Bureau of Lost Culture

Bureau of Lost Culture

*The Bureau of Lost Culture broadcast curious, half-forgotten, countercultural stories, oral testimonies and rare tales from the underground. *Join host Stephen Coates and a wide range of guests including musicians, artists, writers, activists and commentators in conversation. *Listen live on Saturdays at 9.00am on London’s premier independent station Soho Radio or via all major podcast providers: *The Bureau is now collected at The British Library Sound Archive

Episodes

July 10, 2024 59 mins

*Whatever happened to the Greek Gods? if you are a teenager living half way up a 1970s tower block listening to Drill, should you even care?

*On this epside we travel in time and space to Ancient Greece, the classical psycho-geographic birthplace of Western Culture (and therefore of counterculture), specfically to the mythic landscape of Epidavros and the sacred temple of Asclepius.

*Our guide and guest is Sarah Janes, one of Brita...

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How Queer Culture Shaped Pop Culture

"The 1972 version of David Bowie didn’t spring from nowhere.  Although he refused to affiliate himself explicitly with gay liberation, he had found both artistic and social inspiration in the gay world, in particular the renewed sense of freedom and possibility that rippled through the British gay subculture in the early 1970s."

We finally lured the award-winning, bestselling author, pop-culture...

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June 9, 2024 59 mins
'Health care is a right, not a privilege'   *Whilst many of his fellow physicians became business entrepeneurs rather than healers, Dr. Dave opened the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in 1967, ministering to the thousands of young people and hippies flocking to San Francisco during the Summer of Love.    *Over the years, the patients using the clinic shifted from idealistic hippies with STDs and bad trip experiences to those with seri...
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May 28, 2024 64 mins
*"Punk taught us the future had only just begun” he says *For him that future was to include the bands Killing Joke, The Orb, Brilliant and The KLF; starting various record labels; hit records; producing and remixing a massive range of artists including Paul McCartney, The Verve, Tom Jones, Maria McKee, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, Guns N' Roses, Primal Scream, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Art of Noise, Crowded House, Erasure, U2, INXS, ...
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May 14, 2024 59 mins
*Julie Taylor was the police officer who gave her name to  'OPERATION JULIE', the biggest drug bust in UK history and one which resulted in the conviction of over a hundred individuals involved in the trafficking of LSD, including some of the most prolific chemists of the era.   *Christine Bott was a practising doctor living a classic 1970s rural countercultural life in mid Wales, growing organic vegetable, rearing goats and minis...
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April 28, 2024 63 mins
*A time when musicians were viewed as revolutionaries and revolutionaries might be considered pop culture icons   *Crate digger / rock critc / reissue producer and archivist extraordinaire Pat Thomas came to the Bureau to tell how black power intersected with counterculture and influenced folk, rock, soul and jazz in the years between 1965 and 1975.   *We hear astonishing stories from his book 'Listen, Whitey: The Sights and Sound...
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*Who do the green roads and wide open spaces of Albion belong to?   *This episode is a story is about a collision of two cultures - the counterculture of the twin tribes of urban free party ravers and new age travellers - and the mainstream culture of landowners, the legal authorities, English Heritage and right-wing politicians.   *In the first of a series on '80s and '90s counterculture, Aaron Trinder, director of the documentary...
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March 31, 2024 57 mins

What was it like to live in a commune? What was it like to grow up in a commune?

NANCY THOMPSON came to the Bureau to tell us. She was born in The Shrubb Family Commune - one that was set up in a big old farmhouse in rural Norfolk in 1970 - and, remarkably, one that is still going today.

In the early to mid '60s many Western cities were magnets drawing the young and hip in from the regions, shaking off the austerity of the '50s, jo...

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March 17, 2024 58 mins

Being the further adventures of English musician broadcaster and LGTBQ activist TOM ROBINSON, as he gets deeply involved in the gay counterculture of London in the '70s whilst on his journey to having a huge hit with the song 2-4-6-8 Motorway We hear about the genesis of another hit - (Sing if You're)Glad to Be Gay - a remarkable, unprecedented protest song that climbed into public consciousness in the late 70s (despite the best e...

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TOM ROBINSON is an English songwriter who rose to fame in the 70s as an LGBT and anti-racist campaigner.  He has released over 20 albums and is an award-winning much-loved broadcaster who has made many programs on all six BBC radio channels.   In this, the first of two programs, we trace his story from troubled youth through a suicide attempt and recovery in an alternative community to coming out in the gay counterculture of '70s L...
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YOUTH, producer of a huge range of artists (including Kate Bush, Crowded House, The Orb, KLF, The Verve, Guns ’n’ Roses and Primal Scream) and Jesse Goodman of the Allen Ginsberg Estate come to the Bureau to talk of the beat poet’s impact on music and the British counterculture.   We hear about Youth's 'Iron Horse' project and two albums of interpretations of Ginsberg's Fall of America poems by an astounding range of artists and w...
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February 5, 2024 59 mins
Britain’s own Tin Pan Alley, Denmark Street was once alive with the sound of hammered pianos, and sung melodies and choruses. Its songwriters knocked out tunes on the fly and rushed to the street to sell them to pay for the next round of drinks. In the '60s, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks came here, so did Donovan and Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Elton John, Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. A popular rendezvous was La Gi...
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Warning: this episode contains discussions of sexual and other adult themes.

Julie Peakman is a historian of eighteenth-century culture who specialises in the study sexuality and pornography.

She is the author of 'Sexual Perversions, 1670-1890', 'Whore Biographies 1700-1825', The Development of Pornography in 18thC England' and many other books.

She came to the Bureau to discuss her latest: 'The Pleasure's All Mine - A History of ...

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*In this, the second of a two parter, we hear more of the crazy countercultural life and times of The Incredible String Band  - from the inside looking out  - with Rose Simpson   *Rose was one quarter of the band during what many regard as their creative and countercultural peak in the late 60s and early 70s.   •Her memoir 'Muse, Odalisque, Handmaiden' is an incredible story, relating how she rocketed (as a student without any ...
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They were artists, myth makers, story tellers, tribe leaders, psychedelic troubadours; they pioneered "world music” with albums like The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter; they experimented with theater, drugs, film and lifestyle and inspired The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Pet Shop's Neil Tennant, The Lilac Time and many, many others.   They lived the hippie dream of communes and free love, dressed like mediaeval princes and...
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He was friends with Burroughs and Ginsberg, wrote their biographies along with those of The Beatles, Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa, Charles Bukowski, Jack Kereouc and penned books on The Beat Hotel, Pink Floyd, The Stones - amongst about 70 others.   Barry Miles (known just as Miles) came back to the Bureau to tell us all about it.   We hear how he set up Indica Gallery where Lennon met Yoko, started International Times - the bible o...
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*Niels Bohr discovered the structure of the atom in a dream, Coleridge wrote Kubla Khan after a dream, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was inspired by a dream, Hergé ’s 'Tintin in Tibet' - the first of many Tintin stories - the same. *Keith Richards claimed to have dreamed the riff to 'Satisfaction', Paul McCartney the melody to 'Yesterday’ - the most covered pop song in history. Hell, even Aphex Twin says that 70% of his album 'Selec...
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November 11, 2023 60 mins
•Cult icon, enigma, recluse, crazy diamond, he was the founding member of one of the world’s most  famous and succesful rock groups, but the life of Syd Barrett is full of unanswered questions.   •Was he a drug casualty of the sixties? Did he walk away from the pressures of the commercial music world? Did he suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness, did his muse abandon him? Was it a combination of these - or was it something mor...
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*Psychedelics have made a comeback but they remain deeply mysterious.   *They may be now seen as potential 'breakthrough therapy' for mental illness but we still have only a vague idea how they work, and there is a limit to what studies in labs can reveal. Any one who has used them knows that to really understand them, we must broaden our experience of what they actually are. *Neuropsychologist ANDY MITCHELL decided to investigate...
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*He is perhaps the biggest name in Russian rock music, famous as the leader of the band Aquarium throughout his homeland and 'Outer Russia’ (as the huge and growing number of Russian emigres are called), but he is now listed as a “foreign agent” - basically an anti-patriot, a traitor, for criticising Russia’s war

*Aquarium were pioneers of the clandestine homegrown rock scene that was born in early '70s USSR before emerging from t...
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