Nardwuar the Human Serviette Spends 15 Minutes With Dr.
Nardwuar: So Dr. Leary, the news in Washington is : 'There is no news.'
What is the news now, from Timothy Leary?
Timothy Leary: Ooh, wow, that is a complicated question! Um, we are
approaching the 21st century. It is going to ... Everybody knows that the
old systems are over... communism and... everybody knows it... Everybody
knows that politicians are corrupt and are interested in only one thing...umm...himself.
And there is a global sense of sorrow and grief, because we hate to lose
our ideals. But then, at the turn of the century, a new species will be
born. It is going to be born...It is a global language which will be -
I know it sounds funny when I say this, but it is based on Nintendo, and
the Nintendo kids will suddenly be sending history and religion.
[Sarah from the band Kreviss:] That sounds scary!
Well, you can be scare if you want, but if you want the old way, you
can go back.
Are you the Hugh Heffner of LSD?
Now that is the dumbest question... Who's got the award? You've got
the award. I want to congratulate you. I have been interviewed thousands
of times and I have met the greatest professional crazed interviewers,
and you're right up there. You're the Joe Montana, right?
I'm Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Timothy Leary.
You sure are. I'm not going to argue with that!
Is going through life without a psychedelic experience like going through
life without a sexual experience?
People ask me how many times have I taken LSD. Now, Iíve been experimenting
with the brain for forty years. I say, how many times have I made love?
I don't count like Wilt Chamberlain the basketball player, but thereís
one thing I know: not enough! Not enough!
When was the last time you were busted?
Oh about seven or eight years ago.
Did you meet Charles Manson in prison, Timothy Leary, and did he really
supply you with hallucegenics, i.e. marijuana?
No, I was in the same cell nest to Manson for one night. Legends have developed
about that. He did not give me any drugs. I would never take any drugs
from anyone who does not have the qualities in their eye that I want from
that drug. So I would never take drugs from Manson. This is Tim's Tips
to the Young, okay? Don't take drugs from Manson.
How about Elvis?
What about Elvis?
Did you ever meet Elvis, Gilligan or Frank Sinatra?
I met Frank Sinatra. He is a very suave and courteous mafioso.
Would Brian Wilson be the same today if he didn't do LSD in the 60's?
Well, I'm a kindly guy and I try to say nothing negative about anyone.
I have always considered Brian Wilson to be a pathetic moron. It is not
his fault. The DNA, you know... We have morons out there. I don't think
that he is a child molester or anything evil, but he is just plain... his
elevator doesnít reach the top floor.
Are you related to Winona Ryder or Uma Thurman at all?
Last night, I had the pleasure of being in Winona Ryderís home in Beverly
Hills. We were watching her big screen, her winning the award for Best
Supporting Actress in Days of Innocence. Her brother was with her, and
I was sitting next to David Pirner from Soul Asylum. So I am very close
to Winona. I think she is a brilliant person. Uma Thurman's mother was
my wife. We first met... I was on a honeymoon with Uma Thurman's mother
when I met you in Calcutta [pointing to an old Indian guru acquaintance
of Leary's]. She was a tall blonde woman. She is the mother of a famous
Did JFK ever do acid?
I don't know. They say he did.
But you dropped acid with Marylin Monroe.
Have you ever made money off your work?
I have ended every month in my life in the hole. I have lived basically...
You wouldnít believe the debts I have. I basically live on the largesse
and compassion of my friends. I work my ass off, but I knew that. It is
the job of a philosopher, particularly a Socratic philosopher who teaches
young people, corrupts their minds by telling them to think for themselves.
It is a hard job. Someone has to do it... badly paid... can be dangerous
to your health.
Is there a patent for acid? Is somebody actually making money off it?
I donít know much about details. I donít think theyíre making much
money. Iím not into chemistry and finance.
does it make you feel that more young people are doing acid today than ever
Well, I donít think around at night tossing and turning on my pillow.
There are a million other things happening, and again, what does that mean:
acid? Because the governmentís policy of restriction, they do not regulate
or help you know what acid is. Nobody knows what acid is. My advice is:
Do not go out and get acid from someone who goes up to you in a trench
coat in a bar and says, Hey, here is some acid. Like anything else that
is precious in life, you should know what you are doing, and if you're
going to share this experience, do it with someone who shares your spiritual
ambitions and when you look in their eye, they have the same holiness that
youíre looking for.
Do you still have a mind-blowing experience once a week?
I'm having one right now! I tell you! To be locked up in a cell with
Are you on any drugs right now Timothy Leary?
Is Prozac the legal LSD of the '90s?
Where do you get these questions? Do you have committees of monkeys?I'm
not an expert on legal drugs.. basically I'm not a fan of legal drugs.
Think about it,. If a government legalizes a drug, there's got to be something
wrong with it. Think about it: alcohol, things like that... Listen let's
take a break here for a minute, and I'll ask you some questions.
How long can you stay quiet?
Yaaaaa........didn't you design some rides for Disneyland?
No, it would never happen.
Didn't the Johnny Appleseeds of LSD live in Vancouver? What are your
memories of Vancouver in the 1960's?
Listen, I'm so senile, I don't remember what was going on last night
at this time, so let's get easy.....What is your name?
What does it mean in English?
It's like Sting in English.
Is G. Gordon Liddy the Anti-Timothy Leary?
No.....He has a million characteristic personalities.... I have a milllion
characteristic personalities. Maybe fifty thousand of them are different.
What is this bullshit about "anti"? Anti-Christ, anti-G-d, anti-devil?
There is no such thing as anti-Timothy Leary. You're betraying a feudal,
if not worse, theology here: the anti-Timothy Leary. I will get him and
I will put him on a fucking cross and put a sword through his side and
I will make him a crown of thorns, baby. Yeah, He's anti! Are you born
I think they splattered some water on me but I actually pray to a lucky
chestnut. I have one to give you. But reading from a quote from Newsweek
Magazine dated 1968, Dr. Timothy Leary, " The work of the psychedelic-"
1968? Well for Christ's sakes, I did... The person who is here now:
I have almost no relationship to that person.
This is tying into all of that. " The work of the psychedelic scholar-politician
is over. With love and confidence, we turn our work and our planet over
to the young and their prophets." Along with Psychic TV, who would
this circle of 90's prophets comprise of ?
Who is Psychic TV?
Genesis P. Orridge. Didn't you do some work with him?
I know , but why did you drag him in?
Is he not a 70's prophet of Timothy Leary?
Now we're getting into prophets! I've got an anti-Christ in Liddy and
a prophet in Genesis! Genesis is a very talented nothern English guy who
had a great moment in England when he started Throbbing Gristle. He used
his children a lot in naked stuff. Did you know that? So he's ... No, he's
not the Timothy Leary of the 90's. He's a nice guy, but um...
Ummm. The concept of "is", the anti-Christ, the anti-this
, the anti-that is all very primitive thinking.
Do the guys with LSD get the most chicks?
The vulgar sordidness of that question is Olympic. "Getting chicks".
I mean, what does that mean: "getting chicks"? That is a very
vulgar 50's term. Man you are out of it! Out of it!
Thank you very much, Timothy Leary! Do, doodle, do-do...
Interview done in person, Vancouver, B.C., January 15, 1994.