Junk Art and Literature

Well, here is a section you might enjoy! We are going to be collecting classic drug literature written by authors and poets, from our drug culture’s history books. If anybody would like to suggest a live reading, a podcast, or story read by way of video, please comment and/or link and we will chase it up for adding to this page. OK, snuggle up, earplugs in and your favourite tipple at the ready, and press play as literature’s best lulls you to sleep. A rocky cloud nine made of both glass and cotton wool, you’ll get a ride in the front seat all the way down to the underground. 1st stop: junksick, what again? 2nd stop: a nod forever chasing, over too soon. Final stop: C’mon, wake up!

William Burroughs reads his first published book, Junky

Listen to the Granddad of Junk Lit, William Burroughs, as he personallly reads the entire novel, to you. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear arguably, Burrough’s best work, being read in perfect Burroughs drawl, a voice that easily transport you to  the dark streets, alleyways and unheated apartment buildings of New York City. Listen to ‘that voice’ tell you tales of doctor shopping pre 1950’s USA, using syringes made out of eye droppers, clearing out the pharmaceuticals of the unlocked medicine cabinet or the locked and closed chemist. Catch up with the granddaddy of junk in person -almost.



Jack Kerouac On the Road – Complete audiobook



When the book was originally released, The New York Times hailed it as “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.”[1] In 1998, the Modern Library ranked On the Road 55th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. That’s quite something, is it not? Pick your spot, sit back and get ready -for you are finally going on the road with Jack…





Most heroin or speed users in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, etc,  will have had a special relationship with The Velvet Underground and Nico, music which managed to resonate with the essence of downtown cool and the drugs that went with it, speed (when speed was speed) and of course, heroin. Their music was pared to the bone, and then re-stitched with a sort of 1970’s New York City punk demeanor. With Nico at the helm, it carried a melodic nonchalance but at the same time kept the bruised and fragile tale of the underground, which was its core. It was spun from an alchemy created in Warhol’s Factory and it surrounded the entire band making them dangerous to touch and explosive on stage. Nico was positioned as lead singer, an ingenious move by Warhol to try and mainline Reed/Cales’s painfully touching lyrics into the arms of a stunned and stoned audience. Nico went on to bring an androgynous, sophisticated sound to the Velvets’ as well as creating and recording many tracks of her own. This is the documentary filmed after her death, but has the moving revelation of hearing  Nico’s only son, Ari Boulogne, speak about his mother  (Alain Delon is the father) and while it tends to leave the viewer as much in the dark about what stirred Nico as before, we barely notice this, falling once again to an hour of her deep melodic and haunting vocals. Nico struggled with heroin most of her life, but seemed to give it up just before her death from a brain hemorrhage in Ibiza, 1988. Jewels from John Cale (last song in the film) will inspire you to go digging out a few of his solo tracks as well.


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