Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ryan H. Walsh's 'Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968' (2018)

Ryan H. Walsh, Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968. New York: Penguin Press, 2018.

A kaleidoscopic time portal into trippy Boston centering around 1968, but opening out into the 1960s and 1970s. The possibilities for further study of its phenomena are wide and deep. 

The biggest revelation for me was musical, with Boston bands like Ultimate Spinach (a sort of psychedelic Doorsy head band); and interesting historical context for powerful music with which I was already quite familiar (James Brown, Velvet Underground, Van Morrison).  
And you get all sorts of crazy details about the local music scene, clubs, musicians, cultish and political activism (particularly "the Lyman family"), underground newspapers, Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970), the freaky What's Happening, Mr. Silver? show, Howard Zinn, Timothy Leary, Steve McQueen, the Boston Strangler, Tony Curtis, Aerosmith, Maria Muldaur, astral projection, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Barney Frank -- and more! 
Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 probably syncs well with an altered state, too, or so one can imagine. Can you dig? 
Today's Rune: The Self. 

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