I like What Goes Around Comes Around for old concert tees. Oh man, I got this 'Sgt. Pepper' cartoon Beatles shirt there; it was, like, $300. I didn't even know how much it cost - I thought it was gonna be, like, $80 at most - till I got to the register and was like, 'Oh mah gawd!' Good Lord. But it's classic vintage rock, you know?
My sister and I shared a bedroom our entire lives and I believe she discovered the Beatles when she was about 11 and I'm four years younger. So from the age of 7 until 17 we had nothing but Beatles paraphernalia in our room, even those little stuffed Beatles that went on stands that are dressed as the Sgt. Pepper band.
I did cocaine for about a year around the time of Sgt Pepper. Coke and maybe some grass to balance it out. I was never completely crazy with cocaine. I'd been introduced to it and at first it seemed OK, like anything that's new and stimulating. When you start working your way through it, you start thinking: 'Mmm, this is not so cool an idea,' especially when you start getting those terrible comedowns.
That one record changed everything for me. After Sgt. Pepper, it's the most influential record in the history of rock and roll. It affected Pink Floyd deeply, deeply, deeply. Philosophically, other albums may have been more important, like Lennon's first solo album. But sonically, the way the record's constructed, I think Music from Big Pink is fundamental to everything that happened after it.
The closest Western Civilization has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 was the week the Sgt. Pepper album was released.. . . . At the time I happened to be driving across country on Interstate 80. In each city where I stopped for gas or food "" Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend "" the melodies wafted in from some far-off transistor radio or portable hi-fi. It was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. For a brief while the irreparable fragmented consciousness of the West was unified, at least in the minds of the young.
I brought the newspaper close up to my eyes to get a better view of George Pollucci's face, spotlighted like a three-quarter moon against a vague background of brick and black sky. I felt he had something important to tell me, and that whatever it was might just be written on his face. But the smudgy crags of George Pollucci's features melted away as I peered at them, and resolved themselves into a regular pattern of dark and light and medium gray dots. The inky black newspaper paragraph didn't tell why Mr Pollucci was on the ledge, or what Sgt Kilmartin did to him when he finally got him in through the window.
The cardinal points are a direct reference to the astrological colures. The Cardinals surround the Pope as the cardinal points surround the sun. The sun casts its rays on the Houses as it passes, turning them crimson. The color worn by the physical Cardinals is red, to symbolize that they are illuminated by their proximity to the Pope, the representative of God on earth. The word Pope, may also be a derivative of the word in Egyptian for the evil serpent Apep, Apophis or Apopsa (See Poop Deck and Pupa, and Pepsi, Pepsid, Dr. Pepper, Sgt. Pepper, etc,).
New Rule: Stop pretending your drugs are morally superior to my drugs because you get yours at a store. This week, they released the autopsy report on Anna Nicole Smith, and the cause of death was what I always thought it was: mad cow. No, it turns out she had nine different prescription drugs in her-which, in the medical field, is known as the 'full Limbaugh.' They opened her up, and a Walgreens jumped out. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety pills, sleeping pills, sedatives, Valium, methadone-this woman was killed by her doctor, who is a glorified bartender. I'm not going to say his name, but only because (a) I don't want to get sued, and (b) my back is killing me. This month marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of a famous government report. I was sixteen in 1972, and I remember how excited we were when Nixon's much ballyhooed National Commission on Drug Abuse came out and said pot should be legalized. It was a moment of great hope for common sense-and then, just like Bush did with the Iraq Study Group, Nixon took the report and threw it in the garbage, and from there the '70s went right into disco and colored underpants. This week in American Scientist, a magazine George Bush wouldn't read if he got food poisoning in Mexico and it was the only thing he could reach from the toilet, described a study done in England that measured the lethality of various drugs, and found tobacco and alcohol far worse than pot, LSD, or Ecstasy-which pretty much mirrors my own experiments in this same area. The Beatles took LSD and wrote Sgt. Pepper-Anna Nicole Smith took legal drugs and couldn't remember the number for nine-one-one. I wish I had more time to go into the fact that the drug war has always been about keeping black men from voting by finding out what they're addicted to and making it illegal-it's a miracle our government hasn't outlawed fat white women yet-but I leave with one request: Would someone please just make a bumper sticker that says, 'I'm a stoner, and I vote.