Bureau of Lost Culture
Tripping the Light Fantastic

Tripping the Light Fantastic

November 6, 2022
*You couldn’t turn up at at any self respecting psychedelic hangout, countercultural club, happening, be-in or even disco in the late sixties and seventies without being immersed in the cosmic cloud of swirling dreamy liquid images, shapes and colours of the light shows illuminating and enhancing the music.

 
*Our counterculural companion in arms, Kevin Foakes, DJ Food, turntablist, graphic designer-par-excellence -  and now author - returns to the Bureau to talk about his wonderful new book 'Wheels of Light’, published by Four Corners Books - a visual voyage through the history of British light show from 1970 to 1990,  and a gorgeous multi-coloured sensory experience in itself, bursting with amazing images and art.
 
*If we took a trip in a time machine we might find them a little primitive given the multi media hi-tech laser extravaganzas we've got used to, but back in the days of love, the psychedelic light shows were genuinely revolutionary, mind bending, consciousness enhancing and state altering - particularly if augmented by a large dose of LSD.
 
*We hear about lighting up the UFO club, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine and we are joined by Neil Rice, co-founder of Optikinetics, one of the main suppliers of the projectors and gizmos that created the psychedelic light shows of the 60s and 70s - and by Jennie Caldwell, practicing light jockey for many bands in the subsequent summers of love of the 80s and 90s, including those cosmic warriors on the edge of time, Hawkwind.
 
*For More on Kev / DJ Food:  https://www.djfood.org
*For Kev’s 'Wheels of Light’ book: https://www.fourcornersbooks.co.uk/books/wheels-of-light/
*The Bureau of Lost Culture: https://www.bureauoflostculture.com
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#lightshow #hawkwind #pinkfloyd #sydbarret #UFOclub #softmachine #psychedelic #lsd #ravescene #summeroflove #tripping

 

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 
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
Birth, Death - and Frestonia

Birth, Death - and Frestonia

July 4, 2022
The People's Republic of Frestonia, a countercultural micronation, was formed in three streets in North Kensington in the heady years of late seventies London.
 
*Long before the Occupy movement, a group of squatters, radicals, artists and activists decided to fight back against a local authority bent on evicting them from their homes and declared the area independent of the UK. Drawing huge media interest, some derision and lot of goodwill, they had their own passports, stamps and theatre and even applied to join the United Nations.
 
One of them, the psychotherapist Josefine Speyer, Frestonia's minister of Culture, comes to visit the Bureau for an hour or so to tell us what it was all about - and all about the countercultural journey she made to live there from her youth in Germany. We hear of communes in Berlin and Scotland, travelling in a gypsy caravan in Wales, home births and hash cookies in a cow shed and of some of the many alternative projects initiated by her radical activist husband Nicholas Albery.
 
*And we learn how they came to found the Natural Death Centre, blowing the lid on the secretive cabal that controlled the funeral industry and returning death and dying back to where it belongs - with the people..
 
For more about Frestonia:  http://www.frestonia.org
For the Natural Death Centre: http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk
 
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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
 
Albion Dreaming - A Brief Trip Through the History of British LSD

Albion Dreaming - A Brief Trip Through the History of British LSD

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

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

*The Real Tuesday Weld https://www.tuesdayweld.com
On the Road … with Johnny Marr

On the Road … with Johnny Marr

April 24, 2022
* From Colin Wilson to Tony Wilson, Patti Smith to Mark E Smith, what was it like coming of age in the counterculture of Manchester in the 60s, 70s and 80s?
 
* Johnny Marr has just released his latest record and his band's on tour with Blondie. He's worked with Billie Eilish on the Academy award winning theme for the Bond blockbuster No Time to Die and with all sorts of other artists including Hans Zimmer, Modest Mouse, The The and The Pretenders.
 
* He’s had chart hits with Electronic, and, oh yeah, he co-piloted one of the best loved and influential British bands of all time - The Smiths.
 
* We don’t really talk about that - but we do dig deep into archetypal psychology, northern peak experience, clothes, records, books, youth culture and reading the road signs along the way to your destiny..
 
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* Image credit: Andy Cotterill
 
* For More on Johnny: https://johnnymarr.com
 
The Exploding Galaxy

The Exploding Galaxy

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.
 
 
* For More on The Exploding Galaxy http://www.djfood.org/category/bureau-of-lost-culture/
 
 
* For Kev's amazing psychedelic DJ FOOD archive https://djfood/org
 

* The Bureau Home https://www.bureauoflostculture.com

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

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

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A Countercultural History of Camden Town

A Countercultural History of Camden Town

March 13, 2022
* Withnail and I, Poets, Spiritualists, Irish, Spanish and Hugenot immigrants, Serial Killers, Artists, Railway workers, William Blake, Rimbaud and Verlaine, Walter Sickert, Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’Roll, Music Hall, Folk, Britpop, Levitation, The Roundhouse, Cecil Sharp House, The New Jerusalem, Markets, Markets, Markets..
 
* Writer, researcher and walker of Lost Rivers Tom Bolton leads us up and out of The Bureau to wander through the streets and stories of the London Borough of Camden - for decades, the down and dirty end of the countercultural city - in search of the strange spirits that still pervade its highways and byways.
 
* For more on Tom and his work https://tombolton.co.uk

 

* Bureau Home www.bureauoflostculture.com

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

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

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The Lives and Times of Michael Moorcock - Part 1

The Lives and Times of Michael Moorcock - Part 1

January 18, 2022
Multi-award winning writer, musician, editor, essayist and inventor of the multiverse, Michael Moorcock, beams into the Bureau for the first episode exploring his deeply countercultural life in literature and London
 
It’s an action-packed hour involving The Beats, William Burroughs, Soho, J G Ballard, Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian, anarchists, a Rolls Royce, myth, skiffle, fanzines, comics and books, books books.
 
We hear how a precocious teenage Michael sets out on a career that led to the writing of over a hundred books and the creation of the well-loved characters including Elric and Jerry Cornelius who inhabit them, and we hear a revelation that will surprise even die-hard Moorcock afficionados..
 
For more on Michael
 

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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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Go on - follow, rate and review us - or be in touch directly
bureauoflostculture@gmail.com
We'd love to hear from you.

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The UFO Club

The UFO Club

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:

www.greatwen.com 

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Go on - follow, rate and review us - or be in touch directly
bureauoflostculture@gmail.com
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Days of the Underground: The Life and Times of Hawkwind

Days of the Underground: The Life and Times of Hawkwind

January 3, 2021
Hawkwind: Never in fashion but never out of it, piratical pagan proto-punks, avatars of the underground, figureheads of the free festival scene, innovative heralds of the rave generation, cosmic space rockers with street fighter spirit  - there is no one like them.
 
We meet with Joe Banks author of “Hawkwind: Days Of The Underground – Radical Escapism In The Age Of Paranoia” (Strange Attractor Press) to explore the story of a much loved band that have gradually come to win the respect of many of the most cynical of critics - perhaps partly just by virtue of still being around, but mainly by sticking to their fiercely independent, idiosyncratc, anti-corporate, psychedelic ethos.
 
And we return to the West London musical, social melting pot we have previously explored with Nick Laird Clowes to uncover the fertile countercultural ground that gave birth to Hawkwind and in which they played such an important role.
 
For more on Joe Banks
 
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
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Which One’s Pink? Managing the Counterculture

Which One’s Pink? Managing the Counterculture

December 1, 2020
One afternoon in the mid 1960s, Pete Jenner left off marking exam papers at the London School of Economics and popped into the Marquee club. There was a band playing, They changed his life - and he changed theirs. 
 
Pete enters the Bureau of Lost Culture to tell us about discovering The Pink Floyd, the band he and Andrew King guided from darlings of the underground to early commercial success.  
 
But that was just the beginning. We hear about Pete' early life as the son of a radical vicar and how politics and music blended in his involvement in the early days of the West London Underground scene: The London Free School, The Tabernacle, The UFO club and the start of the Hyde Park festivals.
 
We learn about the tragic disintegration of Syd Barrett who Pete and Andrew King chose to back whilst Pink Floyd went onto to global stardom, and we learn something about the ins and outs of a life spent in music, fostering the careers of Marc Bolan, Roy Harper, Ian Drury, The Clash and Billy Bragg amongst many others..
 
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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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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