Episode 9: The Medium, The Message, The Music

Welcome back Diggers to Episode Nine: The Medium, The Message, The Music. This show will contain familiar elements — storytelling, commentary, and musicology — but it is also a bit of a departure.

It takes place mostly in the mid-sixties, but we’re not following a timeline or building a story: it’s more of a mosaic, a think-piece.

We think the influence of psychedelic drugs — especially LSD — on rock music is critically important and very much overlooked. It’s a vital part of the overall story. We hope to make that case with this show.

We will meet some rockers and there will be lots of musical examples, because that’s how we roll. But we will also meet scholars, inventors, researchers and writers: Marshall McLuhan, Albert Hofmann, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey…and more.
We will spend some time on the advances in music technology — better instruments and amps, multi-tracking and effects — and show these advances in the musical media arrive at the same time as advances in the psychedelic media.

And the results of that arrival are, well, mind-blowing.

We’re going “Further” with this episode, so turn on, tune in, and enjoy!


The Doors: “Break on Through,” from The Doors, 1967 Elektra Records

The Yardbirds: “Shapes of Things,” from Having a Rave Up With The Yardbirds, 1966 Columbia Records

Miles Davis: “Freddie Freeloader,” from Kind of Blue, 1959 Columbia Records

Cream: “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” single released 1967 (B Side) Atco Records (US)

Pink Floyd: “Bike,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 1967 EMI-Columbia Records

Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Are You Experienced?” from Are You Experienced, 1967 Track Records

Donovan: “Sunshine Superman,” from Sunshine Superman, 1967 Epic Records (US)

Jefferson Airplane: “White Rabbit,” from Surrealistic Pillow, 1967 RCA Records

Ravi Shankar, “Dhun,” from Music of India: Ragas and Talas, 2011 Trunk Records

Booker T. and the MGs, “Green Onions,” single released 1962, Stax Records

John Coltrane, “Giant Steps,” from Giant Steps, 1960 Atlantic Records

The Who: “I Can See For Miles,” from The Who Sell Out, 1967 Decca Records

The Surfaris, “Wipe Out,” single released 1962 (B Side), Dot Records

Agent Orange, “Secret Agent Man,” 1984 Enigma Records

Velvet Underground, “Venus in Furs,” from The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967 Verve Records

Buffalo Springfield, “Mr Soul,” from Buffalo Springfield Again, 1967 Atco Records

Grateful Dead, “The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion)” from The Grateful Dead, 1967 Warner

Brothers Records

The Beach Boys: “California Girls,” from Summer Days (and Summer Nights!) 1965 Capitol Records

The Beach Boys: “Good Vibrations” single released 1966, Capitol Records

The Beatles: “Tomorrow Never Knows,” from Revolver, 1966 Parlophone Records (UK)


By Ralph Metzner & Richard Alpert Timothy Leary
The Gutenberg Galaxy
By Marshall McLuhan
Music: What Happened?
By Scott Miller
Who I Am: A Memoir
By Pete Townshend
The Second Coming - W. B. Yeats
By William Butler Yeats

Documentaries, Films, and Television Shows


Annie Hall, Directed by Woody Allen, 1977 United Artists Films

Tom Dowd and the Language of Music, 2003 Language of Music Films

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Directed by Milos Forman, 1973 United Artist Films

The Beatles - A Musical Appreciation And Analysis - By Composer, Howard Goodall Cbe (c) 2004 Channel Four: The Beatles - 20th Century Greats

Online Sources, By Topic in Order of Appearance

Marshall McLuhan, Analysis and Criticism:




Ampex and the Development of Multitrack:


Seth Lover:

http://www.vintageguitar.com/3601/seth-lover- 3/

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-03- 10/news/vw-1323_1_humbucking- pickup



NOTE: We don’t typically link to Wikipedia or to Wiki sources, but here we make an exception. The Rational Wiki entry provides good links to source documents. It’s also a well-written summary.


Jay Stevens performed by Tim Lynch

Peter Ames Carlin performed by Tom Rizzuto

Tom Wolfe performed by Ronald Purser


Sound provided by Jerry Danielsen and Busy Signal Studios