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Nov 09 2012

First Glimpse Of MONDO 2000 History Project Archives: Complete Issue #1 Of High Frontiers (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #39)

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The following is a rough draft excerpt from Chapter Six — titled “Funky Punky Acid Rag” of the book in progress, Use Your Hallucinations: MONDO 2000 In Late 20th Century Cyberculture along with a link to the first glimpse of the MONDO 2000 History Project archives, being organized by the Internet Archive.

We did a really ratty first issue of High Frontiers… with a lot of different type sizes.  A very funky on-the-cheap layout. There was a lot of text, because I had transcribed these long interviews with psychedelics heroes, so some of it wound up being in absurdly tiny type that made the New York Times look like a children’s book by comparison.

For visuals, we started clipping these old black and white pictures that looked like they were ads out of the 1950′s Reader’s Digest or Life Magazine. I think that was Mau Mau’s move.  We did it entirely because it made us giggle. I was also aware that these sort of recontextualizations of corny 1950s/60s graphics had been used in beneath-the-underground publishing. I’m sure Mau Mau had seen that in places also.  I particularly associated it with the dadaists. So we used these silly images in ways that almost mocked the subjects that we actually respected, which I thought was an acceptable way to carry on amongst the hip.

On one inside page, we advertised ourselves as running for President (me) and Vice President (Mau Mau) in the 1984 election under the moniker of the NeoPsychedelic Pop Party. Unlike my eventual 2000 candidacy, there was no plan for any follow through — it was a total put on as compared to mostly a put on.  Mau Mau came up with the best slogan:  “Somerset Mau Mau: The Peace Candidate. ‘Vote for me and nobody gets hurt.’”  I’ve wanted to steal that line ever since.

Perhaps the most outrageous and dangerous aspect of that page and, in fact, the entire edition — dangerous at least to my future career amongst counterculture celebrities — came about as the result of something Lisa, the girl I moved to California with, had done.  One day I’d brought home an edition of a free local paper called Poetry Flash that had this smallish photo of William Burroughs on one of the pages.  Lisa cut out the photo and drew an apple on Burroughs’ head… which I thought was just hilarious.  (Lisa had been famous as the fiery campus feminist… but this was done more in humor than anger.)  Anyway, I had that and we added it to the  NeoPsychedelic Pop Party collage.

Looking back, I was very naïve about how irreverent you could be towards irreverent countercultural celebrities who were themselves irreverent.  There’s a certain inevitable degree of dishing it out but not taking it in that game. Not that I ever got into trouble with the Burroughs camp over it.  I don’t think they ever saw that first issue.  But it’s definitely something I would have thought twice about a few years later.  I’m sure James Grauerholtz (Burroughs’ personal assistant and watchdog) would have freaked.

We finished the issue. I really didn’t give much thought to the visual aesthetics, other than knowing that it was raw and punk.  I just thought we were issuing forth a new revolutionary sensibility…  that the combination of ideas was so amazing and stunning and timely that it would set the world on fire, starting in the Bay Area.

We’d barely talked about the money we needed to publish the thing.  We took it to a local printing press… the Pacific Sun actually ran a printing business… and I think the guy gave us a good price.  I still remember him being amused by our enthusiasm and total lack of a business plan.  I remember getting money from Terence McKenna and that Mau Mau borrowed money from an uncle.  I don’t even remember if I put in any money.  I probably put in my $400.

https://archive.org/details/highfrontiers00rusi

Oct 05 2012

Your Friday MONDO – Pull Quotes (Nuggets) From High Frontiers #1 1984 (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #32)

Here are some pull quotes from the first ever 1984 issue of High Frontiers — predecessor to MONDO 2000  — for you to chew over.

The taboo against the intelligent, purposeful use of psychedelics is beginning to lift.  R.U. Sirius

 

I believe that the human biocomputer occassionally wants a big… carnival blast. Precisely controlled excess is absolutely necessary for sanity.  Timothy Leary

 

(Discovering LSD) was serendipity. I was looking for something. I did not find what I was looking for. I found something else.  Albert Hofmann

 

That’s the basic message of my future machine; that we can travel throughout space and time. And it’s testable!   Jack Sarfatti

 

This is the chaos at the end of history  Terence McKenna

 

…why should plants produce chemicals that mimic the effects of substances made by the human brain?  Andrew Weil

 

Burroughs opens the doors to the craphouse, invites you in, and then leaves you there to clean up the mess.  Somerset Mau Mau

 

Through electronic circuitry and the building of a global information system, we are essentially exteriorizing our nervous system.  Terence McKenna

 

We wish we could say that we were thrilled by contributions from… Ferlinghetti, but apparently the Beat’s been going on a little bit too long.  Malcolm McCluhan and Marshall McClaren

 

A cornucopia of new substances with effects more specific, more sensual, more powerful, and more in-just-about-every-way than the old reliables has reshaped the psychedelic landscape.   Peter Stafford and Bruce Eisner

 

Perfect Nothing is unstable. It’s so unstable it has to do Something. So it BIFURCATES. It splits in two. It splits into ME and NOTME. Lorenzo Kristov

 

Flashbacks was censored. [It} involved information about the mysterious death of Mary Pinchot Meyer, J.F.K. consort, who tried to turn on the political power elite…   High Frontiers

 

Sep 28 2012

Your Friday MONDO: William S. Burroughs in High Frontiers 1987 About Mind Technologies (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #31)

 

In 1987, Faustin Bray conducted an interview with William S. Burroughs by phone, mostly using questions suggested by Terence McKenna and R.U. Sirius.  Below is the opening exchange, about mind technologies.

HIGH FRONTIERS: What do you think is the direction of mind technologies in terms of drugs and surgical implants, external technologies and techniques? 

WILLIAM BURROUGHS: There is no limit to control of thought, feeling and apparent sensory perceptions. Professor Delgado stopped a charging bull. He had an electrode implanted in the bull’s brain, just pressed a little button and the bull stopped. They can do the same thing with people. They can elicit rage, fear, joy, sexual excitement, just pushing buttons.

HF: Could some of these techniques be used positively, to help humanity get to a higher level of functioning and self-government, self-control? 

WB: Humanity is a meaningless abstraction. As Korzybski always says, “Who is doing what, where and when.” Are you talking about Columbians in an earthquake, Ethiopians in a famine, Americans in a country club, ethnic minorities in a ghetto? The punctuationalist theory of evolution seems to point to the fact that changes occur in small isolated groups and the tendency is towards standardization. In any case, take a species, probably only a very small fraction would be involved in evolutionary alterations. Maybe about one in a million and that’s, biologically speaking, very good odds.

Faustin Bray’s Sound Photosynthesis offers audio and video  of  Richard Feynman, John Lilly, Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson and many others here. 

Sep 21 2012

Use Your Hallucinations: MONDO 2000 In Late 20th Century Cyberculture (Preface) (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #30)

Here then, for your Friday MONDO, is the preface for the book in progress, Use Your Hallucinations:  MONDO 2000 in the Late 20th Century Cyberculture

 

Listen up, youngsters, and citizens of any territory located anywhere within reach of normalcy, and I’ll tell you a story that’ll blow your little minds.

Way back in time; as the decade of the 1980s was turning into the 1990s; way back before the days of Facebook and iPhones and Sexting and Siri and Twitter  — before even the Web and WiFi and the dominance of electronic dance music; way back when the fax machine was considered revolutionary, the Cold War was just winding down and your typical New York Times reporter had never even heard of the internet — there appeared the strangest magazine ever to make its way onto mainstream newsstands all across America and the world.

Called MONDO 2000 — the magazine took the just-then-emerging future of digital culture, dangerous hacking and new media; tossed them in the blender along with overdoses of hallucinogenic drugs, hypersex and the more outrageous edges of rock and roll; added irreverent attitudes stolen from 20th Century countercultures from the beats to the punks, the literary and art avant gardes, anarchism, surrealism, and the new electronic dance culture— and then, it deceptively spilled that crazy Frappe all out across really slick, vaguely commercial looking multicolored printed pages with content that was Gonzo meets Glam meets Cyberpunk meets something else that has never been seen before or since… but which those of us who were there simply called MONDO — as in, “Yes, the article you submitted is definitely MONDO.” Or, “No. This isn’t MONDO.  Why don’t you try Atlantic Monthly?”

We called it “a beribboned letterbomb to the core address of consensus reality.”  Briefly, and, in retrospect, unbelievably, it became the flagship of the new culture; the new world that was being created by the onrush of the new technologies.

What sort of perverse imps could generate such madness on the printed page and carry it all the way to the cover of Time magazine in three short years?  Well, back in the day, in those cultural places where the hippest and sexiest and most revolutionary insiders and outsiders whispered to one another of escapades out on Shasta Road in Berkeley (where else?), California, the home of the MONDO 2000 Queendom; the antic and, most likely, certifiably insane culture around MONDO was almost as legendary as the magazine itself.

Here then, is the story of that magazine and the people who lived it.  It’s the story of the early days of the new digital culture — and so you’ll bump into the likes of Craigslist Craig Newmark, Virtual Reality legend Jaron Lanier, the Beats’ only futurist — William S. Burroughs, and industrial music’s only major pop star, Trent Reznor (just to drop a few, among many, tantalizing boldface names).

And, deeper inside the MONDO world, you’ll marvel at the stories of magical and/or tragical and/or laughable extravagances — drugged excesses, boundless cosmic ambitions, dangerously illicit activities, inexcusable amoral strategies, ultraprovocative artifacts, extreme paranoia, swelled (acid)heads experiencing borderline celebrity, and a grand Fuehrer Bunkeresque denouement.

And, just to bring it all back home and make it a wee bit relatable, you will also find herein stories of those things that happen in ordinary lives; fatal and near fatal car crashes, financial losses, fistfights, love affairs and breakups, unwanted and unexpected competition, accusations, work done or not done, careers made or lost; friendships that lasted or didn’t — and people who want to remember it all and several who wish to forget.

I’m the person who got the whole thing started by first publishing a small psychedelic periodical called High Frontiers in 1984.  This, then, is partly my memoir.  But in true MONDO style, I’ve thrown it into that blender with comments from other participants who were interviewed either by myself or by Simone Lackerbauer, Morgan Russell or Tristan Gulliford; and outtakes from the magazine itself along with some of its printable memorabilia.

Finally, while the telling of the story is mine; the story, in some sense, belongs to Alison Kennedy aka Queen Mu. Although she didn’t join the effort until about a year into the High Frontiers experience — she was the Publisher, Queen and Domineditrix of MONDO 2000 and the only one who remained throughout and to the bitter (and it was bitter) end.

So take off your google goggles; drink your goddamn second-rate store-bought energy drink, roll up some of that medicinal weed and set your twitter feed to Shock and Awe.

Sep 09 2012

Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine: Build Your Own Portal to Inner Visions

photo by Charles Gatewood

The Dream Machine is a device for altering the brainwave frequency of the user and putting it into an alpha state, at which point it begins generating waking, sober hallucinations and internal “movies,” on demand.

The machine is simple: it’s a rotating cylinder with slats in the sides and a light placed inside, that creates a flicker pattern as it spins. The user of the Dream Machine sits in front of it with eyes closed, and allows the precisely-calibrated flicker pattern to play over their face, creating a strobe effect in the darkness behind their eyelids. After a short period of adjustment, the user begins to experience eidetic imagery, in the same way that one does just as passing over the threshold between wakefulness and sleep. (Due to its cylindrical nature and ability to generate internal movies, one might call it the original YouTube.)

This remarkable and overlooked object was invented in the late 1950s by artistic Renaissance man Brion Gysin and the electronics technician Ian Sommerville. Gysin was expelled from the Surrealist Group by André Breton at the age of 19; with the Dream Machine, he surpassed their previous techniques for image generation. (An example of a prior method is Salvador Dalí’s Paranoiac-Critical exercise, in which the artist would fall asleep in an armchair while holding a rock in his hand and, upon his fingers relaxing and the rock crashing to the ground and waking him, would immediately record what he had just seen.) The Dream Machine allowed for a convenient and immediate way to get at eidetic imagery without having to go to sleep or take chemicals.

Gysin had been inspired by both childhood and adult experiences with the effects of flicker, by historical accounts of its use (Nostradamus was alleged to have received his visions by closing his eyes, facing towards the sun and flickering his fingers in front of his eyes) as well as by research into medical reports of its effects. At the infamous Beat Hotel in Paris where he lived with Sommerville and Burroughs (along with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, the vicious crime writer Derek Raymond and others) he constructed the first prototype. (The same 78rpm record player version for which DIY instructions are freely available on the net)  It quickly became a source of fascination for the Beats.

Burroughs wrote about Dream Machines extensively in his novels, where he depicted them as a weapon for the freedom of consciousness in the eternal war against Control. The author spoke highly of his friends’ invention, saying: “Subjects report dazzling lights of unearthly brilliance and color… Elaborate geometric constructions of incredible intricacy build up from multidimensional mosaic into living fireballs like the mandalas of Eastern mysticism or resolve momentarily into apparently individual images and powerfully dramatic scenes like brightly colored dreams.”

The machine was officially unveiled in 1962, at the Louvre’s Museé des Arts Decoratifs, to a fascinated public and press—but Gysin, unsatisfied with a small art audience, dreamed of mass production. Along with the cut-up method of text composition he had honed with Burroughs, Gysin considered the Dream Machine his magical message to the world.

He turned first to business magnate Helena Rubinstein, who was taken with the device and exhibited it in her shop windows, but then refused to pay for it. Next Gysin tried the Philips Corporation—a representative of the company, while visiting Gysin at the Beat Hotel, slipped on dogshit in the hall; the deal was cancelled. Later, Colombia Records wanted to market the Dream Machine as a lamp. Meeting with Colombia executives in 1965, Gysin (ever the magician) told them that vinyl records would soon be obsolete, replaced with optical discs that were read with a ray of light. He was not well received.

Gysin died in 1986, the cause of the Dream Machine having been taken up by his protégé Genesis P-Orridge and the loose occult and media subversion network the Temple ov Psychick Youth. TOPY both propagandized the Dream Machine and distributed information on how to make your own, using Gysin’s original plans.  Creating your own is not hard: All one needs is a large sheet of cardboard, an X-Acto blade to cut the slats out, a light bulb on a cord and a spare turntable. There are also web pages and programs that generate the same flicker effect . You can even get a free Dream Machine iPhone app.  (Your mileage may vary.)

Since the 90s, the Dream Machine has become a kind of elitist status symbol, often found in the possession of West Coast media types and young celebrities. Kurt Cobain bought one shortly before his death. David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Paul McCartney all used it. Other aficionados include Marilyn Manson, Floria Sigismondi, Bruce Labruce, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck and DJ Spooky. You get your own fully crafted machine for $500 + $50 shipping . Of course, you can also build your own or download the app; with so many ways to experience it, perhaps now the Dream Machine will finally get the mass attention Gysin always believed it deserved as a simple, drug-free path to altered states of consciousness.

Jason Louv is the author of Queen Valentine and editor of Thee Psychick Bible, Ultraculture Journal and Generation Hex. He currently helms the group futurist blog Ultraculture. @jasonlouv

 

More resources:

John Geiger: Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin

Flicker: A Film by Nik Sheehan (A documentary about the Dream Machine.)

Aug 30 2012

Re/Search’s V. Vale Seeks Next Burroughs, Ballard, Lamantia… Ken Goldberg Interviews William Gibson

 

V. Vale, the great publisher of Re/Search, has sent out a very thoughtful essay wondering who is predicting the future as well as William S. Burroughs and J.G. Ballard did (particularly Ballard, I think) and calling everyone’s attention to an upcoming appearance by William Gibson in San Francisco.

EDITORIAL FROM V. VALE: “Mirror Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Most Prophetic of Them All?”

It is difficult to survive and transcend the loss of one’s “father” [figures] — in my case there were three: William S. Burroughs, Philip Lamantia and J.G. Ballard. Philip was an authentic American Surrealist poet and first-generation “Beat” luminary — he read at that very first public reading of “Howl” at the Six Gallery at 3119 Fillmore Street/Filbert-Greenwich Sts, SF, Oct 7, 1955. Mr Lamantia was my first mentor. William S. Burroughs I didn’t meet until fall of 1978 when he came to San Francisco to read at the Keystone Korner in North Beach next to the Police Station. J.G. Ballard I corresponded with beginning in 1978 when I finally got an interview with him by proxy for my Search & Destroy #10 (incidentally, still available in a low-cost reprint from the original negatives). That same issue featured Burroughs on the cover; photo by Kamera Zie, who worked at City Lights, as I did.

When J.G. Ballard died April 19, 2009, I looked around and wondered who could replace him. He was a magnanimous, generous, spontaneous, unpretentious, publicity-avoiding ORIGINAL whose darkly imaginative literary output seemingly contradicted the ultra-polite, warmly humorous manner in which he treated people who visited him (including me). I was fortunate to be in his presence (and tape-record him) a number of times — in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto (?), and at Shepperton, outside London, near the Thames river where he took frequent après-lunch perambulations. By sheer luck I managed to tape-record both Burroughs and Ballard just months before they died…

Needless to say, nobody has yet “replaced” the above three deceased mentors. The nagging question is: Who are the people alive on the planet who are predicting the future as well as Burroughs and Ballard? The so-called CyberPunk writers (William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Richard Kadrey, Rudy Rucker; who else?) are alive and penning miles of sentences — are they still the “zeitgeist” of now? Is there a zeitgeist of now, besides “Things Fall Apart” and –? Maybe we all need to attend the Extreme Futurist Festival

We have long supported Survival Research Laboratories in their noisy machine performances divining a rusty, improvised-technological future in the perhaps money-less, state-less, more robotic- and drone-filled world landscape ahead of us. We’re reviewing the past 20 years, and an SRL associate comes to mind who has more or less selflessly curated dozens (maybe hundreds) of futuristic, bursting-with-ideas presentations by the crême-de-la-crême of cutting-edge thinkers, scientists and artists — most of them free; no admission charge — at U.C. Berkeley. That would be Ken Goldberg, who has been studying the future for several decades. Anyone heard of telerobotics? To quote, “Telerobotics is the field of robotics concerned with the remote distance control of robots using wireless connections, tethered connections, or internet connectivity via human input. Ken Goldberg, a pioneer of telerobotic art and his collaborative installation “Memento Mori” can be seen as the first telepresent, internet-based earthwork controlled by minute movements of the Hayward Fault in California and transmitted continuously as a seismic data stream to an embedded audio visual display.” [!]

To read this entire essay, go here.

Feb 26 2012

Rub Out The Words: The Letters Of William S. Burroughs (1959 – 1974)

Edited and Introduced by Bill Morgan

Dear Brion,

Enclosed please find money I don’t necessarily need to be bequeathing other nabors but anyway human philanthropy is illusion or so says the Artificial Organism Society.  Erections stimulated when electroencephalography waves aimed directly at the hypothalamus are apparently lesser productions than those in your pants fun and games what.

Speaking of, some young thing I paid for sex recently asked if I were schizophrenic to which I countered who Nellie the Disconnecter or Lady Sutton Smith?  Was My Creative Energy Really Abducted For Years By Methods Of Cutting Up? In Which Event Let’s Make Paper Money Collages Where Queens And Presidents Are Replaced By Hassan-i Sabbah Slaying All The Bad Book Editors (Maurice Girodias?) With E-Meters Shooting Sperm And The Slogan “The Human Body Is But A Gimmick Out Of Date”

Still I wish myself above taking censorship personally, particularly in regard to Scientologists:: in seeking that second religiousness as the colonial liver Keroauc called it:: my mother that hideous rank of matriach Inc. could certainly benefit from a good audit of the rusty dusty:: Whole areas of neurosis mapped and eradicated in mass therapy, hallucinations removed by direct brain intervention … the addicts vs. the viruses and the time machines …  then to all out war between officers of poetry and the perfect curse ie women:: infra sound social structures molded by guerilla tactics:: revolutionaries the most pigheaded people on earth.

Suppose one could call me a transhumanist.  Sex boxes that cure cancer Wilhelm Reich?  Augmented realities by docu-photographing every which way beneath programmed soundtracks streaming on an ecological consciousness, cityscapes looped for all the family beside the simultaneous absorption of reading arguments and counter arguments like a newspaper that keeps you locked in time and word?  Art as nonstatistical quality material and a way out to Space?  Regrets not to have shared a multilingual intersection with Arthur C. Clarke?  WRITE.  SHOCK.  EMBARRASS.  BUSY STAYS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WOES.  EFFICIENCY.  DUPING?  BUT NO WRITER CAN BE MEMBER TO AN ORGANIZATION… 1965 STILL A DEPENDENT BUT LOOK MA.  SORRY MA.  HOW’S THE GRANDSON.  WRITE.  SHOCK.  OPEN FIRE.  BAD NEWS.  DEFENESTRATION, TRICHINOSIS, CRIPPLED DOW JONES, METAL SICKNESS.  And oh the wretched idiot inhabitants of our benighted planet and criminal politics and at least I try to encourage my progeny though equally blighted by literary calling.  Word for stupid ugly word.

Dream machine’s been fed new pet monkeys called APOMORPHINE .  Did I mention it’s previous employment for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and homosexuality?  Hummmmmmmmmm Well scripts tend to write themselves.  Ask Terry Southern.  Despite disappointing Turkish bath dreams in alien landscapes I find I like storyboarding gay porn, only mushrooms don’t compare to mescaline and mon dieu Tim Leary’s fat family and I want to write a children’s book.  See if you can tell how I employ iteration in letters to alternate recipients.  So much quicker to read colors than words.

Oh, and after 25 uh years of playing the uh spurned nomad outerspace citizen, I seem to have found myself uh famous in America. Even the interior manufacturing, distributing, and collecting on a book prior to advent of skype and other e-dig about as fun as lips on a female soft machine. I think I’d have liked to Tweet, on the first few trips anyway.  Underground methods better press.  Then look at Libya.  But when tape recorders occupy slithers of humanic brain (per Gerald Heard) can I still lay Jeff Hawkes in 2D?  Are 2D lunches at all fabulous postulates Izzy?

Remember both homo and heterorealities are illusion.  All alpha waves and reactive minds and contradictory commands.  Although I find I prefer straight narrative now, as straight as a tea and critic hazzled fag can expunge.  Find out who your friends are (Allen Ginsberg) and who they aren’t (Mickey/Michael/Darling Portman at least in a few incarnations) though he never claimed my parasitic hypothalamus as you do Mr. Gysin. Brion Burroughs.  Baby Daddy.

Etranger qui JAMAIS passait,

William S. Burroughs (s.m.)


Feb 03 2012

Naked Tea: The Burroughs Bits (An Excerpt)

 

Although small in size and length, Naked Tea: The Burroughs Bits is a book full of mostly fictionalized interactions (plus some strikingly vivid visual collages by Lyle Shultz) with the Beat Godfather that capture his spirit and — to some extent — his style.  Join Philip Willey as he joins Burroughs in his imagination in Tangiers and at a hippie rock festival in London in the late ’60s — among other locations — and gets the corrosive Burroughs-eye lowdown on drugs, sex, the word virus and the human condition.

Presented here, an excerpt from Naked Tea by Philip Willey

At this point I begin to wonder. Is WSB’s writing more than a pastiche of drug-induced prose poems, essays, routines, dramatic fragments and therapeutic ramblings? I don’t think so. But neither is much of Swift, Celine, Miller, Jarry or Genet, even Joyce. Just because it’s plotless doesn’t make it worthless. Changes in tense, person, perspective and time may make it anarchic by most literary standards but Burroughs would be the first to agree. He wants it to be surreal and picaresque. Non-linear. That is how he sees the world. He is dealing with some endless trauma. He is living a nightmare and writing is his salvation.

And at the core of it all a complex system of drug-taking and self-analysis designed to suppress and/or control his own libido. He lives under a dark cloud, which is only dissipated by deadpan humour. Sex and drugs are ways of escape… altered states are a way, he hopes, out of his endless solitary nightmare. Out of Time and into Space. Writing affords some relief from the gnawing emptiness and self-hatred. But it’s love or junk… you can’t have both. Keep this up and I’ll soon have enough notes for a full-length review. I help myself to a scone and butter it slowly.

‘Can you tell me about ‘Junky’?’ I ask. ‘How it came to be written.’

‘Wrote it in Mexico City. It’s autobiographical I guess with a few literary embellishments. It was written for the drugstore market. Junk was a hot topic at the time. It was called Junk originally but Ace Books changed it. They changed a lot of things. Added all kinds of disclaimers. To cover themselves I guess. Carl Solomon worked at Ace as an editor. It was his uncle’s business. Poor guy nearly had a nervous breakdown. It’s an easy read and I learned a few things. Ginsberg tried it with ‘Queer’ but it didn’t quite come off. Nobody would touch it. Too sensational they said.”