Psychedelic Days 1960-1969
By Anthony McBride
Before Seattle's Nirvana, there was Patrick Campbell-Lyons' (co-creation with Alex Spyropoulos) orchestral 60s rock band Nirvana (cult status album The Story of Simon Simopath -1967). Patrick Campbell-Lyons' debut book "Psychedelic Days", is a firsthand account of the surprisingly pioneering band, London in the 60s, and more. Nirvana was the first U.K. band to sign to the first ever indie label Island Records (among other cherry popping historical notches added to the Nirvana belt). I attempted to get into the mind of the author and what was revealed here is just a hint at what resides in the pages of Psychedelic Days!
Anthony McBride: This was a fast read, how long did it take you to write Psychedelic Days?
Patrick Campbell-Lyons: Six months working five days a week from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and again from 5 p.m.-8p.m. I was in a hot country and took a siesta/lunch.
AM: I read your chapter on Belgium twice!. Have you been back and had a different perspective since the 60s?
PCL: I palled through a few times over the years but did not hang around! It still has the same structural tiredness for me and no smiles.
AM: What do you hope readers gain from your experiences?
PCL: What it was like to be in a band when bands were real and songs were great and you could sell 75,000 singles and not get in the British Top Ten but No. 1 in Sweden! I’m a rainbow chaser!
AM: You wrote a great chapter about Salvador Dali painting a jacket of yours, where is this jacket now?
PCL: It is in storage somewhere. I have storage in London, Andalucia (Granada), Ireland/ Morocco (Chaoun)...A blue town where you can indulge in herbal tea all day in a café where they play trance music. I have and still do to a certain extent lead a life nomadic, one could say. I like simple small cheap clean hotel rooms with a good view of a local square... except in Belgium!
AM: You are a survivor of a decade where not everyone got out alive, do you consider your life as semi-charmed?
PCL: More blessed I would say...with a sprinkling of charm (Irish?) inherited from my parents. And I know when to say; “That is enough,” even though I do have some hedonistic traits.
AM: Have you received a call from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet?
PCL: Who are they?
AM: I absolutely dig your new song "Falling", from your latest release The 13 Dalis, it's dark yet incredibly catchy...
PCL: It is inspired by the “Salvation Army”...and penile dysfunction! With a happy ending.
AM: Island Records founder Chris Blackwell makes several appearances in the book, any feedback on the book and The 13 Dalis?
PCL: I sent him the chapter I had written about him which I thought was the least I could do. I had not written a book before so I did not know the procedure with stuff like that. He liked and approved it. Then I sent him the finished book which he said he enjoyed a lot. He has not heard “The 13 Dali’s” as far as I am aware of.
AM: Do you regret any Psychedlia?
PCL: As you may have read in the chapter titled “The St. John’s Wood Affair,” I could smoke dope until it came out of my ears and arse and I still could not get stoned. I dabbled with acid a few times. But I liked to drink “Black Velvet” (Guinness mixed with Champagne). I told you I had been a bit of a hedonist...and took amphetamines/uppers and downers...Black Bombers, Yellow Dex, Purple Hearts, Drimaynel, do you want me to go on? Anyhow Psychedelia is a “happening” that covered so much more than drugs...the fashion, the art-work, the photography, the Free-Press and the Free Love...but most of all the sex! That was the best thing about being in a band, really, after being on stage playing, which was second best to the thrill of writing a song, recording it and having it released in the stores all within two weeks—which was really thrilling—but the song had to be a good one! That’s what the music business is all about really.
April 7, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Reading and Signing at Borders Hollywood, 1501 Vine St., Hollywood.