Currently writing material at The Pigeon Coop, where work for the next album is underway. In June, we will head to B.C. Studio in Gowanus with legendary sound alchemist, Martin Bisi (Swans, Foetus, Sonic Youth) where vocals, overdubs and mixing will take place. Post-production will see James Plotkin (ISIS, Earth, Jesu) handling mastering and Cody Drasser on the artwork. The project is expected to release in the summer of 2015.
“A little known FDA ruling now allows the importation of a three-month personal supply of medicinal drugs as long as they are regarded as safe in other countries. Ordering safe but unapproved drugs is now legal under the new FDA pilot guidelines, Chapter 971. This compromise was made under pressure from AIDS political action groups because the were being denied access to potentially life-saving substances.”
By now you’re probably asking yourself why you’ve never heard of any of this before, and why it isn’t available at your local health food store. First of all, some of it it: choline, huperzine A, coenzyme q10, and a number of other supplements are out there, though it is rare to see them marketed as nootropics. This isn’t a matter of safety or honesty in labeling so much as politics and big government in action. While there has been a healthy market for many nootropics for decades (after all, piracetam was developed in the 60s), it has never hit the mainstream because it is seen as cheating. While some see it as unlocking their full natural potential, others see the use of nootropics as no different than steroid use in athletics, giving the user an unfair advantage over those that don’t. Unlike in athletics, academics isn’t necessarily a zero sum game. While in a race there is necessarily a winner and a loser, nobody in academics is held back if another student is better able to retain their information. Unlike cheating scenarios that can earn a student academic recognition for material they did not or could not pick up, nootropics enhance a students ability to gain and retain new knowledge. While I would hate to find out that my physician had used crib cards to make it through medical school and then cheated on his licensing exams, I would have no problem trusting one that used nootropics to maximize their learning potential. Unless you are looking from the perspective of the government, there is never any downside to greater intelligence and recall.
That argument aside, the primary reason that you don’t see these products in mainstream production and retail is government regulation. I primarily deal with regulation in the US, though am familiar with the laws in other countries and in most the reasons for a lack of availability are the same. In many nations these are considered to be prescription medications, but unregulated for possession (this is typically the case for the racetams and sometimes some of the others). In the US, some are considered food supplements and are unregulated. Some are considered nutritional supplements and are regulated only in the manner of their production. Some are considered orphan drugs and while there is no law against possession or use, it becomes stickier when it comes to their sales.
In the US, racetams and certain other nootropics can only be sold as research chemicals, not for human consumption. Despite this fact, many companies still market their wares as supplements on various merchant sites such as Amazon and Ebay and as the FDA shuts one down two more pop up. Other companies have relabeled their products as research chemicals in an effort to sidestep the FDA’s jurisdiction. On the customer’s side, it is completely legal to order and possess any amount of racetams if ordered domestically, and up to a three month supply (as defined by Customs) if ordered from overseas. Should anyone desire to spend millions of dollars to apply for OTC drug status for any of the racetams these limitations could be lifted, though since none are patentable the limitations would be lifted for everyone with no way to recoup your costs. It isn’t surprising that nobody is willing to be the one footing the bill.
In Canada, Great Britain, and Australia the situation is a bit different. In all three countries racetams are considered to be prescription drugs. The problem is that they can’t be sold legally in-country since none have proper coding for the medications in their health systems. The only legal way to acquire racetams in these countries is to import them, and you are again limited to a three month supply. Australian customs in particular is known for hassling people about import (technically Piracetam is scheduled, so in rare instances they may request proof of a prescription), though if the products are properly labeled they usually get through.”
“This statute would essentially destroy the ability to speak anonymously online on sites in New York,” said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney with the Center for Democracy and Technology.
The FBI has recently formed a secretive surveillance unit with an ambitious goal: to invent technology that will let police more readily eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications.
Sound and music consist of vibrations, the more vibrations per second, the higher the pitch. The unit for this is the Hertz, abbreviated Hz. “432 Hz” vibrates on the principals of natural harmonics and is the natural “keynote” in the universe, as opposed to 440 Hz, which is the standard in the music nowadays.
432hz vibrates on the principals of the golden mean PHI and unifies the properties of light, time, space, matter, gravity and magnetism with biology, the DNA code and consciousness.
432hz Natural Tuning has profound effects on consciousness and also on the cellular level of our bodies. By retuning musical instruments and using concert pitch at 432 hertz instead of 440 hertz, your at oms and DNA starts to resonate in harmony with the PHI spiral of nature.
The best way to experience the 432hz difference is by listening. 440hz concert pitch is centered in the mind whereas 432hz concert pitch is centered in the heart. Some people who are not able to distinguish the 8hz difference, claim they can feel 432hz warmer due to the longer wavelength.
The Shape of 432Hz.
When captured in video with an accurate device that measures acoustic vibrations of nodal points that form patterns of geometry in different liquid or solid mediums, the 432 Hertz wave pops out as a triangle and it looks like it’s alive, it writhes and pulsates and refuses to take up any other form, and according to many music lovers, nicer for hearing, is softer, brighter and more beautiful than 440 Hz.
When did Concert pitch change?
Most music worldwide has been tuned to 440 hertz since the International Standards Organization (ISO) endorsed it in 1953, following the prior recommendations of the Nazi party spokesman, Joseph Goebbels in 1939.
Suffice to say, I will not waste good energy down the rabbit hole of conspiracy to expose another Illuminatti agenda, however I will quickly state that there was an organized effort to change Concert pitch to 440hz well back at the start of the last century to codify an “Old World New Order” of central pitch.
According to other sources, in 1885 already has been decided that 440 Hz had to be the standard, and around 1940 the United States then introduced 440 Hz worldwide, and finally in 1955 became the ISO 16-standard.
Most musical instruments are also adjusted at 440 Hz nowadays, that wasn’t earlier always the fact. If you find musical instruments from much earlier times, and nowadays in still distant areas on Earth, these instruments are adjusted at 432 Hz.
The importance of the frequencies we choose in music as a remedy
Vibrational Research indicates that music should be based from natural tuned cosmic frequencies of the universe if it is to be beneficial to humanity. From this hypothesis’s we can extrapolate that the standard used to determine international music concert pitch tuning should have an organic natural foundation as well.
The Schiller Institute campaign for a change in concert pitch from A440 Hz back to A432 Hz is based that 432 Hz is deeply intertwined in nature.
The recent rediscoveries of the true vibrational nature of energy indicates that current contemporary A440 Hz international tuning generates a deliberate unhealthy effect in the environment. It brings about an unnatural 8 Hz change in how we think and how our DNA regulates our genetic makeup.
Our brains and DNA are deeply connected to 432 through the procession of the equinox and 8 Hz cosmic frequencies. A natural measured phenomenon that supports the idea of 432 Hz intertwined in organic basis is the movement of the Sun and Saturn. All harmonic overtone partials of 432Hz line up to natural patterns and even planetary orbits. 64 108 128 144 216 256 432 864 etc
Truly all frequencies affect DNA and consciousness as we are in a musical universal medium of dimension through the motion of frequency.
Unfortunately most western music, including popular new age healing music is still tuned at unnatural A440 tuning. The difference between A440 Hz and A432 Hz is only 8 vibrations per second, but it is a perceptible difference in the human consciousness experience.
Singing OM (432 Hz) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=100jyoCAC9g
432Hz Tambura – http://soundcloud.com/peter-arizmendiz/432hz-tambura
The Cosmic 432 – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_137682849637242
The Importance of 432hz Music – http://www.omega432.com/music.html
Back to 432 Hz forum – http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=26839
R. Gordon Wasson was an international banker, amateur mycologist, and author. He was born in Montana, raised in New Jersey, and served as a radio operator in the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. After the war Wasson studied at the Columbia School of Journalism and the London School of Economics.
Wasson taught English and worked as a journalist for various magazines before, in 1926, marrying Valentina Pavlovna Guercken, a Russian-born pediatrician. Valentina’s Russian upbringing included a comfort with wild mushrooms in contrast to Wasson’s innate fear and repulsion. They explored the issue and together coined the terms “mycophobe” and “mycophile”.
This interest in mushrooms led Wasson to Mexico in 1953 where he sought evidence of hallucinogenic mushrooms and their use by native people. He eventually met Maria Sabina, a Mazatec curandera who initiated Wasson into the experience of psilocybin mushrooms. He wrote up his experience in a famous article in Life Magazine in 1957. Wasson is also credited with having collected the first herbarium sample of Salvia divinorum in 1962 during his travels in Mexico.
In 1963, Wasson began researching the identity of Indian soma, with the theory that it could be identified as the Amanita muscaria mushroom. He travelled widely for more than five years before publishing his controversial results in the book Soma in 1969. In 1973, Wasson — along with Jonathan Ott, Carl Ruck, Danny Staples and Jeremy Bigwood — coined the term “entheogen” to describe mind-altering plants or chemicals which can induce a divine experience.
“Osmond was close to Aldous Huxley, the novelist and fellow psychedelic enthusiast, and in the mid-’50s the two men met with a vice president from J.P. Morgan & Co., Gordon Wasson, who — in the racial and stilted language of the day — called himself and a photographer friend “the first white men in recorded history to eat the divine mushrooms.” He meant psychedelic mushrooms, which Wasson had found in an Indian village in Mexico in 1955.
Wasson and his buddy’s mushroom trip might have been lost to history, but he was so enraptured by the experience that on his return to New York, he kept talking about it to friends. As Jay Stevens recalls in his 1987 book Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream, one day during lunch at the Century Club, an editor at Time Inc. (the parent company of TIME) overheard Wasson’s tale of adventure. The editor commissioned a first-person narrative for Life.
Reading the resulting piece — which Life published in its May 13, 1957, issue (one that is not online, unfortunately) — is hilarious today. Wasson describes his hallucinations at great length, in reverent terms: “The visions were not blurred or uncertain. They were sharply focused. I felt that I was now seeing plain, whereas ordinary vision gives us an imperfect view; I was seeing the archetypes, the Platonic ideas, that underlie the imperfect images of everyday life.” This is druggie talk — febrile and largely meaningless. That it was printed in Life magazine — the most influential publication of the day — without irony shows how na�ve we were. (Wasson in particular: he gave mushrooms to his 18-year-old daughter the day after his first trip.)
After Wasson’s article was published, many people sought out mushrooms and the other big hallucinogen of the day, LSD. (In 1958, Time Inc. cofounder Henry Luce and his wife Clare Booth Luce dropped acid with a psychiatrist. Henry Luce conducted an imaginary symphony during his trip, according to Storming Heaven.) The most important person to discover drugs through the Life piece was Timothy Leary himself. Leary had never used drugs, but a friend recommended the article to him, and Leary eventually traveled to Mexico to take mushrooms. Within a few years, he had launched his crusade for America to “turn on, tune in, drop out.” In other words, you can draw a woozy but vivid line from the sedate offices of J.P. Morgan and Time Inc. in the ’50s to Haight-Ashbury in the ’60s to a zillion drug-rehab c enters in the ’70s. Long, strange trip indeed.”
Is This Your Brain on Smart Drugs?
(First published in Java Magazine, nov 1996)
Years ago, after suffering an accident-induced concussion, I (along with everyone around me) suffered through a period where I laughed pretty much all the time, at just about anything. Fortunately it was only temporary, but for a few months there I was a giggling dork, liable at any moment to fall into an uncontrollable laughing jag. One day my boss told me an old joke that made me laugh so hard I started crying (so much so that he panicked and sent me home). You may have heard the joke: Two morons are sitting on a street corner eating smart pills. The first moron says, “These smart pills taste just like rabbit shit.” The second moron answers, “Hey…we’re getting smarter already!”
I guess some things are funnier after you’ve been hit on the head. But I resurrect that terrible joke here to illustrate how hard it might be to gain popular acceptance for anything called “smart drugs.” I mean, the idea of taking drugs to make yourself smarter? Sounds more than a little kooky, and probably would even if the federal government hadn’t spent the last quarter-century demonizing the word drugs itself. Before “Just Say No to Drugs,” and “This is Your Brain on Drugs,” the official anti-drug slogan was “Why Do You Think They Call ItDope?” Those who were programmed with that slogan may find it especially difficult to associate the words drug and smart. A growing number of researchers and scientists are out to change that.
What smart drugs do
Though descriptive, “smart drugs” is a somewhat unfortunate phrase, smacking of snake oil and panaceas, and sounding about as scientific as Roger Ramjet’s proton pills, or Popeye’s spinach. If you’ve had such thoughts upon hearing the term smart drugs, so did I. But you can relax. No one is claiming that smart drugs that will transform you into some kind of superhuman genius; life, as we all know, isn’t like Flowers for Algernon.
A term that better describes these substances is steadily gaining currency: nootropic agents—nootropics, for short. The word comes from Greek roots and means “acting upon the mind.” True, even that definition may be too broad—after all, hallucinogenic drugs act upon the mind, too. Smart drugs, however, have the opposite effect of hallucinogenics. Dr. Ward Dean and John Morgenthaler, authors of Smart Drugs and Nutrients, define nootropics as “substances that improve learning, memory consolidation, and memory retrieval without other central nervous system effects and with low toxicity, even at extremely high doses.”
What these drugs can do, according to Dean and Morgenthaler, is enhance such things as “alertness, mental energy, concentration, [ability] to concentrate for longer periods at a time, ability to memorize material, productivity, organization, planning ability, verbal memory, problem-solving ability, mood, sexual desire, overall health, and performance at intellectual games such as chess or computer games.”
How smart drugs work
Bold claims—is there anything to them? According to the latest scientific findings, yes.
Researchers are discovering that nootropics act upon the brain in many different ways. Some nootropics imitate or reproduce chemicals naturally found in the brain or produced by the brain itself. Vasopressin, for example, is a hormone required for the proper functioning of memory. Ordinarily produced by the pituitary gland, Vasopressin is available as a nasal spray. A blast of it is said to produce an almost instantaneous enhancement of recall and memory imprint.
Many nootropics occur naturally. Fish, for example, has long been referred to as “brain food” (readers of P. G. Wodehouse will remember this as Bertie Wooster’s stock explanation for Jeeves’s great intelligence). Research has revealed that fish contain large amounts of a compound called DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol), a B-complex nutrient that is, indeed, thought by scientists to enhance brain activity by helping the brain synthesize neurotransmitters. DMAE is now available as a nutritional supplement, and what with the oceans being as polluted as they are these days, taking DMAE as a supplement might well be safer than loading up at Red Lobster.
Other natural nootropics include chocolate (partially, but not entirely, because of its caffeine—see below) and almonds (which contain magnesium, a cognitive enhancer and stress reducer)—good news to those who love almond M&Ms (though you have to suspect that any corporate sugar-pusher worth its salt probably includes harmful additives that outweigh the good). Many naturally-occurring nootropics, such as Vincamine (an extract of the periwinkle), are said to enhance cognition in a more general way, by improving the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Besides the natural or nutritional nootropics, there are also powerful pharmaceutical nootropics, and smart drug users all have their favorites. According to local nootropic enthusiast John Posner, “The basis of any good smart drug regimen are two pharmaceutical nootropics, hydergine and piracetam. There’s no drug company in this country that’s willing to make piracetam because they can’t make usurious profits on it. It’s fallen out of patent. But you can get it in Mexico.” In addition to the memory and cognition enhancers hydergine and piracetam, Posner recommends the use of choline, a B-complex vitamin necessary for your body to manufacture acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter required for imprinting and accessing memories).
One of the most important ways nootropics such as hydergine and piracetam can enhance cognition is by helping to cleanse the brain of a substance called lipofuscin—a fatty material that interferes with the brain’s synapses, preventing them from releasing neurotransmitters that enable the communication of information among nerve cells. Lipofuscin is a product of the buildup of free radicals, which are molecules with a free—that is, unpaired—electron.
According to research conducted by the University of Nebraska’s Denham Harman (cited in Brain Boosters, by Beverly Potter and Sebastian Orfali), free radicals are “unstable and dangerous to the functioning of the brain. Pairs of positive and negative particles are in balance and more stable. By contrast, free radicals are unstable, because they are missing an electron. Like single men cruising the bars looking for a date wherever they can find one, free radicals will steal an electron from any other molecule to create a complete pair again, thereby making themselves stable and whole. Unfortunately, the molecule that loses its electron to a free radical is damaged and may even be destroyed.”
Free radicals have a variety of causes, including ultraviolet radiation from the sun (attention, sunbathers), faulty breakdown of body fats, smoking, and plain ordinary metabolic processes. Nootropics such as hydergine, piracetam, or centrophenoxine can neutralize free radicals, preventing them from stealing molecules. Even some vitamins and nutrients—most notably, C, E, A, and some B vitamins—can help the body eliminate free radicals.
The effects of smart drugs in everyday life can be dramatic. “When I started taking smart drugs,” Posner recalls, “there were days that went by and I didn’t have a cup of coffee. You’re up, you’re alert, you feel fresh. I never thought about a cup of coffee. A couple of weeks went by without any coffee, and I thought, this is cool.” There can be other benefits to smart drugs. “Deprenyl really lights up your sex life,” says Posner. (Interestingly, deprenyl “is a derivative of phenethylamine (PEA), which is contained in chocolate and might be considered a kind of `love chemical,’ because people in love have above-average amounts of it in their brains,” according to the authors of Brain Boosters.)
Many smart drugs are now used to treat people suffering from senility, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s (as dramatized in the film Awakenings), but the effects of these drugs on healthy brains has only recently become apparent through the experimentation of nootropic researchers.
Because nootropics is a relatively new field, however, much more research needed. Unfortunately, this research is hampered by several problems.
The first problem is that there is often a lack of incentive for pharmaceutical companies to spend millions to research substances that cannot always be patented, which is the case for naturally-occurring substances. There is a growing U.S. market for pharmaceutical nootropics, but the chief obstacle is (surprise) the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration’s capricious requirements cause pharmaceutical companies to spend millions needlessly, trying to jump through federal hoops. And even if they do everything the FDA requires, there is no guarantee that the drug will be approved.
Another problem with the FDA is that it will not approve drugs unless the drugs are directed at specific diseases. If you’re healthy and there is a drug that can make you even healthier, the FDA is not going to approve it.
A friendly word of caution
It is a strange fact, but the most complex object human beings have ever discovered is right inside their own skulls. It has been estimated that there are more electrical connections in one human brain than in all the electrical appliances on the entire earth. Given the brain’s complexity and mystery, anyone who wants to experiment with theirs would be wise to exercise great caution. Read all you can, learn from others, and then take it slow. All things being equal, your brain will still be here tomorrow, so don’t rush it. Even if you plan to experiment only with natural (as opposed to pharmaceutical) nootropics, you should still by all means do so with the help of a sympathetic but qualified physician. Despite the relative safety of most nootropics, there are still dangers. For example, according to The New York Times, some smart drinks (often sold at raves) contain Chinese herbs such as ephedra (or ma-huang), which—if the dosage is too high—can cause “irregular heartbeat, stroke, seizures, and even death.” Even at lower dosages, some individuals will suffer shakiness or nausea.
Of course, anyone who is pregnant or has any kind of heart condition should definitely not experiment with smart drugs.
Most smart drugs, however, seem to be remarkably free of side effects. The main problem is making sure you find the right dosage and combination of drugs, which can vary greatly from person to person. Apart from general guidelines, you have to rely on trial and error. If your dosage is too small, or you combine the substances in a way that neutralizes, or even reverses their effects—that is, it is possible to experiencereduced cognition.
The future of smart drugs
It’s fairly certain that the more that is learned about nootropics, the more popular they will become. As more doctors become familiar with the benefits that healthy people can gain from smart drugs, the more smart drugs will be prescribed—eventually they may even become available over the counter, as is the case in many countries today.
The largest hindrance to our learning more about how nootropics can help us is the current legal climate and resulting anti-drug hysteria. The demonization of drugs often blurs important distinctions. Just as industrial hemp is unjustly lumped together with marijuana, so smart drugs are often lumped together with psychoactive drugs. For many people, “drugs is drugs.” That would seem to be the view of the government and the FDA, at any rate.
Only when legal restrictions are lifted and public perceptions are educated, will there be significant gains in nootropics here in the United States. Perhaps before long it will be common knowledge that there are different classes of drugs, just as there are different classes of drug users. The difference between types of drug users is as great as the difference between the drugs themselves; it is the difference between those who see drugs as toys and those who see drugs as tools.
Those interested in scientific articles and papers concerning smart drugs will find loads of them referenced in the Ward and Morgenthaler books, Smart Drugs & Nutrients (Santa Cruz, CA: B & J Publications, 1990) and Smart Drugs II: The Next Generation (Menlo Park, CA: Health Freedom Publications, 1993). Another helpful source is Brain Boosters, by Beverly Potter and Sebastian Orfali (Berkeley: Ronin Publishing, 1993).
THE LIGHT SHOWS
The Thunder Machines, self-interfaced TV equipment, tape recorders and other electronic toys of the Acid Tests did not survive into the dance halls. Graham and Helms basically continued the form of the original Family Dog dances. As at those dances, the element that inspired people to call them multimedia experiences and to speak of media overload was the light show.
There were several kinds of psychedelic light shows around the country similar to the companies Stewart Brand was involved with and to the group in Woodstock, New York, that was associated with Timothy Leary. They were all based on slide projection. What made the San Francisco shows different was that they projected light through liquid pigments in motion, producing radiant abstract paintings that covered a whole wall and changed from instant to instant.
When the psychedelic dances burst on the scene, it was suddenly evident that literally dozens of people in the San Francisco area could perform this kind of show, although it was virtually unknown elsewhere. The reason was that a San Francisco State College professor had invented it thirteen years before.
In 1952 State College had just moved out of its funky old campus near the Haight-Ashbury and wanted something impressive for a national conference of art educators it was hosting. The idea was to revive the European experiments of the twenties and thirties in projected scenery and have dancers running in and out of scrim projected with designs.
Professor Seymour Locks used hollow slides filled with pigment in a regular projector to get plantlike growth patterns. But he also experimented with Viewgraph overhead projectors, the kind used by teachers in many large classrooms. The light shot vertically rather than horizontally, up through a glass plate before being reflected by a mirror onto the screen. In his experiments Locks found that paints could be stirred, swirled and otherwise manipulated in a glass dish with slightly raised edges to keep the liquid from spilling. Plastic clock face covers were perfect.
The show for the art educators was a great success, with a jazz group improvising to the lights while Locks added abstract vocal sounds. Two of the musicians__one was among Lock’s advanced art students__quickly tied up with a promoter to take the show on the road and went to Los Angeles, where it quickly broke up. One of the last shows was seen by an art student named Elias Romero, who went to San Francisco three years later to learn the technique from one of the artists he’d seen.
Locks kept teaching his course on Light and Art, but Romero was the real Johnny Appleseed of light shows. In 1958 he was doing shows in the Beat colony of Los Angeles, with a college classmate named Christopher Tree on percussion. In 1962 he was living on Pine Street in San Francisco and performing at parties, galleries and coffeehouses. When R. G. Davis formed the Mime Troupe, he and Romero rented an old church in the Mission district where Romero did regular Sunday night shows. He also came to the Open Theater’s attic gathering where the “Revelations” nude projection idea was born.
The building manager where Romero lived was Bill Ham, who had been working in the gestural and action painting genres of abstract expressionism; to him these light shows looked like the natural next step. Romero collaborated with Ham on a theater piece and ended up loaning him a projector. Ham started doing his own shows in his basement studio. Later he moved his shows to another basement he maintained for just that purpose, with musicians from the after-hours jazz club around the corner for music and most of the Pine Street gang for an audience. Romero had also collaborated with Anthony Martin, the Tape Music Center’s lighting director, and encouraged him in the use of liquid pigment shows.
Already at least a dozen people in the aria owned overhead projectors for light shows, and more got involved as the dance scene expanded. One was Ben Van Meter, a State College graduate in filmmaking who not only knew the Pine Street crowd but had even rehearsed with the Charlatans as a potential drummer. He had already shown interest in projections with his film “Poon Tang Trilogy”, where films of the crash of the airship ‘Hindenburg’ were projected on a woman’s body, docking at her navel and exploding on her pubes.
Bill Ham naturally did the light shows for the original Family Dog dances. Martin’s assistant Roger Hilyard did lights for the Trips Festival, and Martin himself took care of Graham’s dances and a few of Helms’s until Bill Ham replaced him. Van Meter took martin’s place at the Fillmore for a couple of weeks in the spring while Martin was on tour with the Tape Center. Ironically, Romero never performed at the dance halls. He was about to retire from light shows, fatigued after ten years of pushing the form. pp.66-68
…ultraviolet lights to make Day-Glo paint fluoresce and a flashing strobe light that might hit a hypnotic alpha-wave rhythm. But each light artist had a distinct approach. Romero was known for brilliance and saturation of colors in his all-liquid show. Ham, like Romero, came from an abstract expressionist background and liked working with jazz musicians so the lights and the music could be a combined improvisation. For the dances he had to supplement the liquid projections, which needed one man’s total attention, with slides and film to create a dance-hall-sized light environment covering two or three walls.
Martin had worked in events and environment-shaping art and thought of himself as a fine-arts performer, not improvising but executing a worked-out composition. Indeed, he wanted to avoid being identified with the dance halls and never fought to get his name mentioned on the posters. Only two Family Dog posters carried his name, and with Bill Graham the problem didn’t exist: Graham never mentioned light-show artists on his posters. Martin also avoided such psychedelic motifs as the mandalas and concentric patterns which in light shows symbolized psychedelic glory. His opposite might have been the Holy See light show where Ray Anderson of the Matrix worked. Holy See not only reveled in concentric imagery but also worked in literal images from songs, creating shapes through which a liquid design would be projected: say, the outline of a man and woman kissing, filled with one single abstract moving pattern.
And as a filmmaker Van Meter went into the light shows from yet another angle. At first he filmed dancers and sold the film to Tony Martin, who included it in his show the next weekend among the liquid displays and colored slides of faces, flowers, seashells and so forth. apart from the shock of seeing oneself up on the wall dancing at this same place the week before, the films were disorienting because up to three images were superimposed, as if ghosts were dancing through each other in an arbitrary space. This was not a sophisticated trick accomplished in the developing studio, just the same film run through the camera three times for a triple exposure; Van Meter could afford only one reel of film per weekend. When he did light shows himself, Van Meter used the liquid displays to blend the edges between the several films being projected.
A great blaze of colored imagery seemed to fit right in with a rock and roll dance full of acidheads. When the Grateful Dead returned from Los Angeles and first played in the full-blown dance-hall scene, they had such an unheard-of pile of speakers and amplifiers that it blocked the light-show screen. By the time they next played the Avalon Ballroom, they had painted their equipment white so the light show would be visible on it. By January this kind of psychedelic light show had already reached Austin, Texas, when a Texan named Travis Rivers brought the idea back from San Francisco and founded the Jomo Light Disaster to back the local psychedelic rock band, the Thirteenth Floor Elevators.
The combination of some form of colored light exhibit with rock and roll was such a natural idea in the emerging McLuhan/Mod zietgeist that gestures of one sort or another were being made in other parts of the country. In the spring of 1966 Life ran a story about the new lighting fashions in rock and roll discotheques in the East. The most advanced was the World in Garden City, Long Island, which projected a TV image of the dancers on a screen over their heads with slides of optical illusions on flanking screens.