Hard News by Russell Brown

71

Acid Man

I suppose it's a bit importune to be remembering Albert Hofmann, the "father of LSD", who passed away at the age of 102 this week, given today's headlines, but what the hell.

I think I'm being honest in saying that LSD never did me any harm. Indeed, I think that the afternoon I spent on acid at the Tate Gallery many years ago opened me up to art from the Impressionists onwards in a way that has positively enhanced my life since. (NB: It still didn't reveal to me anything about why I should like J.M.W. Turner. That room was unfriendly to me.) But I'm odd like that.

Hofmann, who was also the first to synthesise psilocybin, is reported to have died chuffed that the use of LSD in psychotherapy research had been returned to respectability.

A blogger on the Houston Chronicle's site has video and audio remembrances.

And Erowid, as you might expect, has a copious vault of Hofmann material, including, remarkably, a digitised collection of his 4000-odd LSD related papers.

Meanwhile, the Herald's Your Views on the topic of the P scourge was divided, as usual, between a surprisingly large cohort of liberalisers and the get-tough crowd. In the case of that particular phenomenon, I'm not sure either prescription fits.

The only drug on offer at the New Zealand Music Month launch last night was Hennessey. The sponsor's product was mixed into three different cocktails, all of them very drinkable, but actually tasted best on its own. Perhaps because of the premium nature of the drinks, the invite list veered sharply towards the respectable (yes, that was me, in my TV suit). Tonight's 10-band mystery showcase will doubtless be a bit more rock 'n' roll.

I do wish people would be a bit more relaxed about Music Month. It is what it is, it can be quite fun and sponsors pick up a fair bit of the tab. I can't really see the point of Simon Sweetman's blog or the Dom Post's gotcha story this morning.

Meanwhile, I wonder how many Aussie musicians got hooked into their industry's new anti "downloading" video under the impression that it was something else altogether …

PS: Go and check out the three episodes to screen so far of New Artland. It's a cool idea, and one that deserves an audience.

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