Aldous Huxley - Speaking personally
Original release: Lansdowne Records, 1973 (UK release)
Interviewer: John Chandos
Comments: The Oxford oracle of lysergics speaks most eloquently on a number of topics in this posthumous release of a 1961 interview made in London, covering his long, successful career as a man of letters. Of main interest for heads are the last 6 minutes on side 4, where we reach the heart of the matter with several eminently quotable statements on the importance of LSD, the nature of an acid trip, and how this is all related to "the 27 enzymes" that control the working of the brain. Those who have read "Moksha" will recognize several key phrases and ideas that Huxley had developed around psychedelics. A transcription of this can also be found in "Moksha" but oddly the transcript is incomplete and partly inaccurate, even though this LP had been released before "Moksha" was compiled.
The non-psychedelic stuff is all reasonably interesting with a long segment on D H Lawrence and some funny and occasionally sarcastic remarks on Proust, Joyce, Hemingway et al. Huxley's recent book on a flipped out Catholic cult in Loudon has him especially worked up, while talk of earlier and famous works such as "Brave New World" is surprisingly limited. "The Island" was not yet out and isn't mentioned at all, I think. Huxley has a rather unusual sing-songy voice that rises and falls as various points are hammered home in a supremely confident and cultured British manner. I don't think anyone talks like that anymore!
Worth getting for any fan of ole Al, and the last 6 minutes are truly essential stuff.
The back cover is blank, and the inside of the gatefold contains only a few details on the recording, plus the same image as on the front. A US version exists on Caedmon records, and there is also a CD reissue. Note: this CD reissue is often listed in a way to suggest that it's Alan Watts who is doing the interview; this is NOT correct, although there is a bonus segment with Watts interviewing Huxely's widow Laura.
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© Patrick the Lama 2005