Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series of unusual stories and commentary, paired with modular electronic sounds and noises — and, in this episode, rare archives of underground counterculture newspapers!
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. While this show is a podcast about electronics, it is also a sort of Audio Magazine where I share other projects. I’ve been archiving and uploading odd material onto the web for 20 years now, the standout moments being Comics with Problems and The Realist Archive Project. To a discerning vintage audience, those links might raise a smile. (And hello if you’ve never visited either, too) Both projects represent early Internet efforts to scan and upload material, far before social media robbed people of their independence to do so on their own, and both projects have an interesting history regarding where uploaded content got shared. This episode of SWWE introduces the third archive project of the site, which is a direct companion of The Realist Archive: The Other Scenes Inventory Report.
To counterculture historians and rare paper collectors, OTHER SCENES is widely considered among the best underground newspapers published in the 1960s. It was a daring and no bullshit ride into drugs, politics, race, sex, and news. It is playful and it is a lot of fun. It also has been largely forgotten by time, as competitive papers like Rolling Stone survived. (Rolling Stone not only copied Other Scenes format, incidentally, but it also copied its contributor pool, namely Hunter S Thompson, who contributed to Other Scenes, considering its editor John Wilcock a colleague). You’ll get a chance to read all of this O.S. material soon.
You might recognize John Wilcock’s name from the comic that ran on Boing Boing here for about ten years. This archive is meant to be additional material for the collected print edition of those comics, but the depth of this material likely far exceeds the comic itself.
It is called ‘the inventory report’ as I have a large box of material from John, which needs closer scrutiny now that the comic is complete. So each two weeks, as part of Spoken Word with Electronics, there will be four OTHER SCENES items added, including audio commentary. You can download nicely restored PDF copies at the archive. Each PDF copy is free for you to non-commercially distribute and is OCR scanned for searchable text. This first installment includes rules on how to attend a San Francisco Sex Party in 1967, along with a garden party that Wilcock attended with Alan Watts at the Aldous Huxley estate.
The goal here is to upload the entire run (or a very close percentage) of OTHER SCENES. Much of this material has not been seen in more than fifty years. It’s a ton of fun to read. As Wilcock’s biographer, I’m most excited about providing audio commentary, going through all the material.
This first posting of the Other Scenes Inventory includes Issue #1 (“Fuck Hate”, 1967), Issue 3 (“The Scene”, 1967), a “Diagram of a Drug Abuser” (reference material, TX Dept of Public Safety, Narcotics Service), and the original 1966 advertisement Wilcock ran in the Village Voice when leaving both The Voice and The East Village Other to strike it out on his own.
Here’s this week’s commentary track:
The remainder of the show asks you for your feedback. Feedback is on our mind this week, as the headphones in our studio had a slight leak in them. This is a fun trick to learn how to purposefully do, as your headphones can cause amplifier-rattling feedback with just the slightest tilt off your ears into a microphone when recording. And if this is something you love doing too, I’m interested in hearing YOUR feedback! Send any screeching howling tones, or drones, or walkee talkee scratches, etc, to our Soundcloud page via Direct Message, and we’ll include your feedback (with credit) in the next episode. All feedback welcome!
— Make your mind happy, Visit the OTHER SCENES ARCHIVE Today!