The History of Psychedelics

shutterstock_272063312For many people today, the mere mention of psychedelic drugs brings to mind a clichéd backdrop of naked hippies, tie-dyed t-shirts, graffiti-painted school buses, R. Crumb comics, kaleidoscopic posters, and outdoor concerts featuring musicians such as the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and above all The Grateful Dead. All of that is perfectly accurate, of course, but as today’s guest tells us, a limited view of an underground phenomenon that had a huge impact on American culture.

 

Jesse Jarnow is a writer, a musician, and a DJ on WFMU in Jersey City, New Jersey, the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. His new book HEADS: A Biography of Psychedelic America, tells the story of psychedelic drugs and how successive generations of users have shaped the computer business, the art world, politics, rock music, film, natural childbirth, and arguably the entire American counter-culture.

 

The Lowdown with Ira Wood, Tuesdays at 12:30 PM and Saturdays at 5:30 AM on WOMR-FM, a Pacifica Radio affiliate station. Streaming and podcasts on WOMR.ORG.

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