Do you get the feeling that we are living not in the right times often? Yeah, I used to get that one a lot as well.
Because at the moment I’m not dancing at the factory all high and cheerful and I’m not the SuperStar of underground movies.
Sometimes it would be like – why I’m not living in the eighties and not being able to attend first concerts of Depeche Mode, sometimes I keep myself on my toes for being not lucky enough to live in the sixties. seeing Mad Men made me feel that even 50’s in New York was an era where I would have blossomed. Hahaha, when you just put every will you have in one shelf suddendly they al together become weird.
But hey, my main idea after reading Edie, American girl, ed. by Jean Stein, I’m kind of content that I’m here now and not living in New York during the sixties. Why? Because I’m not exactly sure I would have made through sixties, I barely make it now, and now I don’t have a choice to be high for weeks and weeks with a place to stay with artsy speed freaks. ( Here I have a factory in mind, Duh) If there would be a chance to be sixties bitch (superstar, speed freak. all of them in one person) I would probably take this challenge, but having in mind how much drugs people used I have no idea if I still would be sane. I doubt.
In the party like this… Yeah doubtfully even an owl would make it fast.
So basically, I just wanted to tell you more about the book. It is a great book, with more than 200 people talking about Edie, Factory, Sixties and Sedgwicks. There are a lot of talk about Sedgwicks, and as I don’t want to spoil a book for you I could say that it makes sense to paint Edie in the context of her family, because it explains a lot of her erratical behaviour. She was one exclusively charming human being, sensitive misunderstood and in the scene where even the most stable individual would be capable of loosing… His mind.
And she lost it. Fame, money, happiness did not help – she lost her sanity.
That’s a little excerpt from the book to add some colour why… That is one of the weirdest things from sixties.
Edie, American Girl by Jean Stein,
There were other father figures in New York at that time – the acid doctors. A friend of mine – well, an ex-friend of mine – told me about this terrific doctor where you’d get these vitamin shots – Dr. Charles Roberts. I used to run into Edie there. I went one night, got this shot, and it was the most wonderful shot in the world. I had the answer: I mean, I mean it gives you that rush. There were vitamins in it, and a very strong lacing of methedrine. I’d never heard of methedrine or speed. They never told you what was in the shot anyway. It was a slow evolution. I went there first and got a shot. I went a wekk later and got another one. And maybe one week later I was feeling kind of down, and I went twice a week. Eventually I was going there every day, and then I was going two or three times a day. Then I went four times a day. Then I started shooting up myself.
Dr. Roberts was the perfect father image. His office, down on forty eighth street on the East Side, was very reputable looking, with attractive nurses, and he himself looked like a doctor in a movie. He was always telling me of his wondeful eperience with LSD, delivering babies, curing alkoholics… And he was going to open a health farm and spa where all this was going to go on… And naturally he was stoned all the time, too. He wasn’t a viper. I just think that he was so crazy, he truly thought he was going to help the world. He wasn’t out to kill anyone. We were the ones going in and getting shots. I mean anyone can set up a booth on the side of the road reading: I’m giving arsenic shots here, but you hae to stop there and take them. Over the years that he was riding high, tons of people went to see Dr. Roberts. But there was a little crowd of favourites. When you were a favourite, it meant that you were allowed a special privileges. even if the waiting room was filled with twenty peple you got right in. when you were addicted, being able to get right in was very important. You got bigger shots; you got shot up more than anyone else, and you became more of an addict. It was woderful to be part of this special group. Edie fit right in. The minute she hit there, she became a special Dr. Roberts person.
I’ll give you a description of what it was like to go to Dr. Roberts. The time is two thirty in the afternoon. I’m going back to my second shot of the day. I open the door. There are twenty-five people in the waiting room: businessmen, beautiful teenagers on the floor with long hair playing guitars, pregnant women with babies in their arms, designers, actors, models, record people, freaks, non-freaks… waiting. Everyone is waiting for a shot, so the tension in the office is beyond belief.
Lucky you, being a special Dr. Roberts person who can whip right in without waiting. Naturally, there’s a terribly resentful, tense moment as you rush by, because you are going to get your shot.
You attack one of the nurses. By tha I mean you grab her and say, Listen, Susan! Give me a shot You’re in a corridor with your pants half off, ready to get a shot in your rear. Meanwhile Dr. Roberts comes floating by. Dr. Roberts has had a few shots already, right? So in the middle of the corridor he decides to tell you his complete plan to rejuvenate the entire earth. It’s a thirteen- part plan but he has lots of time to tell it to you, and as the shot starts to work – Susan having given it to you – you hae a lot of time to listen.
In Dr. Robert’s room would be Edie…So thin that she cannot be given her shot standing up; she has to lie down on her stomach. It was a big shot – all those vitamins, niacin, methedrine. God knows what else – for a lttle girl, so she had to take it lying down.
Meanwhile everyone who’s back in the corridor for the second or third time that day complains that the shots they received that morning haven’t worked. Out in the waiting room you can hear people complaining that they haven’t even received their first shot yet.
And Dr. Roberts is still going on. In the middle of his thirteen-part plan he decides to tell you about a movie he saw on television. …In detail. You, however, are telling him your ideas for whatever you’re going to do. Dr. Roberts begins to describe his idea for a plastic Kabuki house. Someone else is showing his sketches for redesigning the Boeing 707 with a psychedelic interior. Big doings at Dr. Roberts’ all the time.
Now you decide to go back through the waiting room, right? Now you have all the time in the world. Life is a breeze. You’ve used a sun lamp. I mean you were in a great rush then you came in; now, finally, you decide you’ll leave.
But there in the room are all these people who are not Dr. Roberts special people and who still haven’t been serviced. They’re there to spend as much money as you have but they’re not part of the “in” crowd. So they are drifting off into craziness because they haven’t gotten their shots. A couple of people are wondering around . . . their poor systems are so riddled with methedrine they got half an hourago they feel is not working that they’ve come back for what Dr. Roberts calls “the booster”. The basic Dr. Roberts shot goes from ten dollars to fifteen dollars. As your resistance to the drug gets to the point of diminishing you move on up. Ther is a big shot for twenty five dollars, and if it doesn’t work, you go right back and get “the booster” for five dollars. That’s what some of these poor people were doing, standing out there and waiting for a booster. But you…You are flying high, having just had your twenty five dollars special, and you walk out into the outer office and say: oh Hi, What a beautiful sweater! Gee, you look wonderful! How are you? Oh hi! Isn’t it wonderful to see you! What’s happening?”
Before leaving I’d often go and find Edie in Dr. Roberts sauna. If we’d been up all night on drugs, the sauna and steam bath were woderful things. We’d go out and walk for blocks and blocks . . . Just be together, because we didn’t know what we were saying half the time.
The speed thing was so wonderful because everyone was walking around scared to death . . . scared because they couldn’t sustain the pace. And so these shots from Dr. Roberts and all those other speed doctors gave you a false sense of being together. You could face everybody when you went out at night. You could dance all night. It was like “the answer”. Nobody knew much about speed these days.
(Long excerpt from Edie: American girl, ed by Jean Stein, hey but great one anyway. No? That what I mean that sixties were too wild. I don’t know if I would say no to shots like that. As far as I know myself, I would be probably the first to go to Dr. Roberts.
I think someone has to make a movie about speed doctors in sixties. It is a fascinating subject.)
OK as for first post – way too long and that means that it is way too late and I’m off.
Next post will be shorter – perhaps, haha because now I’m reading Jane Austin Emma – so what could born from that one so far I really dont know. Less drugs and more behaviour I guess…