Hooked: Drug Addiction - How Big is the Problem? Melville HARDIMENT.
Hooked: Drug Addiction - How Big is the Problem?
Hooked: Drug Addiction - How Big is the Problem?
Hooked: Drug Addiction - How Big is the Problem?

73.

Hooked: Drug Addiction - How Big is the Problem?

Np.: Axle Publications, 1963. First edition. Photo-illustrated wrappers, stapled. Unpaginated (12pp.). Design by Julian Allen (later a renowned illustrator) and Sebastian Carter (of the Rampant Lions Press); photographs by Harriet Crowder (later known for her images of William Burroughs).

An enquiry into the extent and nature of drug addiction in Britain, the fifth in a series of five booklets on pressing questions of the day commissioned by the editors of Axle Quarterly - Alan Blaikley, Ken Howard, and Paul Overy (their magazine published early work by, among others, Ray Gosling, Gillian Freeman, Simon Raven, and Alexis Lykiard, whose contemporary ownership label is affixed to the title page of this booklet; Paul Overy later became a distinguished art historian, while Blaikley and Howard went on to write several top-ten pop hits, including “Have I the Right?” by The Honeycombs, famously featuring Honey Lantree on drums, and became the first British composers to write for Elvis Presley).

Hardiment is best known for his friendship with William Burroughs, whom he met sometime in 1960 while working on a BBC radio programme on drug addiction (it was never broadcast), and it was through Hardiment that Burroughs first took LSD (a drug he never liked). Burroughs, along with Jack Gelber, Allen Ginsberg and Paul Bowles, is mentioned by Hardiment in the booklet’s opening section, and some of the material he recorded for the radio programme is featured in it, together with a 3pp. glossary of slang drug terms.

Hardiment is also known to Burroughs aficionados for the so-called ‘Hardiment Suitcase’, a mythical source of rare items once contained in a holdall Burroughs had supposedly left behind after a trip with Crowder and Hardiment to visit her parents in Worcester in the summer of 1960 (it was during this trip that Crowder took her famous photograph of Burroughs standing in front of a graffiti strewn wall in Brecon, mid-Wales, later used to adorn the sleeve of the LP record, “Call Me Burroughs”).

Short (1.5cm.) scratch to front cover; light creasing; o/w Very Good plus. Scarce.

Sold