May 9, 2022
*Experimental treatment of the insane, secret tests by MI5 with volunteers thinking they were helping find a cure for the common cold, Cold War weapon research by the Ministry of defence on unsuspecting troops - the early history of LSD in the UK was rather inauspicious.
*And then all hell - or heaven - broke loose..
*Britain's foremost psychedelic historian ANDY ROBERTS returns to the Bureau to take us on a trip through the revolutions in the head caused by Acid from the 1950s to now.
*Along the way we meet some of the characters who experimented, manufactured, dealt, swallowed and were transformed by it - as well as those who tried to stop them - including an unlikely Breaking Bad style pharmacist in Islington, The Microdot Gang and even the Kray Twins..
*So sit back, relax, blow out the candles and kick off your sandals … (thanks The Lilac Time), tune in, turn and ...
March 28, 2022
* In 1967 and and 1968, an ordinary north London house contained an Exploding Galaxy - a psychedelic commune and carnival of theatrical performers, artists and performance poets bent on transforming the city through spontaneous happenings, countercultural interventions and street activism..
* One of them was only 15 years old. Now all grown up, JILL DROWER comes to the Bureau to talk about her time at 99 Balls Pond Road as a Galaxy member - how the whole crazy endeavour came about - and how it exploded into and out of existence
Alson the way we visit The UFO club, The 14 Hour Technicolour Dream, hear about ‘scrudging’ , bent coppers intent on busting hippies for being hippies and the lost dream of peace, love and understanding that once might have changed everything.
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May 27, 2021
Journalist and counterculture commentator Peter Watts joins us to talk about The UFO Club, the massively influential short-lived London club of the late 1960s established by Joe Boyd and John "Hoppy” Hopkins.
It featured light shows, poetry readings, avant-garde art by Yoko Ono and many rock acts (Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Procul Harem) who later became massive.
For a brief two year period, it acted as the epicentre of the whirligig of summer of love underground London with a 'who's who of the counterculture' guest list and set the standards for psychedelic fashion and design.
Peter’s blog on London and counterculture:
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September 16, 2020
In the first of an occasional series of broadcasts around the subject of LSD, psychedelic historian Andy Roberts takes us on the first part of a trip through the extraordinary life and times of Michael Hollingshead.
Hollingshead's assertion that he ‘turned on the world’ may be wildly immodest, but he did introduce Timothy Leary (and many others) to acid and thus played an essential role in the evolution of the counterculture in the USA and the UK.
He remains relatively forgotten - and his home town of Darlington does not figure in the topography of Acid culture - despite his tremendous consciousness changing exploits.
But he was no saint. Andy, whose book Divine Rascal is the first biography of Hollingshead, charts the idiosyncracies and rise and fall of a man variously described as a Zelig, holy fool, trickster, black magician, sociopath, charlatan, genius, fabulist, junkie, alcoholic, secret agent, police informer, disruptor and sex mad preacher of Love who didn't actually understand love.
To be continued.
For more on Andy and ‘Divine Rascal'
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September 16, 2020
‘America’s leading scholar of High Strangeness’ Dr.Erik Davis, enters the Bureau.
We hear about Erik’s career charting the highs and lows of counterculture, esoterica and psychedelia in America and meet three of the most influential radical psychedelic characters of 1970s - the writers / thinkers / lunatics Philip K Dick, Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson.
Each had extraordinary mystical experiences in the heady days of early 1970 countercultures which kickstarted an incredible outpouring of radical theories, fiction, speculations, conspiracy theories and consciousness exploration.
We hear about radical politics, drugs, strange new religions, environmentalism, cults and the darkening of the psychedelic dream as the sunny uplands of the 1960s turn into the confused melting pot of the 1970s.
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