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.
#counterculture #macrobiotic #johnandyoko #thebeatles #greenandblacks #wholeearth #craigsams
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..
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.
April 11, 2022
* He stepped off a plane from Barbados onto a wet and windy runway at Heathrow airport in 1965 aged 12.
* Now he’s a DJ, multi-instrumentalist and producer of hundreds of records spanning reggae, lovers rock, soul, dub, punk and pop.
* Dennis Bovell's life in music is populated by a countercultural cornucopia of artists as wide ranging as Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Slits, Madness, Bananarama, the Pop Group, Fela Kuti, Orange Juice, Marvin Gaye, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and most recently, Radiohead, The Animal Collective and Spoon.
* He's even got an MBE.
* We dig into all that - or as much as we can - plus Hendrix, sound systems, cutting dub plates, sound clashes with Lee Scratch Perry, police harrasment, wrongful imprisonment and the youthful joys of eating breadfruit on the beach.
November 1, 2020
Chick.Trip.Dope, Pad. Heavy. Cool. Scene. Man. Beat. Freak. Weed. Bang. Square. Blast. Cat. Gas!
In an action packed episode, we spend a Soho afternoon with 'Mr Slang’ Jonathon Green discussing his amazing life in the counterculture, writing for Rolling Stone and the underground magazines including IT, OZ and Friends.
Then we dig deep into his ground breaking catalogue of the counterculture: ‘Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground' with its interviews of over a hundred figures involved in the counterculture including Paul McCartney, Barry Miles and Jenny Fabian.
And, as Jonathon is our foremost lexicographer of slang, he takes us on wander into the weird and wonderful world of countercultural language, exploring where all those hippie and beatnik words came from and discovering why ‘Fuck' is not in fact a swear word.
For more on Jonathon’s books
For more on Jonathon’s Slang Dictionaries
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
September 13, 2020
In this episode, we meet with radical doctor Sam Hutt who ministered to countercultural London in the 1960s and with Hank Wangford, English Country and Western singer par excellence.
Sam tells us about growing up in a 1950s communist household in a posh part of London. We hear stories of sixties Soho and psychedelic marmite, about buying heroin from Boots and about prescribing cannabis for some very famous musicians.
We learn how Sam frequented underground clubs like The Flamingo, dropped acid, made one of the greatest psychedelic singles of all time, hung out with rock stars and witnessed the tragic decline of Syd Barrett
Hank tells how Sam Hutt became Hank Wangford after a broken love affair. We hear how he and Keith Richards were turned onto country music by Gram Parsons and about his days as part of the Red Wedge anti-Thatcher movement in the 1980s - all along with two tunes recorded live at Soho Radio.
For more on Hank Wangford
For more on Bureau of Lost Culture