Saturday, November 05, 2005


If you can just get your mind together
Uh-then come on cross to me
We’ll hold hands and we will watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea
But first, Are you experienced?
Uh-have you ever been experience –uh? Well I have

“Are you experienced”; the ageless classic by Jimi Hendrix …
I used to think the song is about sex. Later, reading more I learned it is about the use of drugs. Some even claim that the song is about being at peace with oneself. Wotever !!! One thing is crystal clear; it is definitely a song that belongs to the “Psychedelic Rock” genre.

The word “psychedelic” is coined from Greek words: Psyche (mind) and delein (manifest)
“Psychedelic Rock “; as a musical form; evolved in about the year 1966-67. Those were the halcyon days of counterculture revolution; when young adults were increasingly using drugs as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogenic as LSD, psilocin n mescaline. These drugs affect a person both physically and psychologically. “Physical effects “include: dilated pupils, blurred vision, elevated heart rate, palpitation … whereas “Psychological effects” include alterations in the way brain interprets time space and the reality around oneself ... There are illusions, loss of control, confusion, anxiety, mood-swing of happiness, sadness...

Psychedelic Rock; evolved as an attempt to capture these mind-altering qualities of drugs. The ‘lyrics’ often described visions of dreams, illusions n hallucination and the ‘instrumentation’ became long as they tried to replicate the drug-induced experience with distortions, delayed, prolonged and amplified guitar riffs …
Psychedelic Rock also came to be known as Flower Power, Acid Rock or Hard Rock.

The sixties is characterized with increased use of hallucinogenic drugs; especially LSD.
Three names are prominently linked with this phenomenon.
• Dr. Albert Hoffman; who in 1943; created a new drug “LSD” (acid) in Switzerland.
• Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor; known as “guru of LSD”; who popularized this drug, in America.
• Aldous Huxley; who authored of the famous book “The Doors of Perception” [from which the group “The Doors” takes its name]

Leary’s advise “turn in, turn on and drop out”- became an anthem of the counterculture generation. LSD alters a person’s perception of space and time, with an “out of the body” experience. People took drugs, partially to get high and escape reality and also to expand their minds and consciousness. Taking drugs and getting stoned, became a symbol of solidarity.

Psychedelic Music: The early groups to experiment with capturing the drug-induced state-of-mind in a musical form are said to be The Grateful Dead and Velvet Underground. But soon many more groups joined and by 1966 almost every group was producing psychedelic songs.. Some early hits are:
White Rabbits - Jefferson Airplane;
Eight Miles High – Byrds
Sunshine Superman – Donovan

The name of group “Pink Floyd” needs a special mention here. They brought out songs with wild instrumentation, eerie sounds, electronic screeches, loud amplification... music that people had never heard before. Their popularity can be gauged from the fact that just after the “ Live 8” show, where the group reunited after 24-years; their record sale saw a phenomenal surge. Sales of “The Wall” increased by 3600%, “Wish You were here” – 2000%;
Echoes by 1343% ….

Here is a list of few psychedelic hits (25)
I am the Walrus; LSD; Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles
Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf
Light my fire - The Doors
Are you experienced, Purple Haze, If 6 were 9 - Jimi Hendrix
Dazed and Confused – Led Zeppelin
Eight Miles High - The Byrds
Good Vibrations- The Beach Boys
Sunshine Superman, Season of the Witch - Donovan
White Rabbits - Jefferson Airplane
Venus in Furs, Heroin, Femme Fatale, Run Run Run - Velvet Underground
Echoes; Ummagumma; Interstellar overdrive, The Great Gig In the sky,
Wish you were here, Comfortable Numb, Us and Them
– Pink Floyd

*It took me long to write this; cause …
I made a point to re-hear each of the songs that I’ve mentioned here…
and each one of them is awesome!!!


At 06 November, 2005 16:04, Blogger Artful Badger said...

Cool. Intern you should listen to the new version of 'Riders on the Storm' by Snoop Dogg. The combination of rap and 60's rock is amazing!! You can get it on Morpheus.

At 07 November, 2005 02:57, Blogger Artful Badger said...

Speaking of psychadelic rock have you listened to Duran Duran. I saw the song Femme Fatale. That's why I asked.

At 07 November, 2005 13:52, Blogger Artful Badger said...

I never thought the Beatles ever wrote on Drugs. They always seemed to have this spanking clean image to them.
Well, anyway you have inspired me to download a lot of songs :D.

At 07 November, 2005 15:15, Blogger Intern said...

Ramani, I am so happy to see you in this corner...

Beatles being very innovative and extremely versatile, have changed through years. They began with with "sweet bubbly songs" like: Love Me Do, From me to you, She loves you, I want to hold your hand...

But later by 1965, they were heavily into drugs ...and produced amazing psychedelic songs!! If you havent heard......make point to hear:
- Tomorrow never Knows
- Lucy In the Sky with Diamons (LSD)
- I am The walrus
All are so psychedelic...
One of my fav is.."Come Together"...

Just a trivia, I wont be surprized you already know: The Beatles also came to India in 1968.. for transcendental meditation...under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ...

Of course I've heard about Duran duran.. with songs like
- Hungry Like A Wolf
- A view to kill
- Ordinary world
They were more like Punk Rock band...

and..I'll try to hear Snoop Dog version of the song...

At 07 November, 2005 21:15, Blogger doppelganger said...

Dont know if its classified as 'psychedelic rock' per se but Blue Oyster Cult sure merits a mention. With absolutely trippy songs like Flaming Telepaths, Joan Crawford, its one of my favourite bands. Not to forget the smash hit "Dont fear the reaper" and yeah, I need more cowbell!

And I seriously doubt Duran Duran being "punk" rock. Firstly they weren't punks and secondly they had much more to their music than three chord tunes and onstage antics.

Not that I am not a fan of punk rock. Really like the Ramones, Clash and the Sex pistols. Fuels the rebel in me!!

At 07 November, 2005 22:21, Blogger Intern said...

[Doppelganger] ->


"Always tease tease tease
You’re happy when I’m on my knees
One day is fine, next is black
So if you want me off your back
Well come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go? "

I'm sure you know that... CLASH!!!
I'm waiting for one clash.."somethin' stupid" kidda way ...

Yeah you're right ...
Duran Duran is more of post-punk MTV generation ..

I could have guessed , you'd like PUNK...dont ask why?
Subtle nuances are hard to pin-point ..

[Ramani] - also hear "Venus in furs" ..

At 08 November, 2005 12:37, Blogger Intern said...

[Doppelganger] - >

Please feel absolutely free to point out any fallacies as well as lapses in my write-ups. In fact I would appreciate that...

Lemme make something perfectly clear,
that I dont have any in-depth knowledge in music. In fact my exposure and interest in Western Music has been a very recent development.

The main idea behind starting a Blog on music has been to learn. When I'm writing on "Old Time RnR" or "Psychedelic Sixties"; I read a lot and these posts are basically compilations and nothing original. In fact the more I read, the more I realize how little I know.

So again feel free to point out lapses and fallacies on my part ...

But one thing I am very particular about:
I always hear the songs that I include it in my write-up!!

... and you are quite welcome here

At 08 November, 2005 14:39, Blogger doppelganger said...

Sounds terrific!!
Exactly my locus standi when it comes to rock , western classical or jazz. In fact, as I go along, I realise that I know so little about so many things. This has led me to be circumspect while defining the extent of my knowledge.

In fact that is the exciting and disappointing thing about life. The hope that the future will open so many more windows and the consequent exposure of your ignorant nakedness when the chill winds blow through those windows. (Wow! that was poetic!). But then there is the whole journey of finding yourself in this new environment.

Dont worry about criticism. Thats about the only thing I am good at. And now since you're asking for it, I'd say......."FACE THE MUSIC"!!

Musical suggestion for the day:
Thermal and a Quarter : Paper Puli

At 08 November, 2005 20:30, Blogger Intern said...

Doppleganger ->

we seem to have made elaborate "Laws of War"; in typical "Geneva Convention" style; with elaborate rules and protocols ...

now time to start dancing to the beats...

Thanks for suggestions ...


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