With fantastic visuals straight out of Alice in Wonderland. A book called Go Ask Alice came out in the 1970’s about a teenage girl who got all wrapped up into drugs and how much it screwed up her life. The lyrics in the song of course reference Alice in Wonderland, hence the refrain, “Go ask Alice.”
I saw this band at the Shiners Auditorium in 1974. LA had a police chief then who hated marijuana. There were all these flyers everywhere once you got inside saying, “This theater is not a haven for marijuana smoking,” signed by that police chief.
That chief was something of a joke to a lot of people because marijuana laws were openly flaunted at rock concerts in the 1970’s. Often people were smoking pot all around you, and we were often smoking it ourselves. The whole place usually smelled like pot, and it was not unusual to see huge clouds of marijuana smoke lofting up towards the ceiling at these indoor concerts. Outdoor concerts in baseball stadiums were much the same, pot smoking everywhere you turned around. Pot laws were a joke at those concerts, as in general they were simply never enforced, and you would have to arrest 10,000 people if you did try to enforce the law.
But at this concert, it was different. We were already blazed when we went in, and back in those early days of my pot smoking, a lot of marijuana trips were these bizarro space voyages. You were pretty much on another planet the whole time, and the whole experience was just insanely weird. Basically the experience boiled down to feeling the weirdest you ever felt in your whole life.
It was often frightening, but at the same time, I really like it because it was so damn weird. It was like going on some freako space voyage to another world every time you did it.
I also remember the first time I took LSD, and after that, the pot trips were a lot different. They were more colorful, and they were even more weirded out and unnerving if that was even possible. The pot trips were changed for a long time after that acid trip. I never figured out how the acid did that, but definitely that stuff has some weird lingering effect in your brain for a very long time afterwards. In time that went away, I suppose after I got more used to the stuff.
I also had a few of what I thought were LSD flashbacks, and those were unbelievably freaky too. More about that in another post. Possibly the weirdest and most unsettling things that have ever happened to me.
Anyway, they actually were enforcing the laws at this show. They had private security guards, and they were definitely grabbing people and hauling them away. The crowd booed every time they did that. One guy next to us balled up the crushed ice in his drink and threw it really hard at one of the guards. The ice ball hit him right in the head, and went down just like that! The whole crowd cheered. We smoked pot anyway at that concert, and so did the people around us. We were just very secretive about it.
A lot of us had long hair and hated cops back then over the drug laws. We’d see a cop and yell, “Fuck you, pig!”
When we saw them, they were the Jefferson Starship, but with the first few albums they were damn good. Gracie Slick was insanely out of this world. I think they actually opened with this haunting song, and the whole place roared. I must say it was quite a experience to see the Jefferson Airplane perform this song as the height of the career! Truly a peak experience!
This video has some of the lyrics wrong.
At the very end where it says, “Feed your head,” those are sheets of LSD. There’s 100 hits to a sheet. I was an acid dealer at one point in my life. I used to sell LSD, even in sheets. I remember one time I had 1,000 hits of LSD in my top drawer! It’s a good thing I didn’t get caught! 1,000 hits was a rather serious bust back then, but even with that, you would probably only do 3-4 months in jail. The laws are so much worse now.
God, I loved selling drugs! There’s no rush on Earth like the rush of being an outlaw. I’m not a criminal because I don’t like to harm others, but I can see why people take up crime. The rush you get from committing crimes and being a criminal is out of this world. There’s nothing like it. Fear, utter terror, extreme exhilaration. There’s also a very sneaky feeling like you are putting one over on everyone and getting away with it. You see a cop, and you want to laugh because he has no idea that you’re a criminal. It feels like being a spy or an undercover agent. Very sneaky feeling about it. We were always taking extreme precautions. We even had our own dealer lingo that we used to talk in, mostly on the phone. If you heard us talking on the phone, it might sound like nonsense because we had fake code words for so many things.
One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall
And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call
And call Alice, when she was just small
When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know
When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head