The night of the living-heads

There i am, a Friday, I just come back from work at DPB$Tuck Advertising in Marylebone (Tuck died in 1880, these guys had been around), to find Fulcher, Lorry and John Muggeridge applying face paint, and Burge (who disdained the make-up) all preparing for the Alexandra Palace allnighter, to meet up with the look-alike inspiration for Austen Powers, the now the prolific book-designer, Stafford Cliff. Ron Bowman, was the driver. It was to be an epic occasion. An all night, non-stopper. Total environment. And the first time Barney took acid. I took photographs of the preparations thinking for posterity, and here we are.

I really don’t care to stay up late unless provoked, this tends to lend a bright daytime view of the world’s events, colors my life, I didn’t go. Barney was still a Fulcher then, for a while he became sort of plain ‘Barney’, he used the Bubbles tag on OZ12 in around November ’67 after a few months of his regular Light Show at the Speakeasy.

There’s Barney, still half plastered (not me though, I was still innocent of acid use, I didn’t do the acid, Mr. DeBlanc, until much later in ’70) at the table around noon on Sunday, sitting, very groggy. Barney mumbles off about his Alexandra palace experience. “… all-night. Was a blast,” hunches shoulder, leans elbows on table, with red-white and well-lubricated eyes, “y’know, could’a be better, Pink Floyd were great. Got kind of thin in morning, filled up later, great Occasion.”

(I’ll check in at Wiki later for mo facts)

It was around then I think, maybe a couple of weeks earlier, (so much for my memory, it was in 1965) that Barney and I went to a really cool concert, a 7PM (early!) and the second concert by the Pink Floyd, in the small wooden Ladbroke Groove All Saints church-hall, max. cap. 350, tops – with a thousand heads packed in. Advertised in some magazine, it was a time long ago – a time before Time Out. But there were a thousand Heads, non-straights all, (where straights were those not Heads.) All packed into a throbling-jizade (Spanish for ‘steak’) of glory: lights flashing, bubbles burbling lazily, movies, nudes, and the perfectly cast apoplectic-cleric. He pulled the plug. Boos. Exit after a rockin’ eff you.

•••

I went for a walk in the lunch hour, sat on a bench by a bush, Regents park north of Marylebone High Road on a Friday, I had a joint of that foul mixture, the tobaccco-hashish 75/25 blend, which, as the assassins knew, obliviates danger. Lit it, and, having puffed, wandered back into the concrete. And, in classic tune-in, turn-over-a-new-leaf fashion, I quit the art department. Norman Berry gave me a sabbatical to go to New York for an appointment with big-bear Milton Glazer, who wrote me nice introductions all over town, I never went back. But I digress.

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