The barriers to last orders showing signs of wear. The young quickly become old, if their lucky.
Telling bits of my music business story might tell you what I did, not who I am.
I wish I knew. Sometimes I’m brave, sometimes not, sometimes stupid, sometimes not, sometimes ugly sometimes quite handsome, actually; sometimes generous, sometimes miserly, sometimes funny, sometimes not. Why? Why waste your life asking why. Who cares when it is only someone else’s explanation? I will not have the answers the day I die, why waste time now.
For much of the last 15 or at least since proper employment, I have had the benefit of being able to reflect a bit and for my own benefit, I would like to get my reflections off my chest. You may not be so lucky. They are about as important as a squashed insect on a windscreen, but it’s my tiny world and all I’ve got
Reflection. Explanations are a waste of time
Nonetheless. My ex Primavera Records partner ex Regent, Martin Sheller was ill from an infection after taking hard drugs and his lament that he had never taken the time to reflect had an impact on me, fortunately the drugs less so, so when Rupert Perry, MD at EMI suggested that for the benefit of the company that I leave, I laughed, it was the third time in ten years that the Company I worked for was having unprecedented and fantastic single success and I was responsible, with the help of others, but it was me that was leaving.
Some bosses have no idea and Office Politics works and can I keep my mouth shut?
10 years earlier, in 1976 as Marketing Manager of Pye Records reporting to MD Walter Voyda, we were No I singles company, for the first time, I believe, in the companies illustrious showbiz history. Walter then got moved in a power struggle with Louis Benjamin, poodle fancier Derek Honey got made MD and he brought in Jack Boyce as my boss with Derek Taylor from South Africa a new G.M. Well, I ask you, I resigned, got my Company 3 litre Granada Estate and some dosh and, Pye Records did not exist 5 years later, its catalogue sold off cheap to Castle. What could one expect a South African and a poodle to know about breaking acts in the English market?
But back to EMI... I had been with them just over a year after they had headhunted me from Polygrams Phonogram Records. After the company I started in 1976,after leaving Pye, “Record Sales” went bust in 1982, Tony Powell, GM at Phonogram, gave me a job as strike force Manager in 1985, a concept I helped invent at Record Sales and for the period I was with them Phonogram were hot.. The job at Phonogram marked my rehabilitation back into reasonably normal society after Record Sales went bust 3 years earlier, losing everything to the bank- when you are in, and your in 100%. But I had survived living on the streets and grateful for my £35 a week dole when I got it and needed no longer to act quite so recklessly nor to feel so sorry for myself. Thanks for the gig, Tony.
Reflection Remembering not having makes me appreciate what I have.
Reflection. What you think is the best for you is often the worst, and vice versa.
At Phonogram, I was eager, the team was first class and our singles success led David Munns from EMI to arrange a breakfast meeting for me with his MD Rupert Perry and EMI back in ’87 and was the last Company that was not mine that I worked for. Tony would not entertain any other role for me and I guess our loyalty has to lie with ourselves I headed a department of about 50 sales and promotion people, reported to Rupert, had a 3 year contract and was responsible with my department for getting as many of the Groups singles in the charts for as long as possible.. There could be no bullshit. If the singles did not go as expected, the buck stopped with me. When I first moved into my new office at EMI, the floor was covered in half a metre of unbagged strewn around records, the previous guy went a bit nuts, literally and had taken to writing long rambling and incoherent letters all night as to why EMI was in the state it was in. Thanks for your help, Roger. !In the last 6 months of the year that I was with them, EMI enjoyed its best ever singles success either, I believe, before or since so I was a little surprised to say the least and agreed a modestly handsome payoff when Rupert told me he thought it in the companies best interest if I left..
Andrew Prior the longstanding imperial Marketing Director at EMI wanted control of my singles as well as his albums and after David Munns who was then A and R Director at EMI left, my back was exposed. Andrew came into one of my team meetings and complained about our results. I asked him to be specific, to give me one example, and he could not, despite repeated requests. I think his humiliation that day started a chain of events. David was responsible for introducing me to Rupert and talked sense, when he left, Rupert, an American ex Aand R head in America, what the hell did he know, and tongues were wagging. Gill Wall was head of Capitol UK label and had Ruperts ear, well she had been having a thing with David and when he left, transferred her allegiance to Andrew after receiving an enormous pay rise from him. What hurt most was that John Walsh who was a rep at Phonogram I brought with me to the head Office at EMI as one of the managers of the two strike forces. Well, even he told Rupert he thought I was not up to it.. John still at EMI should be able to confirm the statistics. Am I giving the impression of a smell of sour grapes. You could be right. Good therapy.
A few years later, in a lift, at Midem, on Primavera business, Rupert offered me my old job at EMI back. He said he realised that he had made a mistake and got rid of the wrong man. They were a bit fucked, actually. I was a bit out of it, I laughed. If I had thought about it, I would have ripped his arms off.
Twenty years earlier, 1967 at 21, with a honours degree in Economics, just, and a grounding in 5 card stud split deck poker, one down four open, as played by Steve McQueen in the Cincinatti Kid, following Hoyles rules. I went to the States on an A.I.E.S.E.C foundation, went to work in Chicago for GM Electro Motive Division on a 6 month economic student exchange programme. I also worked as a waiter, saved a bit then headed off to the West coast with Roger and Sue and Maggie too?, Had my first smoke and took my first trip, a wonderful journey, wonderful country, wonderful people, along the original Route 66, car delivering, highlights including losing at Las Vegas(whats new). I am sure that the sixties generation benefited from top class L.S.D. and a wonderful introduction to drugs denied to many. I worked doing anything inc door to door subscription as well as picking Cantaloupes and managed to last a week. I got a green card by asking for one but have not needed it. I then planned to hitch hike to Central America, got as far as Mazatlan in Mexico and hung out with a bunch Canadians and Australians Vietnam draft dodgers surfing, fishing and eating bananas and coconuts. Over land back to New York and a job packing gloves for a week then returned to England on New Years Eve 1968 and started a pre arranged job with Lintas, the ad agency of Unilever on New Years day . (was it a bank holiday then). It was a time of full employment and had benefited from Labours post war education and health policies.
There were more jobs than people! Phew!
I was brought up on a council estate at Ernesettle in Plymouth, Devon to loving and hard working parents. My father Stanley was born in Lvov, now Poland, then Russia or is it the other way round, yes of course it is. He played drums in a 22 piece band that would play all night in high class clubs and when the war broke out enlisted as a subaltern – junior officer in the Polish calvalry. His regiment attacked German tanks, the Poles rightly earnt their reputation as brave but reckless, even crazy! Polands Sejim Parliament nearly a thousand years ago offered true democracy since one person could veto any proposals. What wonderful idealists too. Needless to say, it did not last long. My dad was captured and handed over to the Russians and carted to the Siberian Salt mines, Phew! If you fell off your log at night while sleeping, you were dead! The gates to his prison were opened in 1943 when Russia became our allies instead of our enemies and he walked most of the way with his mates to Persia where they all volunteered to join the Polish navy to get out of the desert. It took them nearly a year. His mate Freddie from Poland also settled in Plymouth and died within 12 hours of my dad, just what is it that keeps us going? The war ended a month after they arrived in Plymouth and he met my mum who of course was not fluent in Polish, her family coming from Edinburgh and settled near Plymouth, they were married within a month, my aunty Nellie convincing my mum it was a good idea although she did not speak much Polish either. It must have felt right. Dad worked at whatever he could, strippng metal off boats, selling logs, starting up a mobile shop selling groceries around the estate and then opening a corner shop. I used to help weigh up the potatoes. My mum just wanted to be around babies, was Sister on Maternity Wards 9/10 and went on to become Matron at the local maternity ward in Freedom Fields, Plymouth. She also anticipated my every need so I lay there, happy and contented, receiv©ng. smiling, saying nothing, a happy baby! What’s changed. She worked full time including nights and brought up 3 sons, me being the eldest, then John and Philip. How all our parents generation grafted. They could remember being hungry and so then tended to eat too much and live. I think that after the relief at the end of the War when everyone had pulled together, there was a real feeling of building a better World together with health and education for all and I benefited. As the 60’s and 70’s and 80,s came along and the dreams of a better future for all turned to public squalor and personal greed, so the consumption of prescription drugs on the national health soared, every known cure available, and produced a generation of legal drug addicts. My parents one day consumption for various drugs would have killed a horse, all on prescription. Good business. My dear short and bald dad was the most patriotic brit I have met and he loved the Germans and hated the Russians, blacks, gays and jews he did not discriminate against any one group and of course, I still loved him and mum too. I recently read “the Long Walk”by Slavomir Rawicz and could see a reason for some of his attitudes.
I also realized the fantastic amount of being alone, o f being lonely, that is accepted as being normal, as you get old.
My grant at Kingston College covered all my expenses and since 17, I have almost always had a car, it meant freedom. My poker at college contributed- I think- and I would also work as a cleaner in the local hospital on Sundays at double time rate, more jobs than people. More recently, before my father passed away from old age and cancer, he celebrated smoking ciggies for 75 years. It had been a companion and constant friend to him. The thing about smoking is when you inhale and before you exhale, there is a moment of Zen like reflection, its’ that moment in time of stillness I think that you miss. After he died, my mum started smoking Bensons to remind her of him, a love story involving tobacco. They worked and played hard, dad playing accordion and drums(not at the same time) with a local band in the local Polish club in Plymouth and both enjoyed bridge. They did not get out of it too often because they would always eat loads while drinking. Together they played 2 handed (German)whist unless I was there to play cards with Dad.
Dutifully, I passed my 11+, I went to St Boniface Catholic College Plymouth who took boarders but I was a day boy and the teaching was good, though I was beaten on the palm of hands with leather straps to encourage me to act in a more adult fashion . “Long live, long live the school” was the school anthem which although I sang at the top of my voice, closed over 30 years ago. To escape and for the adventure,, I wanted to go to Dartmouth College and join the Navy, wanted to be at sea. The Naval Authorities would not accept my application because my Dad was Polish and we had an aunt in Poland and I could be blackmailed because Poland was under Russian control and they were the enemy and the Russians could torture my aunt Marysz to force me to give up naval military secrets. Well, you cannot be too careful, can you.
So I applied to the RAF to be a pilot and I got accepted for flying duties after 5 days of tests at Cranwell, the Poles were also fondly remembered as fighter Pilots. But two nights before the start of College, I had a dream, honest, of penguins above me, penguins below me, all saluting each other and I woke up in a sweat and decided military life was not for me. If the Navy did not want me, the Airforce could not have me. I am some sort of competitive twit, or git! The college term had already started and I managed to get a place at Kingston College to study for a degree in Economics specialising in Industry and trade and in September. 64 moved to Ewell in suburban South London near College. Phil Maynard, Roger Hayes, Colin Rickwood Maggie and Sue, any one there? And all you others too.
My first job in the record business was at 23 with Liberty/United Artist Records. I had been working as a graduate trainee at Lintas for nearly 2 years after I came back from America, and had worked for the ad agency of Unilever based in New Fetter Lane and covered every department on a training programme. I ended up the account exec for Walls Ice cream, Frozen florida orange juice and filled the fridge.. While drinking in the Flask pub in Flask Walk, I was just about to take a drink from a full pint and someone knocked my elbow and the whole glass went over the geezer behind me. His name was Wym Schut and he wanted to take me outside and thump me. Well, I managed to talk my way out of it and we became friends and he worked for United Artist Records and arranged an introduction to Martin Davis and Noel Rogers and I ended up as Manager of their tape division in about1970. Wym, the drinks ar on me.
Reflection. We are not in control, does anyone think we are?
United Artist had Andrews Warner/Lauder at A and R, Surley Bassey, Groundhogs,
Hawkwind , The Can, Amon Duul and also licensed loads including Credence Clearwater, Canned Heat, Funkadelic, Kiss. Phew! This was at the time when cassettes were only used for recording Grandmother singing Merry Christmas and 8 track cartridges the big new thing in in car entertainment.
Best car I ever had was a dark metallic blue 3.8 Mk 2 Jag with a competition head and high ratio back axle that I bought from Noel for £400.00. It accelerated so fast, that on one 100 metre stretch of the Portland Rd, I accelerated hard on a green light and ran into the back of the car in front on 3 occasions, luckily gently. The guy in front must have seen the funny side because I could not stop laughing. Those journeys down and back up the A303 to Plymouth were fast, I knew the road, and on more than one occasion, a posse of cars would race, they had to catch me first, 5 a.m. starts were best!
In 1972 I moved to run Precision Tapes as Marketing Manager also part of the Lord Grade empire and after about 2 years, was moved within the group to marketing manager of Pye Records reporting still to Mr.Walter (A)Voyda who was made M.D. at Pye. He promised me a nearly top job if Pye Records did well. Well, two years later in 1976, we were the top singles company and with The Real Thing(2), and Carl Douglas Kung Fu fighting, had 3 of the top 5 singles that year. We also licenced 20th Century with Barry White(he showed me his 8 bullet wounds in that enormous belly that needed a bazooka to penetrate) and Gladys Knight, the King and Queen of Soul and lots more and then Derek Honey got made MD.
Lord Grade – founder of ATV who owned Pye- was my hero. The closest I got to him was sitting 30 yards away while while working for Pye at the London Palladium in one of ITV annual Christmas Specials. His word was his bond. When he shook hands, that was it. The fact that he got totally ripped off by that other Australian con man Rupert Holmes –A’ccourt and lost his company is of little consequence.. When Rupert died about a year after he had ripped off Lord Grades company, had he fulfilled his dream?, he died a very rich man. And Lord Grade still enjoys his smokes.
Reflection. The only thing we have is our word. Does your word have power, that is, do you always do what you say you will?
While at Pye, I unofficially set up 2 Motorbike teams to buy records nationally. Buying records was used as a tactical devise for one or two weeks mainly to help tip a record into the Top 50 Chart, you could not rely on it exclusively but it was a very useful tool and much of the industry was using my teams. Buying records was then in the news and Granada had started a World in Action on me (driving my Moto Guzzi Californian T3) but I had an idea, I was in the right place at the right time. I would turn the buying operation into a legitimate record promo company and from that moment I did not buy another record but managed to achieve similar results by legitimate promotion, the company was Record Sales and after 12 months in business, we were celebrating with a supplement in Music Week, the Industries trade paper, 3 years later I had a turbo charged Cessna 208, a Maserati Merak SS, a flat in Kensington and a house in North London and 3 years after back to nothing.
Anyway, after leaving Pye, in the summer of 1976, with no job on offer, I started the first independent record promotion company concentrating on retail outlets to promote singles and influence the record charts legitimately. By the time I was working at EMI, the whole chart collection of information on sales was radically different and we were less able to influence the chart at the point of sale, as I was used to. One of the reasons I was able to make an impact at EMI was because I combined their 2 strike forces in to big one because we needed breadth and not depth, the chart panel was much, much larger and putting free stock in store the only result we could guarantee. With me not there, and both strike force Mangers wanted their own team, their own personal fiefdom, and Andrew Prior could say he had 2 promo teams where before there was one. It all happens for the silliest of reasons. Its probably just the same now.
Fortunatley, World in Action did not appear. In the first weeks, Record Sales employed a dozen people around the country, and went to the industry with our services. The first two singles we promoted were Kenny Everitt on DJM and Santos Esmerelda on Phonogram. Both were outside the top 50 and going down. We turned them both back to near the 30,s after one week. My fortune was assured. The following week, no work. But the week after we were full and up and running for the next 5 years or so promoting to Radio 1, Local Radio, national and local press as well as record shops. We were on the side of the smallman but needed the fees from the bigmen. Our reps on the road for the first couple of years owned their own car and ours must have been the only reps with Johns’ Bentley in Brighton, a 5 litre Mustang from Keith in Yorkshire and a convertible Morgan from Brother John covering the West country and Paul Birch with his Range Rover being an indication. I still wonder, did Keith ever visit any shops? Unfortunately, the company went bust in 1981/2 and I can blame no one apart from myself, a changing market and a dreadful choice of director Alan Wade, , I was warned. I am not sure that the drugs helped.. But we were the first, and at the time of our demise I think there were dozens of teams. I liked being part of a democratic team, my democratic team offering companionship and fun. I think to work well together you need to like each other. If you do not want to go for a drink together, you will explore less of the possibilities. I miss not being a part of that team and a big shout goes out to Kelvin J(sorry mate), Keith P and K and C, Paul, John, Peter, Susi and Sue and all the others too.
While at the top of Record Sales slippery ladder, in 1979, I got a call from Knocker (Knowles) Magnet Records, would I come in and meet his boss Michael Levy(Oh Lord). Magnet was a tiny independent with a couple of singles and did not have the level success to afford our services but I was happy to meet his boss. Well, in the business you meet many types and Levy was top of the list. Within a minute of meeting him, I realized we could not do business together. For a start, his desk was about 8 feet higher than my chair, literally, and I could not see his head..
Assuming the worst he got the worst, I excused myself within literally 30 secs.
He got 10 million quid from selling a virtually worthless Magnet Records to WEA , what a wonderful donation.. When I read that he had been appointed Blairs special Middle East envoy and adviser and tennis partner. Vividly demonstrates Blairs appalling judge of character when choosing his friends. Blair’s only positive legacy for me is that he downgraded Pot.
About that time, with my interest in Moto Guzzi,s, I became friendly with the local dealer Walter Streit, an ex starfighter pilot for the German airforce. He convinced me it would be a good idea to buy a plane to parachute from and make a business and he would fly the plane. Well, you have to be able to give everyone one chance and I bought a new Cessna 208 turbocharged single engined motor but with oxygen to allow us to jump from high altitude, call sign JAKO. The more I did it, the more I shat myself, literally, imagine why.? What a twat. Walter, are you there? But our promo records sure got round the country fast.
Any success that I was involved with was down to a team. At Liberty/United Artist records, I did not know my ass from my elbow and thank you Martin Davis and Dennis Knowles for putting up with me so long. Any success at Pye and EMI and Phonogram was because I was working with great A and R; Peter Prince/=Summerfield at Pye, David Munns at EMI and Tony Powell GM at Phonogram and a great team of people out in the field. You need the goods.
And the artists
you might say,
as far as the industry was concerned,
got in the way.
But loads of fun!
After EMI, I willingly transferred my allegiance to my family. Give the business a break. Back home, we would still have some help, my wife would work full on full time. I was responsible for the other 108 hours except when my wife was there and i was always happy for anyone else to take over when I would ignore my responsibilities until reminded..
After EMI and in the bossom of family life, I got involved in setting up and running the Clink Exhibition on the site of the Bishop of Winchesters Clink prison in SE1 for a couple of years and owned half of it which is still in business. The Clink Rehearsal studio had a 13th Century wall which no one could prove was not the official Clink prison and we turned it into a tourist attraction. Basically, if you broke the rules in the Bishop of Winchesters brothels, you would end up in his Clink Prison. Good business for you, good business for me. At night, it was the perfect venue for raves which were then starting and we partied all night. The dance scene gave my life a real positive push, the feeling of one, bloody wonderful. The highlight of the after party party was in a capsule in Tooley Street for a couple of dozen on a trip to Mars with all the effects and stimulants. But it was ultimately an unhealthy life, family life was suffering and I ended up virtually walking away.
I then went on to set up Primavera Records which was responsible for Funtopia and Loved Up and Live it Up, amongst others. Funtopia was Martin Sheller who in 1980 was lead singer of the Regents who I managed. He came to the office to help Damian Pugh paint some walls and I helped them set up a band. Their debut “17” recorded on a Teac, and Record Sales promoted went top 10, selling over 250,000 singles. Martin touched a lot of peoples lives but he was unhappy at that time, his marriage to fellow ex Regent Bic Brac was going thru a hard time as well as other reasons. The debut album Adventures in Funtopia with Jimi Polo “Living without love” never saw the light of day. Our Distributor at that time Total, went out of business the week of release and no CD’s went out, not even to the the artist. It has only been in the last couple of weeks that I have been able to listen to it again, with Hannah- Bics sister. Its something else, with tracks from Derrik May, Rollo and sister Bliss, Crispin(Caucasian boy)Glover, Matt Darey Justin Deighton and Paul Brogden as well as Martin.with vocals by Jimi Polo..It has never seen the light of day, until now.
We were ahead of the game.
At that time, Martins mate and fellow traveller.Dominic knew Peter Cattanneo the director of the BBC2/screen 2 film Lovedup and managed to get him to agree to include one of Funtopia,s mixes, a track I had Justin Deighton and Paul Brogden do, the Gut Drum mix. I then went to the BBC and asked them if we could put out the soundtrack to Lovedup and agreed a deal. Pete,s next film was the Full Monty. He was hot and Lovedup the most requested film by schoolkids to the BBC.
Martin was not well, still doing his stuff, we were arguing, I could not work with him in his state and he always needed cash. I bought him out for £500.00, it was all I had.. Then followed a new good distributor “Vital” for Lovedup, the soundtrack of the BBC film, and it did well though our German Distributer went bust owing £35.000.
Martins illness was terminal and I started visiting in a hospice in Hampstead, he was not ready to die though very ill. A personal tragedy and ours too, he was loved and is missed by many. Dare I say it, Susy should have married him, or should I say He should have married her.. She is a Darling and was joint controller for much of Record Sales. But no regrets!
The original Lovedup 78min.CD that includes some dialogue from the film is a classic even though I was not able to licence all the tracks that were in the film, in particular 2 tracks from Orbital on London Records.. They and others agreed too late for the album which had to come out a month before the film to maximise sales so I thought it would be a good idea to release a definitive double CD with all the tracks from the film the following year.. I went to Tony Powell who was my previous boss at Phonogram then head of Pinnacle, the leading independent distributor and we had another distributor with totally Lovedup our next release and Live it up, the one after, a rave anthem to Marijuana
More to add
The 3 day party in Amsterdam to promote totally Loved Up, the double CD included bringing 10 acts to the Dam and was without a doubt one of my most stressful and expensive times. At least no one died who was directly involved and no one asked for their money back. I had also booked 10 superior doubles at the Krazmapolski, Amsterdams finest and arranged for all the leading buyers from the multiples to stay but I was so out of it, from exhaustion that I forgot all about them. Well, I think they thought this was fantastic, the perks without the jerks. And I had enough cash to pay for their fare from the airport. They ordered many copies of totally LovedUp and Tony kindly promptly paid up that I just about covered the £50,000 or so the whole event had cost. Unfortunately, the distributors had over ordered and returned many. Tony was very good about it, but it hastened my decision that I had had enough, family life beckoned, yet again.
Maybe the music business had had enough of me, chewed me up and spat me out although music pleasure was something else and about this time, I fell in Love with Amsterdam. Here follows a bit of attitude.
Reflection. I make better decisions when I do not think.
All the big decisions in my life have been made without thinking. Rather they are instinctive, automatic and immediate. We are a product of our social conditions and upbringing which affects our attitudes in terms of placing us firmly on our own particular railway line while over time, nerves in our whole body, hotwired to make the right decisions for our own survival are at work. Intellect versus instinct, I would say follow your instinct and then think long enough to make sure its not totally bonkers. And in most situations, you never know the whole story, so maybe better to rely on your instinct.
We are all the same in that we are all looking for a structure of values to base our life. Some choose religion which suggest that their intentions are right but frankly good intensions are a start but by themselves, not enough.
Bush tells us he believes in the literal translation of the Bible, that the virgin Mary the Mother of Jesus rose whole, lifted herself while dead, up into the sky and heaven. Well, I ask you.. Mankind got along fine for 98% of its existence before Christ came along.
Reflection. Mental health is accepting the inevitable and making it acceptable
Reflection. It helps sometimes to be able to ignore reality for your own mental Health
Reflection. The 10 Commandments boil down to 1, treat others as you wish to be treated.
I believe in the benefits of natural organic psychedelic drugs taken in ritual.
Last year I took Ibogaine for the second time but with the Bwiti Pygmy tribe of Gabon while in S./W France .. It worked. I had been interested in drug education, worked at City Road centre near Islington for a year as a part time volunteer, had started my letter writing under the banner “truth in drugs education” and was promoting also the benefits of Mariajana at around the time that good intentioned twit Keith Hellawell got fired as our Drugs Tzar. I will never know if I played a part in his downfall. Anyway drugs education had led me to Ayahuasca some years earlier and the ritual of Santo Daime, literally translated Santo = Saint and Daime=Give to me, was my cup of tea. Initially in Amsterdam then in London,I took it in the forests of Brazil and temples of Japan with groups of up to 200. Transformation time. It could have totally taken over my life except that the Daime family puts family life first, and I chose my family before their family, as they would want it I think, and, it is many different things to many different people and works for all of them, on many different levels.
I saw the penalty of hard drugs, smoking Crack cocaine and injecting Heroin. If death was no deterrent, what chance did the law have. I was able to reflect as to why Bush and Blair’s policies were leading the US and UK to have the worst hard drug problems in the Western World. Why the average age of the heroin addict in UK was 20 and falling and Amsterdam was 42 and rising in a City who attracted more than its fair share of misfits. The problems in London are getting worse while Amsterdam has sorted it out. It had recently closed its heroin rehab centre in Amsterdam though lack of clients. And while we all agree the dangers of snorting cocaine, can I point your nose in the direction of Professor Cohen’s article on the social benefits of cocaine(snorting) in Amsterdam.
The reasons of course in the differences in attitudes are largely cultural but a small part of the solution in The Netherlands is not to mention Heroin or crack cocaine for fear that it glamorises and advertises. Unfortunately, media attention and distortion is such that almost all refuse to speak out at the stupidity they see and from experience refuse to debate openly the problems as it is guaranteed to leads to sensational and trivializing by certain members of the press.
Ayahuasca from South America and Ibogaine from Africa taken in ritual have wonderful beneficial effect on hard drug users provided there is support in the follow up, for those who want to change enough not to go back to their normal haunts and a success rate dependent on keeping the addict away from his old lifestyle. But enough of drugs, one cannot allow them to rule your life, unless of course, its tobacco and alcohol.
There is a Polish proverb that I have an excellent memory but it is rather short.
I will be happily corrected and unreservedly apologies to anyone who remembers my blah blah blah differently.. I have left out chunks, forgotten, lost forever, who cares! But let me know, anyway. More recently, like the last couple of years, my instinct tells me that after years of being cold, things are hotting up. When you are hot, your hot and when your not, your not! Thank you Werner, my brain needed washing, and more, and thank you Jakube, the best is still to come,
Richard at LovedUp Amsterdam Declaration
Happy bloody anything you can think of,
London April 1st 2007