A single drop of acid and the “doors of perception” open onto the Gods, who welcome us with arms wide open. A single drop for each of us, and humankind is blessed with peace and love. Such was the hippie prophecy. Artists developed the “psychedelic” aesthetic to make perceptible the effects of this wonderful liquid.
Certain outsiders believe that the acid wave was a plot of the CIA to restrain the revolutionary potential of youth. Suggesting that it would be too hard to plan a revolt whilst under the effects of acid. In 1976, the revelations from the Project “MKUltra” would confirm that the hippie collapse was in fact premeditated by the government.
This collapse was already set to be monumental. Following the troublesome events at Woodstock – the climax of the hippie vision –, the Isle of Wight Festival also turned into a fiasco. Followed by a murder that interrupted the Stones concert in Altamont, it was starting to appear that the hippie dream had already turned into a nightmare. The hard drugs then took over from the softer ones; overdoses and psychosis multiplied; the love turned violent, and became overshadowed by rapes and STDs. Utopia had turned into an apocalypse. Ironically somewhat, the hippie movement followed three common stages of the LSD trip.
Through the acid, the world begins painting the mystical and magical. Colors and sounds mutate. The slightest thing becomes a subject to wonder, like an unexpected return to early childhood. You can’t stop laughing.
Landmarks dissipate. This is the height of mystical experience, and somewhat dangerous too: the user becomes a tightrope walker, oscillating wildly between ecstatic joy and a bad trip. The hippie movement, ultimately, turned to that bad side.
The effects resorb and leave a taste of extreme loneliness. The spirit curls up like a sick worm in its shell. The death and burial of the psychedelic movement.
To navigate this acid journey, this playlist will follow in form, the same trip.
From Status Quo to The Electric Prunes, these songs are cheerful, sweet and exuberant. It's about houses made of marmalade, cosmic horse-riders, or the spirit of water, the clouds, the beloved one, the ego... In short, everything is alive and beautiful.
The electricity intensifies. A surge of sensuality (Twink), intensity (The Open Mind), ordeal (Hawkwind), until it reaches the vertigos of crying (Baby Grandmother). This is the critical moment when the slightest breach can lead to a world plentiful of demons. You are oscillating between anxiety and ecstasy.
Seriously creepy, Ultimate Spinach's slow song draws us to the bottom (“I am faaalling!”). You feel a strong fatigue. Your mind is dying and despiritied by its own inertia (The Outsiders). A creeping anxiety pervades everything (Linda Perhacs, Tim Buckley). We attend a satanic mass (Bobby Beausoleil), we sink to the edge of the morbid (Electric Storm). Everything ends with the final heartbreaking ceremony (Arzachel). It's the death and burial of the psychedelic movement.