Tag Archives | Gary Lachman

Revolutionaries of the Soul

soulIn western societies, the canon is the greatest ally to social conditioning and nation-building. Schools and media echo it with great alacrity. There are even prizes, ranging from local to international (and very prestigious, as well as remunerative), assigned to sundry representatives of the canon. The significance of such prizes is twofold: further to establish and divulge the canon, and to enroll clever minds in its service. The resulting world is deceptively varied but in fact univocal. Most of us are led to believe that that’s all there is and, often, believe it we do. Then, one day, some of us stumble on something that seems completely extra-canonical. We either dismiss it as sheer nonsense or, to our surprise, we are attracted to it—and the doors of a whole new world are swung open.

Gary Lachman’s Revolutionaries of the Soul: Reflections on Magicians, Philosophers, and Occultists is just the sort of book that those of you who have overdosed on the platitudes so incessantly dished out by the canon-enforcers will enjoy reading.… Read the rest

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(Reminiscences from) The Music Scene in LA in the Early Eighties

Ray Mankarek, keyboards player of the Doors, at his home beside his beautiful blonde piano - March 1984

I have recently published The Forbidden Book, a novel co-written with Joscelyn Godwin, the noted scholar of western esotericism. Before publication, when our publisher was looking for blurbs, the name of Gary Lachman came up, himself a distinguished author in the field. He read the book and wrote a wonderful blurb. Then I noticed on Google that he went under another name, too: Gary Valentine, which opened the floodgates of memory. The Gary Valentine? The bass player for Blondie? We used to know and frequent each other in LA in what must be, for both of us, another life. I wrote to him to thank him for his blurb and refresh our friendship; he replied, “Dear Guido, my God it’s a small world! Yes, I remember meeting you and Stenie a few times back in the early 80’s with Lisa.… Read the rest

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Spiritual Seeker’s Quest, From Blondie to Swedenborg

Gary Lachman. Photo: Ruth Jones

Gary Lachman. Photo: Ruth Jones

Gary Lachman, author of the disinformation classic Turn Off Your Mind, is profiled by Mark Oppenheimer in the New York Times:

One day, when he was 13 years old and growing up in Bayonne, N.J. — “the backside of the Statue of Liberty,” he now calls it — Gary Lachman decided that he had had enough of Catholicism.

“I remember upping and walking out of church one Sunday,” says Mr. Lachman, who later achieved fame as the bassist for the New Wave band Blondie. “I just didn’t believe in this anymore. Since then I haven’t practiced anything like that at all. I wonder if I’d still even be considered a lapsed Catholic.”

But that was less the end of spirituality for Mr. Lachman than the beginning. Like so many Americans who came of age since the 1960s, Mr. Lachman found that his metaphysical search took place not in houses of worship, but in books.

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Occult Map Of New York

Screen shot 2011-08-05 at 8.47.12 AMLast year the venerable Watkins Books published a Spiritual Sightings Map of London. The intent was always to expand the map globally and now disinformation author Gary Lachman (Turn Off Your Mind) has contributed an Occult Map of New York:

I had already been living in New York on East 10th Street for a few months when in the early spring of 1975 I was asked to play bass in a fledgling rock band that would later become fairly successful. Their name was Blondie and their bass player had quit to join another group, Television.

CBGB on the Bowery was just starting to make a name for itself and would soon become the home of an honest-to-goodness scene. Soon after joining the group I had to give up my place on East 10th, and I moved in with the singer and guitarist. Their tiny flat in Little Italy, however, quickly proved too small for the three of us, and by that summer we had found a new nest, an illegal sub-let in a loft space above a liquor store (off license) at 266 Bowery.

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Evolver the Podcast Episode 3: Magic and the Occult

This is my favorite episode we've done so far. We have three amazing interviews.

The first is an interview with Jonathan Talat Phillips interviewing Gary Lachman the rockstar (guitarist for Blondie) turned occult author. The focus of this interview is to discuss Gary's new book Jung the Mystic.

The next interview is a conversation between me and Baza Novic, one of the regional coordinators from Evolver LA. We talked about his involvement with Evolver and how it has been driven by his esoteric practice. The Interview is opened with a meditation from Baza.

Last we have an interview with Raymond Wiley, that was conducted by Jennifer Palmer. This was a real treat for me.

A couple years ago when I first got into the counter culture and the occult my sort of crash course was Raymond's podcast Out There Radio, which I was introduced to from the first Disinformation podcast that he did, and it's been a crazy ride every since. It was awesome to be able to do a podcast with Raymond. This interview is a fantastic conversation between Jennifer and Raymond about the "occult" in a very broad way. Raymond also discusses the importance he feels there is in us recognizing the rich history of the Western Esoteric practice. If you would like to listen to more of Raymond like I mentioned he has a 50 episode series called Out There Radio and he is also doing the Disinformation podcasts. Check them out!
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2013: Or, What to Do When the Apocalypse Doesn’t Arrive

Gary Lachman is the author of several well-respected occult-themed books (including the Disinformation book Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius). He asked us to run his take on the 2012 phenomenenon (the essay was originally published in EnlightenNext Magazine):

The belief in a coming end of the world as we know it may seem understandable to people living in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but a look at history shows that it has been part of Western psychology from the beginning.

The central figure of Western religion, Jesus Christ, told his followers that the end was nigh, and most people who accepted Jesus believed that the cosmic last call would come in their lifetime. Yet Jesus worked within an age-old Jewish tradition that looked to the coming of the Messiah, a religious and political leader who would set the world to rights and, incidentally, free the Chosen People from whomever it was who had conquered them at the time.… Read the rest

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Turn Off Your Mind with Gary Lachman – Disinformation: The Podcast

Disinformation: The Podcast – Turn Off Your Mind with Gary Lachman

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turn_off_your_mindThis episode features an interview with occult author and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Gary Lachman. We discuss the history of the Western occult tradition and how it became a major influence on the counterculture of the ’60s.  Gary also shares a few stories from his days with Blondie and discusses the future of the occult movements.   Turn off your mind, this week on Disinformation: The Podcast.

Disinformation Podcast T-shirts available here!

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