The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes by Tim Lucas
Hardcover – Electric Dreamhouse – Apr 2022 – 160 pages
It’s the summer of 1966 and director Roger Corman has just scored a huge box office hit with his latest release, The Wild Angels, starring Peter Fonda. For his next project, Roger decides to explore the subject of the still-legal hallucinogen LSD and hires “experienced” pal Jack Nicholson to write the script. When Jack’s work exceeds all expectations, Fonda and Nicholson try to persuade Roger–the straightest guy in a hip Hollywood crowd–that he should take acid himself before making a movie about it. As fate would have it, their peer pressure coincides with Governor Pat Brown’s historic decision to outlaw LSD in California State.
A wild premise, but it’s all true. In this audacious comic novel–whose characters include Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, and Peter Bogdanovich–film historian Tim Lucas draws on public accounts, his own interviews with the principals, and his own critical acumen, to imagine how AIP’s 1967 box office smash The Trip came to be. The result is a free-whelling flashback to Old Hollywood on the threshold of seismic change, and a moral tale about the risks one must sometimes take to advance one’s art to the next level…or one’s restless heart to the right relationship.