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Author Topic: About Loren Schwartz  (Read 2426 times)
PickupExcitations
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« on: April 29, 2021, 08:52:08 AM »

Sorry I might put it in the wrong place but here's my question:

Loren Schwartz was one of Brian's good friend in 1960s but I cannot find much information about him. So what did Loren do at that time and how did he get to know Brian? And finally, how did he get LSD and give it to Brian?
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juggler
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 09:49:29 AM »

Per Peter Carlin's book, Tony Asher introduced Loren to Brian in January 1963.  Yes, three years before Pet Sounds, Brian and Tony were apparently acquainted around Western Studios where Asher's advertising jingles were recorded.  According to Loren, Tony Asher was his best friend at Santa Monica High School.   They later attended Santa Monica City College (and UCLA?) together.

Per Steven Gaines' book, Loren was an "aspiring music business agent."  That's not exactly a job but whatever.  Gaines asserts that Loren lived in a small apartment, had a pretty wife named Linda and hosted parties with a reputation for intellectual attendees, literature discussion and a fair amount of drug use.

As for the provenance of his LSD, who knows?  It wasn't actually banned in the U.S. until 1968.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 12:06:30 PM »

If you go to the "ask the honored guests" forum and go to the bottom, you can find questions and answers posed to and answered by him here.  
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JakeH
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 12:24:17 PM »


As for the provenance of his LSD, who knows?  It wasn't actually banned in the U.S. until 1968.


The LSD was made by Owsley "Bear" Stanley - Brian said this in his first book without having any particular reason to specify, and Schwartz many years later (on this board, perhaps) said it was "Owsley-grade" or "pure Owsley" or something like that.  This would line up with what is known about Owsley's whereabouts as of April or March 1965. Owsley had been operating in the S.F. Bay Area (Berkeley) but as of around Feb. 1965 had yet to make his first batch of LSD.  He was, as they say, "busted" in Berkeley in Feb. 1965 - not for LSD production (which he had yet to make) but for the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. However, the charges were quickly dropped because he was caught only with the chemical ingredients for meth and had yet to actually synthesize/convert them into anything illegal. LSD, meanwhile, was still legal in these days.  Presumably to get away from the heat, Owsley then moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles and as of, approx. March 1965 had set up his "lab" in a house in a relatively out-of-the way location near Cal State Los Angeles. The first batch of the famous "Owsley" LSD - remembered by the old acidheads of the Sixties (guys like Schwartz) as the purest, most potent LSD, even more pure than the pharmaceutical LSD that was still floating around out there - hit the street probably March or April 1965. This correlates exactly with the time at which Schwartz gave Brian that first dose, after which Brian emerged with the rough idea for "California Girls." We might assume that Schwartz was an LSD insider and that news of Owsley's LSD was passed on through word-of-mouth among the LSD cult in Los Angeles at that time. (Los Angeles had long been a center of LSD-experimentation for the medical, psychotherapeutic and arts communities)

For what it's worth, Brian took his first dose in the days before the LSD-fueled "freak out" and chaotic "Acid Test" scene existed.  That didn't happen until later in 1965 (toward the end of the year) which was also when Owsley first met the Grateful Dead and then became associated with that group as their sound-man and in-house acid-procurer.  For many people today, all this may seem very strange, and it probably was.  In terms of music, Owsley is most associated with the Grateful Dead of course, but for better or worse he had an significant impact on Sixties music and culture beyond the Grateful Dead. Notably, his acid changed the trajectory of Brian Wilson's music (and life) and probably also, Pete Townshend's. (Townshend took a very strong dose of Owsley LSD at the Monterey Pop Festival)  The unique Brian Wilson music of 1966-67 - in terms of sound and theme - probably would not exist without LSD, like it or not.  Tommy by the Who probably wouldn't have existed without the LSD.

Brian, however, took LSD more than one time.  The source of the LSD for his other doses is not as well-established as it is for that first dose. In fact, Loren Schwartz is only associated with Brian's first LSD trip in March or April 1965.  Who knows who, or what, was involved with Brian's other trips. All this stuff would be relevant to an understanding of what really happened with Brian in the mid-1960s, but that info is probably lost to history. 

Just say no, everybody
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 04:13:13 PM »

Just for the record, on May 30, 1966, Governor Pat Brown signed legislation making the manufacture, sale, and possession of LSD illegal in the state of California, effective October 6th, 1966.

Sometime in the mid-sixties, probably around 1966, I read a magazine article in which Brian Wilson said he had taken LSD "under a doctor's supervision." I recall being rather shocked, as it didn't fit my perception of The Beach Boys image at the time, although Brian had added the rather dubious caveat that it had been under a doctor's supervision.

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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2021, 09:31:08 PM »

Just for the record, on May 30, 1966, Governor Pat Brown signed legislation making the manufacture, sale, and possession of LSD illegal in the state of California, effective October 6th, 1966.

Sometime in the mid-sixties, probably around 1966, I read a magazine article in which Brian Wilson said he had taken LSD "under a doctor's supervision." I recall being rather shocked, as it didn't fit my perception of The Beach Boys image at the time, although Brian had added the rather dubious caveat that it had been under a doctor's supervision.



Uh, yeah. In all likelihood, the only way that was true was if Dr Demento was also present at Loren's apartment.  LOL
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2021, 02:01:31 PM »

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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 06:21:57 AM »

Dr. Robert?
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 10:31:08 AM »

Back then there was the famous/infamous (depending on one's perspective) "High Priest of LSD" psychologist Dr. Timothy Leary.

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Bill Tobelman
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2021, 05:41:05 PM »

JakeH said:

"Brian, however, took LSD more than one time.  The source of the LSD for his other doses is not as well-established as it is for that first dose. In fact, Loren Schwartz is only associated with Brian's first LSD trip in March or April 1965.  Who knows who, or what, was involved with Brian's other trips. All this stuff would be relevant to an understanding of what really happened with Brian in the mid-1960s, but that info is probably lost to history."

There are three trips mentioned in Brian's bogus bio from the 1991. I tend to give some credence to these accounts as I doubt they were a total Todd Gold invention, they may have been culled from some court testimony, at the time Brian was working on the bio he seemed very forthcoming (see the bonus track on his solo CD for some honesty), and, if you can believe it, they work SMiLE-wise.
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2021, 06:21:59 PM »

I did ask Loren if he knew of Arthur Koestler's book The Act Of Creation and if he'd had anything to do with Brian's exposure to the book. Loren was unaware of any such connection.

Is there anyone who hung out with Brian Wilson during the SMiLE era who was aware of the influence of The Act of Creation? Not a single mention until Bri mentioned it in the Don Was flick. What a secret.

I suggest checking out Frank Holmes' essay in the Smile Sessions Box Set for proof of Koestler's influence. His essay both exposes & hides. IMHO it's the best thing ever written about SMiLE & working methods behind the project.


« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 06:40:44 PM by Bill Tobelman » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2021, 05:37:41 AM »

Now known as Loren Daro.
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2021, 08:28:23 AM »

JakeH said:

"Brian, however, took LSD more than one time.  The source of the LSD for his other doses is not as well-established as it is for that first dose. In fact, Loren Schwartz is only associated with Brian's first LSD trip in March or April 1965.  Who knows who, or what, was involved with Brian's other trips. All this stuff would be relevant to an understanding of what really happened with Brian in the mid-1960s, but that info is probably lost to history."

There are three trips mentioned in Brian's bogus bio from the 1991. I tend to give some credence to these accounts as I doubt they were a total Todd Gold invention, they may have been culled from some court testimony, at the time Brian was working on the bio he seemed very forthcoming (see the bonus track on his solo CD for some honesty), and, if you can believe it, they work SMiLE-wise.


I always thought the "3 trips" info was not accurate, and there were more than that. The descriptions of the three, absolutely I believe those came from Brian and are accurate, and that's too personal of a thing to invent especially with such vivid descriptions.

And fans for years have been able to both hear and read more proof...on Beach Boys audio and in articles that have now been available for decades.

On the Party! sessions, Mike makes a comment about Brian taking LSD and Brian says something to shrug it off. So prior to the Party! sessions, it would seem the other band members knew enough for Mike to make a joke about it, and this would have been one of the early ones.

On the "Our Prayer" sessions, the comment can be heard along the lines of "are you feeling the acid yet?". So that suggests others in the band tried it too, and this was prior to a studio session. Unless it was directed at someone in the booth, which wouldn't make sense. And from the same time period, there's the description of Brian riding around the studio in the back of his car with Al asking Al to take LSD with him. If that happened as described, there's another episode to note. And Micky Dolenz described hanging out with Brian, Harry, Lennon, and others who all took a trip that afternoon in the early 70's.

So were there more than three times? I'd say yes.
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2021, 01:43:22 PM »


On the "Our Prayer" sessions, the comment can be heard along the lines of "are you feeling the acid yet?". So that suggests others in the band tried it too, and this was prior to a studio session.

I used to take that line at face value as well, but over the years, I realized that it's just Brian asking the equivalent of "are you feeling the vibes?"
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2021, 10:14:09 PM »

I used to take that line at face value as well, but over the years, I realized that it's just Brian asking the equivalent of "are you feeling the vibes?"

That's an interesting hypothesis.    I have no particular expertise on the drug, but it does seem odd that Brian, a task master and perfectionist in the studio in 1966, would time a group acid-drop so that it would start kicking in as the group got down to business in the studio.  I mean, yes, it was a weird time, but still.... the idea that Brian was speaking metaphorically does have a sort of plausibility. 
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2021, 08:05:59 AM »

I used to take that line at face value as well, but over the years, I realized that it's just Brian asking the equivalent of "are you feeling the vibes?"

That's an interesting hypothesis.    I have no particular expertise on the drug, but it does seem odd that Brian, a task master and perfectionist in the studio in 1966, would time a group acid-drop so that it would start kicking in as the group got down to business in the studio.  I mean, yes, it was a weird time, but still.... the idea that Brian was speaking metaphorically does have a sort of plausibility. 

I'm curious how you formed this opinion, because in the roughly 30 years I've been hearing that piece of audio, I've never taken it as anything other than face value. And I also cannot find another example in all the psychedelic lingo of the 60's (some of which moved into the mainstream of slang) where a phrase like "are you feeling the acid" was taken to mean anything other than what it says at face value.
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« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 06:57:30 PM »

Now known as Loren Daro.

I’m don’t know a lot about this time in Brian’s life, so this is one stupid thing I’ve been curious about: do we know about why or when this name change happened?
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juggler
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« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 07:26:29 PM »

Darro actually was the man's middle name.   
https://www.californiabirthindex.org/birth/loren_darro_schwartz_born_1937_1965695

I believe that he said somewhere that he dropped Schwartz in the '70s (?) based on numerology or something.
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« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 07:58:51 PM »

Also, weren't most of the band on LSD during the Lei'd In Hawaii concert, which accounts for the sloppiness of some of the performances?
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