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  #1  
Old 10-02-2010, 06:32 AM
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Default The 60's were really screwed up

Yesterday my wife and I went to the Woodstock International Film Festival and saw a documentary that will be distributed in January about Phil Ochs the song writer. Incredible documentary. I highly recomend when it comes out.

This chronicled an incredible songwriter born in 1940 who due to his manic depressive nature and artificial stimulant went into mental decline and eventual suicide early in 1976. That same day I viewed "Man Of The World and "The Soloist" at home. All three of these films are linked by the times Phil Ochs nosedive came during his involvement it the "Yippie Movement " in the late sixties wirh the likes of Ed Sanders (The Fugs who interestingly enough toured with Fleetwood Mac during that time) Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.

These three films and people have a theme and reality beyond mental illness, drugs, and alcohol. The late sixties in the US were, contrary to popular nostalgic belief, very TOXIC to humans of great sensitivity. Peter was oneof those, to say the least

vinnie c

PS This is PG thread # 500

Last edited by doodyhead; 10-02-2010 at 06:34 AM.. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2010, 08:13 AM
bjornense bjornense is offline
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Toxic indeed. The excessive use of drugs that began in the sixties and accelerated into the eighties is really frightening when you look at it from todays perspective. Peters problems are well known here but I've recently read some biographies of other musical heroes of mine from those days, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and David Crosby. I was in my teens during the sixties and had my fair share of softer substances, but I just couldn't imagine how big a part heavy drugs where in those musicians lives. It sometimes is almost painful to read about it, for example Clapton's years of seclusion, more or less alone in a house, spending all his days shooting up heroin, wasted in a sofa just watching TV.

But the most disturbing read is that about David Crosby’s decline from cheerful, brilliant, musically creative hippie icon to a addictive cocaine free-basing human wreck. He finally, after many years, most unwillingly to get rehab help and after repeatedly letting all his friends down and after spending time in prison now is sober. This quote from Crosby is especially horrific when you look back, it possibly apply to many other musicians in those days: ”…a student asked me, ’Were you ever onstage stoned?’ The answer to that is that never once, until I got out of prison, did I ever record, perform, or do anything any way except stoned. I did it all stoned.”

Last edited by bjornense; 10-02-2010 at 08:23 AM..
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:13 AM
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Default it was not just the drugs

If you think greed and shallowness were invented in the 2000's you were sleeping through the past.
During the horific social unrest in the US and in many parts of the world idealism dies a savage prolonged and painful death. The sensitive among us feel it more and that was where I was going with this thread
I too was a teenager for most of the 60's In the US many people were filled with hope for a new age of enlightenment only to be beat over the head time and time again by the realities of our political life. Agents for social uplift and change killed like clockwork to insure the status quo. The psychedelic drug people were looking for answers to free ones mind. It did not become an escape from reality until the idealism was crushed. The death of the hippie was during the "Summer Of Love in 1967. It was all downhill from there. But like anything things happen in a general bell curve. If you listen to Jeremy Spencer alludes to that in his interview in "Man Of The World" They were all looking for answers. I Think however John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were not active searchers in this persuit and it shows in their perceptions. Peter Green left the band and actually attended college for a time (Goddard College in Vermont) His illness while possibly present during his whole life did not actually debilitate him untill the seventies. While you are correct that there were many musicians and people who just drowned themselves in their drug of choice for pleasure or relief of pain. Illness is separate and the world around us shapes many of our decisions. This world can kill you if you don't die first.

doodyhead, melandvinnie
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjornense View Post
... for example Clapton's years of seclusion, more or less alone in a house, spending all his days shooting up heroin, wasted in a sofa just watching TV.
Clapton never "shot up" (per his own description)...he snorted it in powder form, like one would cocaine.

But, when you look back at just what the time frame was of "Clapton's seclusion", by today's standards, it wasn't very long. He's taken 3x's that long between albums lately and nobody says "he's in seclusion". He was only out of the spotlight from late '71-late'73. And, in there he STILL did the Concert For Bangla Desh, his Rainbow Concert, a few sessions, etc. Plus, he still was playing & writing the whole time. He may have been anti-social and not in the public eye, but "wasted in a sofa" wasn't exactly a true statement, either. Looking back, it may have FELT that way to him, but he also discovered that he'd been very prolific, too, by discovering tapes he'd made in that time.

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Originally Posted by bjornense View Post
This quote from Crosby is especially horrific when you look back, it possibly apply to many other musicians in those days: ”…a student asked me, ’Were you ever onstage stoned?’ The answer to that is that never once, until I got out of prison, did I ever record, perform, or do anything any way except stoned. I did it all stoned.”
WTF?!?! "Horrific"?? I don't see that being "horrifiic". That was ME, too, from the age of 16-40. Sobriety isn't all that it's cracked up to be. With the world as it is, as it was, as it no doubt will always be, escape is almost mandatory for good mental health.

Plus, what artist from those times, IN those times weren't EXACTLY in the same state of consciousness as Crosby? HIS situation was the "norm", not the exception.

Granted, the herbal/natural (pot, hash, shrooms, etc) products didn't do the harm that the man-made chemical (cocaine, heroin, crack, meth, etc) products have done.
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Last edited by chiliD; 10-04-2010 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:54 AM
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For insight into the blackhole of dope, you may want to read The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by chiliD View Post
WTF?!?! "Horrific"?? I don't see that being "horrifiic". That was ME, too, from the age of 16-40. Sobriety isn't all that it's cracked up to be. With the world as it is, as it was, as it no doubt will always be, escape is almost mandatory for good mental health.
Well said!
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:12 AM
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Of course I do know that drugs alone isn't responsible for all social unrest from the sixties and onward. And some drugs, mostly psychedelic, can indeed help and enlighten creativity, wether musical or artistic, as so much music and art from that time proves. But that said I wouldn't for the world want my children to now indulge even in my moderate, as I understand after reading the books, drug abuse of those days.
Also when I look back there were so many people I knew that paid really high prices for their prolonged use of drugs: bad accidents when stoned, mental instability, sickness and suicide.
And regarding the Crosby quote I still think it's horrific but mostly sad. Sad because his early years where so musically creative and I regard his first solo lp one of my favorite albums all time. Sad because we don't know how much talent that later went up in cocaine free-basing smokes and heroin syringes. We don't know what fantastic music he could have accomplished if he stayed more sober or perhaps only used herbal drugs in a more moderate way. And that goes for many others, Peter Green too.

Last edited by bjornense; 10-05-2010 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjornense View Post
And regarding the Crosby quote I still think it's horrific but mostly sad. Sad because his early years where so musically creative and I regard his first solo lp one of my favorite albums all time. Sad because we don't know how much talent that later went up in cocaine free-basing smokes and heroin syringes. We don't know what fantastic music he could have accomplished if he stayed more sober or perhaps only used herbal drugs in a more moderate way. And that goes for many others, Peter Green too.
I dunno, I pretty much like most everything Crosby's released...even the CPR albums he did with his long-estranged son. Doesn't seem like there was "missed talent" in David's case...he really never had much "down time" (except for his jail sentence). He's been pretty prolific throughout his career.

Now, with Peter Green, Syd Barrett & Brian Wilson, I'll give you that (oh, and Danny Kirwan, as well)...although what Brian Wilson's done in the last 10 years has made up for those "missing years". Sure, us FMac fans can make a BIG case for Peter Green, but, at least he's still making a go of it at his own pace...but then, as Stevie Nicks says "You're not like other people, you do what you want to".

Syd (RIP) & Danny are probably the saddest cases.

Then there's the "Big Three": Hendrix? Joplin? Morrison? they were supernovas....what if they had lived? They probably wouldn't be the "superstar demi-gods" that dying made them into. Hendrix was here just long enough to show what the electric guitar could do, then he was gone...would he have taken guitar playing even further? Who knows? I kind of doubt it. Janis? She (along with Grace Slick) opened the door for women in rock...she came in, flung the door open, then left it open and walked away. Jim Morrison? He was already on the downward side of his career as a rock singer...what would he have gone into next? Again, who knows...but, I seriously doubt the "star" would've kept shining long. Not every person of extreme talent is MEANT to stick around for a 90 year life span...some people's "time" is a helluva lot shorter than others, no matter what kind of lifestyle they lead. Are our lives pre-programmed or do we really have "personal choice"?
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiliD View Post
Syd (RIP) & Danny are probably the saddest cases.



The saddest cases are/were:
1) Roky Erickson
2) Skip Spence
3) Syd Barrett
(in order)


Danny Kirwan is a seperate case.

Just watch the film "You're Gonna Miss Me" through Netflix instant. Peter Green's "illness" wasn't an acid tragedy compared to this poor soul.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
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The saddest cases are/were:
1) Roky Erickson
2) Skip Spence
3) Syd Barrett
(in order)


Danny Kirwan is a seperate case.

Just watch the film "You're Gonna Miss Me" through Netflix instant. Peter Green's "illness" wasn't an acid tragedy compared to this poor soul.
i see what you are saying sk, interms of the horror they endured that's the ranking. i can't watch 'you're gonna miss me' -its just too much. syd is an interesting case in that he walked away from music completely and lived a fairly normal and apparently content life for decades, whereas the others struggled for the rest of their lives....

in terms of talent lost i'd put roky erickson at the bottom of this list - good singer interesting writer but not even close to peter who was a great singer, a better writer and who had few real peers as a player. or even skip spence who could play almost anything and wrote some great songs before mental illness set in
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:34 AM
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i see what you are saying sk, interms of the horror they endured that's the ranking. i can't watch 'you're gonna miss me' -its just too much. syd is an interesting case in that he walked away from music completely and lived a fairly normal and apparently content life for decades, whereas the others struggled for the rest of their lives....

in terms of talent lost i'd put roky Erickson at the bottom of this list - good singer interesting writer but not even close to peter who was a great singer, a better writer and who had few real peers as a player. or even skip spence who could play almost anything and wrote some great songs before mental illness set in
My rankings were about drug abuse vs. talent. Roky Erickson claimed to dose LSD/acid over 300 times before he was admitted to a state mental hospital in Texas in 1968.

To say Syd Barrett completely walked away is not the story members of Pink Floyd tell. Richard Wright (RIP) just before his death, tells the story that he went with Syd to see the doctors at the time, and they told him that Syd suffered serious brain damage. When Syd toured the US with Pink Floyd in '67, he completely "zoned out", onstage, live. A few years later in 1975, Syd Barrett went to see Pink Floyd record "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" at Abbey Road studios. By this point, Syd was overweight, and unrecognizable. Syd would jump up and down while brushing his teeth, during those recording sessions. Does this remind you of Peter Green's mental illness?

Three years later Peter Green played his last concert with FM in London at the Roundhouse (4/70). There will never be a better "Black Magic Woman" solo captured on tape again.


Peter Green's decent into madness was gradual, and didn't emerge until well after Green quit the music business (mid-70's).

As for Skip Spence, LSD made him psychotic! He went crazy in a hotel (with Moby Grape), carrying a Fire Axe.

Last edited by slipkid; 10-09-2010 at 12:40 AM..
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