This is the story about Jim Morrison dropping acid with Dr Timothy Leary in our shop (well, the high probability of it).
The year was 1965; the beginning of the Vietnam war. Jim Morrison had just graduated from UCLA and became eligible for the draft. It’s unclear how Jim avoided the armed forces in one of America’s many ill-advised wars, but what is clear is Mr Morrison spent a fair amount of time spinning up and down the Venice Boardwalk on a head full of acid, presumably screaming “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything!”
And, while the 1960’s began with the name Kennedy, the real culture-war of the 60’s was centered in many ways around Dr Timothy Leary. Richard Nixon at one point coined Dr Leary as the most dangerous man in America. But, he had never dropped acid, and if he were too, it’s doubtful he’d revoke that statement. God knows what would come out of the darkness one of America’s most hated politician’s subconscious.
Leary was by nature a complex human; part showman - part psychologist - part guru - part messiah, and helped lead, along with Beat writers Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey and Jack Kerouac a whole generation of anti-Vietnam counter-culture youth. It was Timothy Leary that Ken Kesey and his band of “Merry Pranksters” drove the infamous Further bus across the US, influencing the counter-culture revolution by handing out LSD to “expand your mind” or just get really high, naked, spread free love and have tripped out orgies–not a bad gig… It’s also worth noting, at that stage according to 60’s hippy folklore, acid was quite a bit stronger than the little squares of paper currently digested in 2016.
Prior to his stint in Venice Beach, between ‘64-‘66 Leary had been fired from his job at Harvard University. Upon Jim’s decent on Venice Beach he was yet to find music as his calling. He had graduated film school but his true affinity came in the form of poetry and philosophy and it was in Venice Beach while he was dosed on the beach that he bumped into Manzerak and as the Doors of Perception open, The Doors emerged from its swinging doors.
Had enough background? Now, here’s the part where Jim dabbles with psychadelics in our shop with Dr Leary:
In the last year of General Admission being open, countless old hippies or old Venetians would come by and tell stories of Timothy Leary living next door to our store when it was an hotel/apartment complex for emerging musicians and artists. In fact, Richard Mann an old Venice photographer has a photo of Leary’s girlfriend at the time painting the porcelain lining above our door with gold leaf (although I’ve yet to see this picture - he swears he has it).
So now we know Leary lived in our building, acid was still legal and Jim had shall we say? An enthusiast. How did Jim end up taking acid in our store? Well, you see the photo or photos of The Doors above? That’s our wall, the very wall that lined Timothy Leary’s apartment and Jim’s rooftop digs was just down the road. In fact, they all lived within blocks and frequently visited the hotel/apartments. The beach front, ‘Rat Rocks’ at the end of Brooks Street became their hang out spot on the board walk. So by process of elimination, did Jim Morrison take acid? Yes. Did Leary live in Venice at the time? Yes. Did Timothy live in our store, prior to the days of GA? Yes. Did Jim Morrison get a few shots and an inside album cover in front or behind Tim’s apartment? Yes.
With a bit of deductive reasoning we’ve come to the conclusion that Jim in fact did drop acid with Tim inside our store.
Disclaimer: Much like the DaVinci Code this is a fictional article with facts sprinkled through it with the exciting thought of Jim having visited 52 Brooks at the forefront of an era.