Tripping the psychedelic

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A famous purveyor of Yoruba Juju music once sang on one of his recordings “E sha ma sakadeli o!” – meaning loosely, “Keep on doing the sakadeli, o!” For many years, I thought he created a gobbledegook word for a trend of that era, but eventually it dawned on me that “sakadeli” was actually “psychedelic”. I wonder if the singer really knew what he was singing about.

Anyone familiar with the history of youth culture should know that mind altering substances were at the heart of the psychedelic experience. For better or worse, leading figures of the Rock music canon were in many cases regarded as torchbearers for that way of life. They glamorised and popularised Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune in, drop out” message.

Many of the key figures from that era are still with us today. Their counterparts from ensuing generations were not as fortunate in some cases. What happened? Did the drugs get heavier?

An older artist once told me about one of his well known associates developing a taste for what was then known as “elephant tranquiliser”. The hippie generation was brought up by parents and carers who endured the horrors of World War 2. Perhaps this fact might account for their escapist inclinations.

Each of us has the ability to alter our mindsets without using any stimulants. Information about ways and means to achieve this is available to anyone with internet access nowadays. One can only hope that the new consciousness spreads.