Psychedelic culture. approaching truthfulness is always a little more complex…
by Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Most people assume that psychedelic culture began in San Francisco and spread outward. I’m not here to disprove that notion. since all documentation starts there in San Francisco in about 64/65 and seems to virally infect the nation and world, I can’t really argue that finer point.
However, I’ve got to show this stuff and let other figure it out. frankly, I ALWAYS take the side that CULTURE is created by COMMUNITIES of people, rather than a a great man (or a few great men) and they then lead the way.
for instance, according to almost all popular accounts, punk culture seems to have emerged from New York City and then traveled to London and then infected the entire world bit by bit. that’s the narrative until you actually examine artifacts left behind by punk culture if you start to date them accurately, you see that the timeline doesn’t hold true. sure, New York may have (sort of) named punk rock and even got the initial serious media attention.
But, that only works if you completely ignore what was going on in Detroit and Los Angeles and San Francisco and Akron and tacoma, austin and seattle, etc. etc. etc. (and just about every garage in America) all of these cities seem to have an honest-to-gawd punk culture music arts scene BEFORE the advent of New York punk. it gets really confusing.
It gets even more confusing when you notice that when punk emerges in New York, it also seems to emerge simultaneously all over the world – as if it managed to culturally spread within the mater of a few weeks of it origins. how did that happen? my opinion is that it was already there and waiting. It’s the only explanation I can see for the timelines the artifacts leave behind.
This same interesting problem exists for psychedelia as well. despite the accepted narrative of it origins in San Francisco, it seems to have exploded nationally and internationally almost overnight as well. the timelines are confusing any way you look at it.