The Crows nest!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hawkwind, acid and AD&D.

I remember this time in my life so vividly for me it was a turning point in music, social life and games, I was a 16 year old I was back staying at mums, and back with my old friends, whom I was slowly but surely drifting away from, finding less and less in common with.
I was already going in to pubs for a pint yeah 16 and already in pubs but then you see I was smoking when I was 6 years old, its just the way of life in Paisley which was at times living in Harlem, the Bronx or where Ferguslie is concerned little Belfast. Myself and mum moved to Glenburn when I was 9 years old, to a little drive called Alisa Drive Glenburn none of the buildings still exist, all were pulled down to make way for smaller houses in an attempt to revitalize the area, don’t know if it worked?
I was only ever served in 3 pubs in Paisley I did have a baby face, and I long since been able to make up a date of birth making myself 18 years old but one pub in particular the Tannahil was the pub I always gravitated towards, simply because the bar men were kinda cool, and as long as you know your limit they serve me a few pints.
I remember the night sitting at the bar it was a Thursday night, there was not many punters just the usual crowd of near do wells I was always ok for a tap, being very careful with money and I was still doing my papers around the west end pubs, which I been doing for years and was a well known sight among the regular faithful of that rather dangerous area of Paisley.
In walks a guy long black hair, a long trench coat pulled tight around his slender frame, scan’s the pub and walks over to the bar, he and the bar man start to chat, seems like they are friends and pulls up as seat near to me, gives me a courteous nod, and continues to talk to the barman Bruce. They know each other, in actual fact they are flat mates, Ian (I don’t remember his name so I will call him Ian) they were talking about Acid and where to get it, Bruce says the only other place you could get it is the Friars hall Hotel in Glenburn, I know the place well enough to know that its full of Bikers and head bangers on a weekend, and that you stay well clear of it.
Bruce turns to me and brings me into the Conversation and asks Alan do you know the Friars hall? Yeah I used to sell papers in there? Ian used too? Yeah its full of head bangers I never sold a paper there… Umm Al could you show Ian where it is? What for, ooh he wants to get umm I butted in Acid shooooooo yeah whispers Ian. Sure come on then I drink up the last of my 80 shillings beer, a short but informative walk up the back hill towards the friars hall, we talk I am finding I have something’s in common with Ian, a love of charity shops, and esoteric beliefs. He asks me if I have ever tried Acid I said no, he asked did I want to try; I pondered a moment and said yeah I give it a go, and have I ever played AD&D? Umm what’s that, just about the greatest game ever invented?
Oh I’ll give it a go, he nods I bet you will totally love it. He was right about that, I did love it and I have played it ever since, on board, hand held and of course the computer all the games that had a AD&D connection. We arrive at the Friars hall, I warn him that its rough and some of the guys in there are complete nutters, did not realize that we would deal with one for the Acid but there ya go, such as life.
I takes about 20 for the drugs to arrive, some little guy walks in and makes a bee line for the pool room that most of the head cases are in playing pool, out walks the crackpot dealer, hands Ian the small tabs 6 in all and Ian gives him a wad of small notes he counts and disappears back into the pool room, we sit looking at each other what next I ask, he thrusts a tab into my hand now we eat, and wash it down with a bottle of Nukey brown. He tells me that it will take a while to kick in but once it does you’ll know your tripping. Tripping? You’ll see smiles Ian.
We spend the remainder talking mundane things as we finish of our bottled beer, a crash and smash of a bottle echoes from the pool room a fight has started in the back room, we see it as our cue to leave, and quickly down what was left of the bottles and head out into the wet night back to the Tannahil tavern. We sit in the pub talking to Bruce for a few minutes; I can start to feel my mind drift, watching the bubbles rise in a pint of shining Lager in a uniformed fashion. Bruce starts to laugh get him back and I’ll finish in an hour then we play AD&D for the night, we walk the short rout to the flat they both share with another a girl who I did not see but it was Bruce’s girlfriend.
Walking up the winding landings of the 4-aside tenement building they stayed on the top floor, it’s an old Victorian style building high ceilings with coving around the sitting room which is sparsely furnished but then it’s a big room on the floor near the fireplace a large board with little walls, figures and dice lay scattered, Ian spends ages setting it up, he asks do you mind if I play some music? Sure go a head, I was expecting Adam and the Ants or something like Duran Duran, but he puts on a strange Album and a style of music I have never head before. The music in fact was Hawkwind’s Road hawks, and as the Acid took full effect, instantly I was transported to another world of sight and sound.
Dave Brock almost magical voice transports you by the hand into what felt like a trip in space, the guitar rifts, harmonised by his voice, for a while I just laid back and was guided by the music my creative imagination, and the effect of the Acid amplified the effect.
Each tune created a different feeling, we started to play the game, in all fantasy games I have always been a Ranger, those are dangerous guys, quick with bows and can sink into shadow at the drop of a hat, or at times I will be a rouge and ranger mix still deadly with a bow but at close quarters just as deadly with a dagger, lock picking, never good nor bad just balanced. This was the only time I ever took Acid I would never again take it nor will I ever meet Ian who had been doing Acid for nearly 2 years before I met him, the bar staff at the Pub would change and Bruce was sacked for dipping the till, and I would move to a new pub just down the road and again never set foot in the Tannahil.

1 comment:

  1. Ace story! Reminds me of my youth in Liverpool. Me and my brother got introduced to D&D around 1980 by our cool teenaged babysitter (who's older brother shagged Courtney Love when she was knocking around Liverpool, but that is a different story). D&D back then was for weirded-out stoners. Maybe it still is - dunno I havent played in decades.