Bureau of Lost Culture
Smells Like Teen Spirit

Smells Like Teen Spirit

September 12, 2022
*"Teenage savages go wild in a jungle of lust and lawlessness!"
 
*Countercultural commentator and writer JOHN HIGGS comes to the Bureau. We head out into the feverish febrile pheromone filled phase of self consciousness, sex drugs and rock’n’roll known as adolescence as we investigate the birth of the teenage in the late 40s and 50s.  
 
*Was it all really kicked off by Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti?    
 
*We chart the rise of youth culture on both sides of the Iron Curtain and debate that while ‘all you need is love’‘you can’t always get what you want’ as we trace counterculture through beats, mods, hippies, punks, ravers, grunge and britpop, touch down briefly on gender politics and the death of Kurt Cobain and wonder if 70 will one day be the new seventeen.
 
For more on John https://johnhiggs.com
 
The Bureau of Lost Culture https://www.bureauoflostculture.com
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#counterculture #littlerichard #teenage #rockandroll #kurtcobain #beatles #rollingstones #hippie 
Song Noir: The Low Down LA Life of Tom Waits

Song Noir: The Low Down LA Life of Tom Waits

August 29, 2022
*Musician and actor TOM WAITS is one of the great countercultural artists of our time, His '70s albums documented low life America in an LA that no longer exists
 
*Filmmaker Alex Harvey, author of 'Song Noir: Tom Waits and the Spirit of Los Angeles’ comes to the Bureau to tell how Waits mined a rich seam of the city’s low-life locations and characters, letting the place feed his dark imagination.
 
*We hear how Tom blended real life with the mythic, turning autobiographical details into songs that were both romantic and disturbing -  and created a vision of LA as the warped, narcotic heart of his nocturnal explorations.
 
*For more on Alex http://alexanderharvey.org/
*For more on Tom Waits: http://www.tomwaits.com/
*For The Bureau of Lost Culture https://www.bureauoflostculture.com 
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#counterculture #tomwaits #rickieleejones  #thetropicana #LA #kathleenbrenan 
Sowing the Seeds of Love

Sowing the Seeds of Love

August 15, 2022
*Timothy Leary may have wanted to cause a revolution your head with LSD, The Beatles in your heart with Love, but countercultural activist and entrepreneur CRAIG SAMS went for the Gut.
 
*After bringing himself back from death’s door by curing the amoebic dysentery and hepatitis he contracted on the Central Asia hippie trail, he embarked on a mission to change the world and raise consciousness through food.
 
*We sit down with him for a feast of of fabulous food fables from feeding the freaks at The UFO club and the first Glastonbury festival, to co-founding Seed, London's first macrobiotic restaurant and the go-to healthy eatery for John and Yoko, The Stones and many other denizens of the London underground.
 
*Also on the menu: how he went on to co-found Whole Earth foods and then Green and Black's Chocolate, how macrobiotics will improve an LSD trip, how changing the way we eat can save us - and the planet - and how, at nearly eighty, he is still living the countercultural life.
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For More on Craig: https://www.craigsams.com
 
Join us at The Bureau of Lost Culture https://linktr.ee/bureauoflostculture
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#counterculture #macrobiotic #johnandyoko  #thebeatles #greenandblacks #wholeearth #craigsams
Alan Moore on Counterculture

Alan Moore on Counterculture

July 18, 2022
*He is widely recognised as one of the best comic book writers in the English language with works like From Hell, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Killing Joke, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Swamp Thing. He's the author of modern literary classics, including Jerusalem, a 1,266-page experimental epic novel, that have led to his legendary status and critical acclaim.

*He is also an occultist, a ceremonial magician and an anarchist.

 
*ALAN MOORE beamed into the Bureau for an afternoon  conversation about counterculture - in his own life and work and in the past, the present and in the future.
 
*We also dig deep into the 60s, the 70s, Thatcherism, Britpop, the power of The Arts Lab, why he doesn’t watch the adaptions of his work, the power of limitations to foster creativity and much much more.
 
*Alan’s storytelling course on BBC Maestro:  https://www.bbcmaestro.com
LONDON MONTH OF THE DEAD http://www.londonmonthofthedead.com
THE REAL TUESDAY WELD
Join us and support our wild endeavours https://www.bureauoflostculture.com
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#alanmoore #michaelmoorcock #counterculture #artslab #london #malcolmmclaren 
Women, Sex, Counterculture

Women, Sex, Counterculture

June 20, 2022
The Sexual Revolution? Yes. Liberation? Maybe. Penis Envy? NO!
 
*Youth culture in the sixties was progressive in so many ways but when it came to the relations between the sexes, it was perhaps much more traditional than it liked to admit.
 
*Sleeping around, Syd Barret, Pink Floyd, Groupies, Frigidity, the Pill, abortion, Oz magazine and of course The Female Eunuch make their appearance as we dig deep into what it was like growing up as a young woman in the underground scene of swinging sixties London.
 
*Author Jill Drower, once a member of The Exploding Galaxy experimental dance commune returns to the Bureau along with beat traveller, model and singer Jenny Spires as we ask if the story of counterculture has largely been one told by men about men.
 
 

*Sign up for The Bureau Newsletter: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/N0ZYoFu/BOLC 

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#SydBarrett #Pink Floyd #Groupies #Frigidity #abortion #Ozmagazine #TheFemaleEunuch #germainegreer #jennyspires #theexplodinggalaxy

On the Farm with Allen Ginsberg

On the Farm with Allen Ginsberg

May 23, 2022
*In 1969, the poet, Beat generation godfather, countercultural guru and political activist ALLEN GINSBERG bought a farm in upstate New York to provide a creative hub and rehab refuge for his friends - a collection of poets, artists, washed-up drunks, strung-out junkies, ne’er do wells and exhausted underground figures, all reeling after the intensity of the 60s.
 
*One, his lifelong friend and biographer Barry Miles, chronicler of the counterculture, returns to the Bureau to tell of a bucolic summer he spent with Ginsberg and an assortment of crazy characters on the farm, archiving the poet's vast collection of tape recordings.
 
*We also visit The Chelsea Hotel and meet some the equally crazy characters who lived and loved there in 1970s Manhattan including Janis Joplin, Arthur Miller and Leonard Cohen - and along the way we discuss The Beats, Buddhism, Burroughs - and beards.
 
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*Thanks to Stephen Cleary and The British Library Sound Archive for providing the recordings of Allen and to Peter Hale of The Ginsberg Estate for permission to use them.
 
*The Allen Ginsberg Project: https://allenginsberg.org

*Sign up for The Bureau Newsletter: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/N0ZYoFu/BOLC 

* The Bureau Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bureauoflostculture/

*The British Library Sound Archive:
 
#ginsberg #kerouac #williamburroughs #beatpoets #beatgeneration #counterculture
 
The Man Who Drilled a Hole in his Head

The Man Who Drilled a Hole in his Head

February 13, 2022
Cannabis, psilocybin, mescaline and LSD were not enough to fulfil Joey Mellen’s quest to expand his consciousness to the furthest limits 'in search of the miraculous'. So in 1968 he used an electric drill to self-trepan himself by boring a hole into his skull.
 
Now a delightful and very lively 82, Joey visits the Bureau to tell how an upper middle class English public schoolboy tuned in, turned on and dropped out, became a psychonautic beatnik and carried out the act of self surgery that made him infamous in countercultural London.  Along the way we dig deep into acid evangelism, how to avoid bad trips, the blood chemistry of the ego and the strange life of Bart Hughes, the dutchman whose theories inspired Joey, Amanda Fielding and various others to seek enlightenment through trepanation.  
 
And we ask Joey if he acheived his goal of getting high and never coming down.
 
This episode was sponsored by the artist known as The Real Tuesday Weld 
 
 
 
 
 
Blondie, The Bowery and The Blank Generation

Blondie, The Bowery and The Blank Generation

November 21, 2021
Gary Lachman, the original bass player of Blondie (as Gary Valentine)returns to the Bureau to tell of his time in the New York underground music scene of the 1970s.
 
Now the UK’s foremost writer on the esoteric, with 24 books under his belt including works on Aleister, Crowley, Jung, Gurdjieff, Magick and the occult, Gary was once deep in the heart of New York's 'Blank Generation'.
 
We hear about living with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein in a loft on The Bowery, playing CBGB and Gotham's underground clubs, hanging with The Ramones and Patti Smith, touring with Television and Iggy Pop and living the countercultural life on the Lower East side in the years before and beyond new wave.
 
For more on Gary
 

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William Burroughs and Friends

William Burroughs and Friends

August 29, 2021
The ghosts of William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, John Giorno and Bob Cobbing make an appearance at the Bureau - as curator Steve Cleary plays us a  selection of super rare  recordings from the British Library Sound Archive.
 
The Archive is one of the biggest curated resources of audio in the world and includes over 1 million discs, 185,000 tapes, and many other sound and video recordings from around the globe  Steve takes us on a wander through its unparalleled counterculture collection.
 
We also hear from the capital's foremost chronicler of the counterculture, Barry Miles, on Burroughs' life in London  - along with a live recording of the beat writer at Manchester's Hacienda, a sampling of his cutups, some deeply strange sound poems and a wonderful recording of Kerouac jazz scatting at Neal Cassidy’s house.
 
For more on the British Library Sound Archive
 

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Go on - follow, rate and review us - or be in touch directly
bureauoflostculture@gmail.com
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Tales from The Flamingo Club

Tales from The Flamingo Club

May 27, 2021
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday Dizzy Gillespie, Rod Stewart, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Eric Clapton, the Moody Blues, Mick Fleetwood, Pink Floyd, Georgie Fame, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, the Small Faces … the roll call of those who played in the Soho basement called The Flamingo is a who's who of 50s and 60s cool. 
 
Journalist and author Pete Watts takes us on a trip through time and down the stairs of 33 Wardour Street to hear stories of one of London's most important lost and legendary venues.
 
We hear how the Flamingo was hugely influential on up and coming musical stars of the 60s like Pete Townsend and The Rolling Stones, how it played an influential roll in the history of black music in the city and how you can perhaps still catch its spirit in the gents’ loos of the Irish theme pub that now occupies the site..
 
For more on Pete Watts:
 
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
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Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London: The Films of Peter Whitehead

Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London: The Films of Peter Whitehead

October 19, 2020
Peter Whitehead was an innovative English writer and filmmaker who documented the counterculture in London and New York in the late 1960s.
 
His film Wholly Communion captured The International Poetry Incarnation, a groundbreaking event at The Royal Albert Hall in 1965 that was to prove pivotal in the evolution of the underground  scene. The film featured poetry readings by Beat poets including Allen Ginsberg, Michael Horovitz, Adrian Mitchell and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and established Whitehead as the London counterculture’s 'Man With a Movie Camera’.
 
Film event producer Marek Pytel walks us through Whtehead's life and work including the iconic 'Tonite Let's All Make Love in London’ documentary that helped define the "swinging London" scene of the sixties with psychedelic performances and interviewees including Pink Floyd, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Vanessa Redgrave, Lee Marvin, Julie Christie, Allen Ginsberg, Eric Burdon, Michael Caine and many others.
 
We hear how Whitehead went onto film with The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix and to make provocative work about the countercultural protest movement in late 60s New York before making an extraordinary career swerve.
 
For More on Marek Pytel's work see www.realityfilm.co.uk
 
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
 
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The Man Who Turned On the World - Hollingshead Pt.1

The Man Who Turned On the World - Hollingshead Pt.1

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'
 
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
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Barney Bubbles: Designing the Counterculture

Barney Bubbles: Designing the Counterculture

September 16, 2020
Writer and cultural commentator Paul Gorman takes us on an exploration of the countercultural designer Barney Bubbles. It is an extraordinary story, magic and tragic by turn.
 
Bubbles, who, despite his effervescent alias, was so modest that he declined to have his name included on the many extraordinary album covers he designed, has rather faded from public awareness since his untimely suicide. But he remains much admired by lovers of album cover art and has influenced a growing coterie of graphic designers. 
 
Paul, who has championed him with a biography and three exhibitions, traces his life and work from the hard boiled world of advertising and commercial graphics in the 60s, through the psychedelic West London underground scene of the early 70s, to the post punk era of Stiff Records and beyond. Along the way we hear of some of the outpourings of the cornucopia that was Bubbles’ mind, including the designs of Frendz magazine, the Hawkwind Tarot, The Specials' Ghost Town video - and those album covers..
 
And we hear about Paul’s own journey and, as usual, speculate on the nature of this creature called ‘counterculture’.
 
For more on Paul Gorman
 
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
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High Weirdness: Psychedelic Visions in 70s America

High Weirdness: Psychedelic Visions in 70s America

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.

For more on Erik Davis:

www.techgnosis.com

For more on Bureau Of Lost Culture

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www.bureauoflostculture.com

The Secret History of Mescaline

The Secret History of Mescaline

September 16, 2020

Mike Jay, the UK’s foremost historian of psychoactive plants, joins us to talk about the deeply strange hallucinogen/drug/medicine/sacrament mescaline - a substance derived from the peyote cactus.

Whilst other psychedelic compounds are more popular - and much more in the news - Mike tells us why mescaline was actually the very first psychedelic.

We hear strange stories of drug use in 19th century London, Native American medicine ceremonies - and Bovril..

For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
www.bureauoflostculture.com

More about Mike's work

www.mikejay.net

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