LSD-RELATED MAGAZINES & PERIODICALS 1950-1999
On The Bus
Harvard Review '63 Psychedelic Review
Innerspace SF Oracle The Avatar (Boston)
Journal of Psychedelic Drugs The Rag
LA Oracle Ramparts Etc magazine The Realist
Off The Bus
Life Newsweek Saturday Evening Post
Time Look Playboy This Week
Popular Science Police Gazette Fate magazine
March-26, 1966. Interesting and ambitious pre-hippie LSD exposť in a national magazine. Despite the scare headline, the tone is more puzzled and curious than condemning. Great 10-page feature with plenty of photos. This article and the interest it generated led to the famous "LSD" LP on Capitol, Life photographer Lawrence Schiller being involved in both projects.
September-9, 1966. Still no anti-acid propaganda in this cool and surprising multi-page coverage of LSD-inspired artists and their often bizarre work. Plenty of photos in both b/w and color, mostly from NYC.
July-22, 1964. 1-page briefing on Leary/Alpert's formation of Castalia at Millbrook, the scandal at Harvard and subsequent events, the gentlemen still posing as square scientists at this stage. No front cover scan available, but image above is clickable for the full low-down.
May-6, 1966. Despite the superb cover, a somewhat disappointing look at the new "mind drugs", dry and distanced in tone. Still, useful as a snapshot of where LSD was standing at this point. 5pp.
Saturday Evening Post
Nov-2, 1963. An early and pretty interesting 6-page article on the "mind-distorting drugs" with a strong focus on the Leary/Alpert camp, who had just been thrown out of Mexico. Plenty of details from the IfIf scene in Zihuatenjo which I believe were unique to this piece, plus some fun photos.
September 1966. A long Timothy Leary interview (12 pp) made just as he was taking the last steps from serious research into global acid PR; he already had most of his spiel down and the end-result is predictable and unexciting. This being Playboy, Leary pushed the sexual aspects of the trip and makes a bunch of statements in that area that could be characterized as "bullshit". Very few photos. No need to pick this mag up, unless it is to look at the unusually gorgeous centrefold.
December 1967. Wellknown geek mag decides to look into the LSD phenomena at a late stage in the game. A "non-cop, non-hippie" report features freelance (?) writer Robert Gannon actually dropping acid, using Sandoz' research-strength product in a "controlled environment"... meaning a mental hospital, with a nut-doctor by his side. Set & setting less than optional in other words, but obviously necessary as not to constitute a felony. The dosage of 170 micrograms is reported as equalling much more in a "street" substance, and it certainly is a wild ride being described. As far as acid trip reports go, not bad at all, with some fun and touching aspects. Well worth reading. Some background data is given. No pics. Article is 8 pp.
1954-Sep-21. One of the earliest LSD features I've found in a national magazine, this is pre-Huxley and pre- pretty much everything else, dealing exclusively with the psychotomimetic aspects of the drug, suggesting that this may help us understand schizophrenics. This line of research continued throughout the 1950s but was ultimately abandoned when it was shown that the similarities between lysergics and schizophrenia were superficial and non-conclusive. 4pp article.
1966-June-28. This is a rather terrific theme issue about "California" which captures the forward-looking 60s westcoast in an appealing way. Music and drugs are covered only in passing, unfortunately, with a spread abouot the Sunset Strip and a hostile paragraph about the Acid Tests.
1966-July-26. A 1-page status report on LSD. The rest of the issue is of no psychedelic interest.
1967-Aug-8. Extensive, ambitious exposť of the new drug culture sweeping across the nation. Everything from weed to heroin is discussed in an alarmed tone, bringing in sociological and historical aspects. Behind the scene reports among potheads and trippers at Midwest colleges is a highpoint, with lots of fun quotes and some pretty amazing photos of turned on youngsters. The token Leary interview has a bunch of color pics from his staging of a Hesse-based play that I've never seen before. There's also a fun journalist (senior editor Jack Shepherd, 350 mcg) first trip journal not unlike the one in Popular Science, and a report from the newly-opened Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. Great period piece, 17 pp in total.
Five pages on Tim Leary & Millbrook
Early exposť in a national magazine; interesting commentary on psychotherapeutical tryouts with LSD around America. Cary Grant's well-publicized support for LSD is mentioned, including a funny pic of the great man.
Founded around the time of the first UFO sighting (1947), FATE appears to have been a publication aimed at curious housewives and weekend mysticists interested in reasonably serious stories on flying saucers, Eastern religion, ESP and so forth. While little of the contents would stand for serious scrutiny, FATE did offer a chance for several early hallucinogen researchers to get published. There are also pages upon pages of hilarious advertisments from dimestore gurus around the USA offering to solve problems and predict the future at bargain rates. Small (pocket-book) size with some basic illustrations and drawings.
This has "The Finding Of The Sacred Mushroom" (8 pp), a pretty far out account of how shroom researcher Anrija Puharich received information on where to find fly agarics in Maine via a telepathic message from a Mexican curandero! The piece is a reprint from Puharich's 1959 book, "The Sacred Mushroom". In addition there is "Dr Hyden's psychic horror drug", tricyano-amino-propene (TAP), some sort of Cold War biochemical tool that I've never heard of before. Also "Clark Gable's mystic journey" for the right occult glamour.
Main piece of interest is Jane Dunlap's 7-page "Exploring The Soul With LSD", an update on her earlier book "Exploring Inner Space" with reports from another set of acid trips. Few people have had such terrific and frictionless times in psychedelic land as Dunlap (a pseudonym for nutrionist Adelle Davis), which makes for a pleasant although somewhat bland reading. Other features include "Parapsychology vs Communist Dogma".
An interesting issue as it has an article by John W Aiken, founder of the Church Of Awakening. The piece "Can Drugs Lead You To God?" is unfortunately only 5 pages (see clickable scans below) and an introduction more than anything else, covering a bit of background and the current state of affairs for LSD, mescaline and peyote. There is also a small biographical box for Aiken (born 1902). The Church Of Awakening is not mentioned anywhere and it appears that this was founded shortly after the piece was published.
Click thumbnails to read Aiken's article
This has "What Does The Drug Experience Hold For You", a haphazard yet worthwhile 8-page report on the current situation within psychedelia, written by assistant publisher Paul Foght. Unlike earlier Fate pieces the tone is mainly negative, in the wake of the Harvard/IfIf "scandal", which is described in some detail. Other acid incidents and news items of the time are reported in the article. This issue also offers "Another look at werewolves".
A piece titled "Psychedelics: The beginning, not the end" by David Techter, a Yale graduate geologist-paleontologist with a side interest in parapsychology. Techter has obviously had some good trips and writes a sensible, rather dull piece that sums up the history and current state of affairs in acidland. No unique info or material is presented, but his homework was serious enough to include Masters/Houston and John W Aiken. 9pp.
The front cover should give a pretty good idea about the nature of this quality magazine. Of interest in this issue is some coverage of Cary Grant's acid infatuaton (still unwavering at this late stage), and a fun photo spread showing the dangerous scum known as "hippies".
This Week (Minneapolis Tribune)
November 8, 1959
This Sunday section "magazine" ran an early 3-page piece on LSD which is pretty interesting. The psychiatric and Huxley angles are covered, mainly, with some neat images. Written by wellknown journalist Joe Hyams, this was probably syndicated to many papers around the US.
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