Field Tripping
Field Tripping
Dec 8, 2020
Straight Edge | Alan Cross
Play • 42 min

Alan Cross is a radio broadcaster and music historian. He joins Ronan to make keen observations on the genre of psychedelic music – and its role as an undercurrent in counterculture. Then, they discuss how new technology produced unique studio sounds – which formed new attitudes and captured an entire generation. Plus, Alan defines ‘straight-edge’ and reveals that he’s never used psychedelics – though his views are shifting. Finally, we ponder medically regulated psilocybin access for end-of-life treatment – and give thanks for progress. For more Alan Cross, check out ‘The Ongoing History of New Music’ anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Show notes:

  • Alan has not used psychedelics before, but seems open to them, particularly as the regulatory system advances towards access and legalization (2:00)
  • Alan talks about the origins of psychedelic’s influence on music and how psychedelic music began as a genre in 1956 (4:00)
  • The impact of technology on music: studios, outboards, amps, keyboards, etc. and how this altered the status quo (6:00)
  • How LSD impacted a few major mainstream bands, but also lead to a group of ‘psychedelic pretenders’ (8:30)
  • Alan provides a few examples of music shaped by psychedelics, including The Beatles, who inspired people to ‘immerse themselves in music’ with headphones (9:40)
  • The impact of distortion on psychedelic music – and how it became a foundation of psychedelic rock (14:30)
  • How the idea of ‘the bad trip’ permeated and coloured people’s perspective on psychedelics use (17:20)
  • Alan reveals a close friend of his tried psychedelic therapy – and it did not go well. And also shares how his sister participated in an ayahuasca ceremony and came out with mixed feelings (19:30)
  • Alan has never used psychedelics, though recently started using legal cannabis edibles for anxiety and sleep issues (22:00)
  • How the Regan-era war on drugs and anti-drug messaging has suddenly changed, and could impact musicians (27:00)
  • Straight edge’ music was an internal rebellion within the scene against psychedelic music. (28:00)
  • Alan provides some examples of modern bands making new music inspired by psychedelics. Plus, what constitutes ‘neo-psychedelic sounds’ (29:00)
  • Alan reveals for the past three years he has been going to Thailand for week-long vegan, meditation, and deep breathing retreats as an overall detox treatment (31:00)
  • Ronan and Alan ponder why doctors are able to provide palliative care medications, but not medications that could help people be more open and comfortable – in life, and for end-of-life (35:00)
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