Plus News and Notes
Oh I should have made it abundantly clear that this was not intended to be a full break down of the psychedelic Western genre. There are more films to discuss, as well as non-films like Paul Kirchner's DOPE RIDER comics to Homer Simpson's famous hot chili trip. However, I never saw Young Guns and did not know about this scene! Thanks....
Hi David. So great to hear from you. Sun House sounds amazing! I also didn't mention the work of Rudy Wurlitzer, who wrote the screenplays for Pat Garrett and Two Lane Blacktop and also wrote the early version of Dead Man (which he claims Jarmusch more or less lifted from him). Wurlitzer then turned the script into the funny acid western novel The Drop Edge of Yonder, highly worthwhile!
A version of that scene is in the movie, but I havent read the book even though its been staring me down for years. Time to hop to it!
What's your favorite Bowden, at least in this context?
Yes I mentioned Kirchner's great work in another comment here -- I wish I had taken the time to offer a more thorough take on the genre in this post. Also unmentioned was Rudy Wurlitzer, his books (especially the Drop Edge of Yonder) and his influence on Dead Man, etc.
Very interesting video, thanks for it. It definitely seems to be using some interesting AI software to modulate between forms, but I like the more scratchy and impressionistic images. And yes, mushrooms too! ...and thanks for the nudge, I have been meaning to rewatch Natural Born Killers, there is a resonance for sure!
Thanks for writing and giving me some juicy links. "Isis" is one of my absolute favorite Dylan songs (those live versions in the Rolling Thunder movie are chilling!). Didn't know those Callahan numbers so really appreciate it...Also David Crosby's wonderfully named "Cowboy Movie"
Great piece Erik. If you haven't read David James Duncan's new novel SUN HOUSE, which took him twenty years to complete, you would love it. He describes it as an "Eastern Western"
Paul Kirchner was taking a minimalist-surrealist panorama approach to the topic decades ago https://thedoperider.blogspot.com/
As influenced by teloche as peyote, to my eyes (although in regard to the first substance, that take is entirely speculative.) In any event, definitely way out there. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dope+rider&t=newext&atb=v336-1&iax=images&ia=images
My blotterized closed-eye visuals once took the form of an interlocking network of three-pistoned wheels, with the pistons taking the form of the external ones that propel train wheels...a vast network of revolving wheels filling my closed-eye field of vision, all hooked together by this triple-piston concept in perfect snychrony. For the life of me, I still can't figure out how it all netted up and worked. But it did work. I saw the structural embodiment of it with my own eyes. And then I had to snap out of it and go to class %-p
Great read. Peak Erik. Love the simultaneously apprehended multi-ply reels of associations picked apart, spatialized & as promised some years back, dropped into a more personal biographical saga. The final paragraph reads like something reminiscent of Hunter Thompson. 🤠 but you did miss out on one great psychedelic western tho, one whose name is a (brilliantly) dumb pun I didn’t catch for decades: Young Guns. Great, subtle peyote scene. https://youtu.be/nEXx0t1n4jk?si=NhzZykXFU7Wnd3Pd
I very much enjoyed this piece, leaving me wandering around my own mental-scapes for ideas to write an acid western short.
My mind also went searching into my foggy lexicon of "trippy cowboy movies" that I might add to the ones you listed. The best I could conjure was Natural Born Killers, which easily qualifies as trippy, but to call it a western would be a stretch to say the least.
Also, in regards to your narrative regarding the symbolism lurking with the Dirtwire video, I couldn't help but think of this video by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
If you, or anybody else reading this comment hasn't seen it, and has a particular attraction for trippy video, I cannot recommend it enough.
Another great piece! To comment on one thread of your piece, I too have explored musical acid westerns on my blog, including posts on the Dylan songs "Isis", "Romance in Durango", and "Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)" as well as the Bill Callahan songs "Drover" and "Cowboy". You can check them out here: