Thursday, February 17, 2011


Towers Open Fire (<- click to DL mix)

1968 -  The Tet Offensive, riots in Paris and Mexico City, Russian tanks in Prague, MLK and Robert Kennedy assassinated, the Black and White Panther parties arming themselves, Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers helping students to occupy Columbia University, the streets outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago erupting in a police riot, it seemed the whole damned shit house was going up in flames. Wild in the Streets, the great AIP film of 1968, in which the voting age is lowered to 14 and pop star, Max Frost, is elected to president and precedes to forcibly retire those over 30 and put them in camps where they are force fed acid, didn't seem that far fetched to the "silent majority" watching on their TV's.  The Yippies were making threats to spike the water system in Chicago.  Members of the Black Panthers made clear that offing honkies might be necessary to reach their goal of liberation. The bad vibes were tangible. We've lost control some were heard to say.  Enter WSB.

  In the early 1960's William S. Burroughs' post modern take on science fiction, which utilized cut-ups ("when you cut into the present the future leaks out") had predicted, perhaps even willed, this breakdown in a strictly controlled society predicated on the inflexible authority of the "rational" mind. No matter that the agents of control targeted by Burroughs had deeper roots than the authority figures activists on the left were fighting. The usually apolitical Burroughs upon witnessing first hand what was happening acknowledged that this was perhaps the first step in a longer goal of liberation from all agents of control, inner and outer.  There was an undeniable energy in the air, a crackling electricity, that still resonates, something indeed was happening here, matters of life and death laid on the line.

This mix was inspired in equal parts by the November 1968 issue of Esquire in which the events in Chicago were covered by Burroughs, Genet, Terry Southern and John Sack and the chapter on 1968 in Peter Doggett's There's A Riot Going On.  I don't care to dilute the power of these sounds and images by over analyzing or hem hawing about all the motivations, actions and contradictions of the musicians and activists involved, rest assured there were plenty. Instead let's let these sounds and images speak for themselves and conjure what they will.

                                                    photo by Carey Winfrey- 1968 Chicago



1. Uranian Willy 1- William S. Burroughs
2. Kick Out the Jams- MC5
3. The Whole World is Watching
4. Street Fighting Man- The Rolling Stones
5. Fifty Two Per Cent-Max Frost and the Troopers
6. We're a Winner- The Impressions
7. The Total Taste Is Here- William S. Burroughs
8. House Burning Down- Jimi Hendrix Experience
9. Hell No, I Ain't Gonna Go- Matt Jones & Elaine Laron
10. The Unknown Soldier- The Doors
11. Uranian Willy 2- WSB
12. Turn On Tune In Drop Out-The Fugs
13. Revolution 1 (Take 20)-The Beatles
14. I've Never Say Never to Always-Charles Manson & Family
15. Revolution (parts 1&2)-Nina Simone
16. The Pledge- The Holy Modal Rounders
17. Say It Loud-James Brown
18 Wild in the Streets-Max Frost and the Troopers
19. Uranian Willy 3- WSB
20. 55- Brian Jones presents the Pipes of Pan
21. Five to One (excerpt Miami 3-69)-The Doors
22. The Devil is My Name (1+1)-The Rolling Stones
23. Tuli, Visited By the Ghost of Plotinus-The Fugs
24. Poll-The Monkees
25. The French Revolution-Erica Pomerance
26. The Ballad of Martin Luther King-Mike Milius
27. A House is not a Motel- Love
28. Burn, Baby, Burn- Rev. F.D. Kirkpatrick & Jim Collier
29. All Along the Watchtower-Bob Dylan
30. Uranian Willy 4- WSB


  1. Interesting soundtrack for today's current events in the Middle East - the Pipes of Pan, indeed.

    Thanks for putting this together.

  2. You're welcome and perhaps appropriately tonight on PBS Frontline has a special on the "Revolution in Cairo" followed by a documentary on William Burroughs called "A Man Within".

  3. Fabulous mix William, despite the presence of the B group ;) Strikes a chord in these times, certainly.

  4. Thanks Alistair! And at least its relatively obscure/unreleased B group, the long take 20 of revolution to be exact, which serves as a kind of link between revolutions 1 & 9 and sets up the mix for Nina Simone's dialogue with that song.