instead, they start having much more ambitious ideas about what their music can be, that they can start with, really sort of start to become art. We talked a bit about that with regard to The Beatles and The Beach Boys and Dylan in previous weeks. So here's for all that is really going to come together for us. We also want to ask the question, how can music be psychedelic? I can, I can understand how drugs can be psychedelic but how can music be psychedelic? And the, one of the distinctions we're going to make here is the idea of music accompanying the drug trip as opposed to music being a kind of trip of its own. So we will follow those themes all the way through this week. So let's dive right in now. And let's talk about the rise of LSD. When we talk about psychedelia, we really can't talk about psychedelic music without saying something about drug use. And I don't want it be understood that somehow I am endorsing drug use, or telling people who watch these videos that they should go out and try this because it's fantastic. None of that is what's going on here. As a historian we're just looking at this objectively, trying to figure out exactly what went on. LSD, while there were a lot of drugs circulating around during this period. LSD is the one that's usually sort of focused on because it's a hallucinogenic drug that has some of the effects, at least according to its proponents, has some of the effects that comport with some of the counterculture ideas and the aesthetic that goes with it. LSD itself was developed by a Swiss chemist by the name of Albert Hoffmann in 1943. He was looking for a cure for migraine headaches. and so had been handling this particular formulation of the drug in the in the lab and, and as the story goes did not really ingest it. But the drug was absorbed through the skin, through touching a formulation of it. And so it was absorbed into this bloodstream through the skin so he maybe wasn't so aware that that had occurred. After all, even if he was aware of it, what's the worst that could happen? He would be protected maybe against migraine headaches, because that's what he was shooting for. Scientists work on a lot of drugs, but most of the don't pan out, and so he probably had no real fears about that. Well, the story that's often told, who knows whether it's true, a lot of times these things are apocryphal, but, and exaggerated, but his lab assistant saw that he was acting a little bit funny as he was getting ready to leave the lab that day. And, apparently both he and the lab assistant rode to work on bicycles. and so Hoffmann gets on to his bike and is going to be driving home and the lab assistant thinks well just for safety sake I think I better follow him. apparently as the as he was taking this bicycle trip home the LSD started to kick in. And according to Albert Hoffmann's perception of what was going on, he was going very, very slowly and the horizon was rising and falling and he was having all these experiences with color and it was like it was, the whole thing was happening in slow motion. According to the lab assistant, he was going like crazy on this bike and what we had there essentially in 1943 in Switzerland was the first real. LSD trip, but Albert Hoffman saw what he could do, he sort of wrote up his his findings and the drug was people would look for what can we do with the drug that has these kinds effects. The CA, CIA, the American Intelligence Organization got involved and thought well maybe this would be a great truth serum to use like on Russian spies or whatever, to get them to spill the secrets that were, were, we, we, we would like to hear about. And it was also thought of for a while by psychiatrists. As a possibly treatment, in lower doses of course, a possible treatment for alcoholism. and so the people who knew about this drug were people in the intelligence community and people in the medical community, psychiatrists, doctors, dentists, people like that. Because it was being written up as a kind of a scientific find. We'll talk in a minute about Timothy Leary. He was one of those kinds of scientists who understood what LSD was. Really until late 1966, October of 1966, LSD was perfectly legal. Because it really wasn't seen as much of a threat. It was just a drug that was possible for treatment. people started using it. At first it was outlawed in California in October, 1966, and then it became illegal around the rest of the country. one consequence of all this is that the people who knew about LSD and its possible recreational effects were people sort of in the upper crusts of society, doctors, dentists, perhaps the people that they mingled with socially, lawyers, business people. who would often take, well sometimes would take, LSD at the end of an evening while they were having their coffee after dessert. They would drop a tab of acid and trip. And that was not thought of as dangerous as long as you were in a confined situation and and so that's what went on. In fact the Beatles, at least John Lennon and George Harrison were the first, if you might say, victims, of this that we can think of among the big bands in popular music. This happened already in early 1965, The Beatles, John and George with their wives, went to dinner with a dentist in England that they knew. And afterwards, they were having a coffee unbenounced to them, he dosed it with a little bit of LSD. And all of them began to trip. In fact, it didn't happen initially and the guy kept asking him, how are you feeling? How are you feeling? And they were getting a little bit creeped out by this. They thought he was trying to get something going on maybe sexually or something. And so they left and as they were leaving, in the car all of a sudden LSD clicked in and the rest of the night was a full blown LSD trip. The Beatles actually I think probably liked it. Pretty okay, because they took again again and again for a while there. But again it came to them through this in sort of elite party time. We talk the Beatles doing LSD in early 1965, except for Paul McCartney who was the last one to try. Well, we don't really hear about LSD on a large scale until the summer of 1967, which is thought of as the summer of love, and so a lot of this stuff going on under the radar. Now, why would people want to take LSD? I mean, we, we hear what the, what the effects of it are, what, what would be the value in that? Well one of the values of it could be that it's just fun, you know the world is full of people who want to take drugs just to get messed up and have a recreational time. But LSD was really invested in a more serious-minded kind of counterculture idea. LSD was mixed up in the idea of higher consciousness. That is by taking LSD, you could kind of break down all of the barriers that had been built up by conforming to society's lies they would say, or the rules of society. So somehow by taking LSD you could become more what yourself, more authentic what you had always. Maybe intended to be by nature, but were denied by the way that you were brought up and made to conform within modern society. So it was seen as a way to wisdom, a, a, a way to higher consciousness, and so. This idea was very consistent with the idea of a counter culture which the hippies at the end of the 60's began to sort of rebound this idea that we could create a culture that didn't make the kinds of mistakes that our parent's culture made. Our parents who lied to us, our teachers who lied to us, the government who lies to us, the church who lies to us, everybody was lying to us. Waited to get back to the truth, and LSD could be the, kind of, magic bullet that would help you get that higher consciousness that would be able to help you re-calibrate your mind a little bit and see this truth. This, of course, the LSD use led to the idea of the trip. Because the LSD experience, it was experienced as a trip. But i, the idea of, of trip became this. This sort of word that was said, was in the the vocabulary that most people are talking about, the counterculture, so if somebody was a-having a bad trip, it could either be a real LSD trip or could just be a bad experience. I might say about somebody you know, what's his trip. So this idea of trip comes in to it. Now you can think of music fitting into this in two ways. Music could be used to enhance the LSD trip and is sort of secondary to the drug experience this is kind of what Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were about. We'll talk about them in the next video. That is that music would be used as, as something that would be going on while you were having the drug trip as a way of making the drug trip maybe more intense. Or, or creating some sort of stimulus that would, would allow things to happen. But it also started to be that music itself could be the trip in absence of the LSD or the acid itself. The idea that music takes you on a kind of journey. Then in order to do this the music has got to become more conceptual. Musically speaking, probably more ambitious, more seriousness of purpose. Longer certainly to take you on a trip unless it's going to be a very short trip. Interestingly these hippies with this sort of spiritual music as a trip kind of idea started to recreate an attitude toward especially toward absolute music which had already been prevalent in 19th century European art music. So people had talked about Beetohoven symphonies in a lot the same way. So what we want to do in the next video is we want to concentrate on. How music gets serious and ambitious. If music itself is going to become kind of a trip. Or even if it's going to enhance the trip, how does music get serious and ambitious in order to to accomplish that goal? That's where we'll turn with the next video.