THE CLEARLIGHT TRILOGY
 
The

CLEARLIGHT Trilogy relives the 1960s and 70s counterculture, from its beatnik

genesis to some explosive revelations about a rock and roll tragedy that were

never investigated before.

   

Frozenlight and Burninglight are now

available here on patreon along with free chapters from

brokenlight  

– where the dreams and ideas of the 60s collide with a

decade when love, peace, great dope and any kind of dress-sense were abandoned

in favor of sex, drugs, vodka and flared loons in clownish colors.

   

Determined to keep the spirit of the 60s alive, two anarchic dope smugglers endure danger, misadventure and acute paranoia to bring the finest possible hash and opium from the dope fields to a local dealer near you. Their clients are rock stars, rich kids, millionaires and connoisseurs of “the sacred herb”. Against them are warlords, Russian gangsters, the cops of many nations and 2,000 years of superstition, hypocrisy, prosecution and persecution of dope smokers all over the world who prefer a toke to a nip – or indeed both at once if indicated.

   

Failure of their endeavors can result in serious injury and worse, or several decades in a 3rd world hellhole. They operate in corrupt, lawless and violent parts of the world where even beheading is an option. Yet they wouldn’t dream of cutting their hair, pretending to be tourists, or even crossing a border without carrying something decent to smoke on the other side.

   

How they cope with this tough dangerous

work is largely by a deal of self-medication, a little meditation, and the

ability to out-think the bad guys and never to stay in one place long. Which

tends to mean brief encounters and relationships. But there are

compensations.

   

All the places, people and pleasures of the

world are freely available and the doperunner’s life is never dull and rarely

boring – except when it’s going too well. It is also often so amazing and

magical that you can’t believe it really happened until someone else confirms

it. What’s more every story in these books is quite true, based on notes and

journals of the time and corroborated by the few remaining survivors.

   

In fact if some of the names and dates may

be a little hazy it’s because the actors are still alive. Way too many other

players and witnesses are dead, long before old age, and it is only a series of

miraculous near-misses and life-saving surgery that has kept the two

protagonists alive.

   

Heroes or villains? That’s for the gentle

reader to decide. But if you ever wondered about the magic, mystery, light and

dark sides of cannabis and opium, The CLEARLIGHT Trilogy is a good place to get

the inside story from experts in the field. One critic called it “a cocktail of

The French Connection, Easy Rider and Mr Nice with a dash of Keystone Cops” and

that’s four ways of looking at it.

   

At any rate the CLEARLIGHT Trilogy is a

rare and truthful account of a sociological phenomenon and revolution by a

primary source who can write a bit. 1962-76 was a period of international

confrontation, rampant materialism and, despite a brief spasm of altruism

between 1967 and 69, of spiritual degeneration. Since then consumption,

pollution, corruption and depletion of finite resources has increased

exponentially, alongside a growing human fear of solitude, silence and

self-examination. We have trashed the planet and desensitised, distracted and

degraded the nature of our minds – when they’re not being totally stoned and

anaesthetised by drugs, booze and religion.

   

Against this apocalyptic trend and march of

the zombies a small army of beats, hippies, freaks and doper rebels plough a

lonelier furrow, hoe a psychoactive row designed to augment their perception of

the world and all its other beings, to become a better person and shine a

little more light where it’s so badly needed, as opposed to the darkness and

suffering of which there’s already way too much.

   

It’s all in CLEARLIGHT and it’s out there

now. All feedback, criticism and reviews are warmly welcomed. Feel free to

email any questions or comments. Let’s get an enlightened conversation going

about the damage done by dope laws, which is infinitely greater and affects

millions more innocent people than the natural, organic drugs such as cannabis

and opium themselves. In fact the insane War on Drugs corrupts and destroys whole countries, destabilizes entire continents and has turned a medicinal cottage-industry into a plague of addiction,criminality and violence more widespread and deadly than all massive damage done by alcohol and tobacco combined.

Meanwhile millions more recreational users live their righteous lives

in fear of a bust that could cost them their jobs,future prospects,and even their freedom.

  


Colin Betts dropped out of grammar school and went on the road aged 15,on the day President John F Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963.For the next 3 years he tramped, hitched, begged, busked and beatniked around Britain,on the run from the cops and juvenile courts,when not confined to reform schools and mental institutions for such crimes as truancy and stealing milk from a doorstep.Released in 1967,he moved abroad and traveled the world for a decade,making music,smuggling dope and taking notes on the subject.These writings inform the CLEARLIGHT Trilogy and keep the narrative as accurate and honest as 50-year-old recollections can ever be.

Colin Betts came off the road in 1976,at the end of part 3 of the trilogy,

brokenlight

. Since then he has taught English to postgraduate level,spent 15 years training teachers in Vietnam,Laos, Burma and Tibet,and 20 years alone in a forest cabin writing books and music,studying meditation and Buddhism,surrounded by nature,weather,dogs and the sweet smell of dope.He writes because he can,and because we can we must. It’s also true musos and writers never really retire,they tend to noodle and witter till they drop dead in the middle of a bar or sentence.

Subscribers to Infinite Now and THE CLEARLIGHT TRILOGY are promised monthly

episodes of the tragic-comic brokenlight odyssey, regular essays, articles, music , visuals and readers’ reviews and comments. Both protagonists of brokenlight

are not only still alive,now in their late 60s,but also happy to relate to readers and respond to emails. With Steve holed up in South Carolina USA and Colin up and about all hours on the Scottish Border,someone is usually awake to talk cosmic bollocks about the 1960s’ and 70s’ counterculture.Please feel welcome to join the

conversation any time. 


brokenlight, prologue

……..C’mon Everybody

The mysterious death of Jimi Hendrix

in September 1970 was the final nail in the coffin of the 1960s countercultural

revolution,the day so much more than the music died.Put simply,the 60s without

Jimi are unimaginable.And thenceforth the values and aspirations of love,peace

and becoming a better person he believed insecurity would fall into disuse,in

favour of personal prosperity,material

security and rampant consumption of

finite energy and natural resources.

But for some

beats,freaks,hippies,artists,free radicals and natural born dopers,the spirit

of the 60s continued to inform and inspire their lives,just as a torch or

candle shows the way through a dark tunnel.Against them is a rising tide of

human apathy and fatalism,particularly among a younger generation who have

never had it so bad since the War.That this leads to despair more often than

unrest is another sign of darker times.

Despite 50 years of social progress

in other areas,the meat grinding,corrupting and life-destroying War on Drugs

continues to outlaw those it does not terrorize and kill,in danger of a jail

sentence or worse every time they crumble a green leaf into a pipe or joint.And

because it’s illegal billions of criminal dollars are involved,disputed by

warlords,armed gangs, venal cops, bent politicians and international

cartels.Nations go to war over drug profits;presidents and ministers are

obliged to launder millions. So what chance do a couple of freewheeling stoner

dopers have of tracking down the finest hashish and opium on the planet and

smuggling it thousands of miles without running into all kinds of trouble?

Absolutely none is the answer. From page 1 of brokenlight

to its shattering conclusion there are tragedies,challenges and violent enemies to

negotiate,leading to ups and downs,advances and setbacks,triumphs and disasters

along the way.Until the way gets so steep,high and perilously precipitous that

a single wrong move could end your life.

The decision to serialize brokenlight over at least 12 monthly

episodes is because there is so much to tell about such interesting times that

a one-off book doesn’t suit the medium or material still coming in on a daily

basis. Steve and I exchange around 10 messages a day across the Atlantic,confirming

details,names and dates from his own recollections,revealing further insights

and information all the time.We are still active musicians and film freaks so

you’ll get more bang than books for your buck.Many if not most of the people in

these books are no longer around,and it’s true distant glory days can be hard

to remember.But as first-hand witnesses and primary sources of the accounts in

THE CLEARLIGHT TRILOGY,1962-76,we have planned 12 monthly editions of brokenlight as a bare minimum pilot project,starting round about now.There won’t be any special offers or goals and stuff to speak of,just the fullest and most honest

description available of some shady areas indeed at a

time when the lights of love,peace and

spiritual evolution started blinking out,one by one,all over the world.


colin betts june 2016