Michael Hollingshead: The Man who Turned the World onto LSD

Of all the figures associated with the history of LSD there is none more enigmatic than Michael Hollingshead. Appearing from nowhere in 1962 to turn Tim Leary on he became influential on Leary's years at Harvard, Millbrook and beyond. A Zelig-like character, Hollingshead was a key player in London's early LSD scene, and in 1965 was sent to London to form a cultural beachhead for Leary’s LSD philosophy via the World Psychedelic Centre in Chelsea.


Jun 1st 2015 6:25 pm - 8:00 pm

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London

11 Mare Street, E84RP


£5 concessions

includes admission to the museum



1 June 

Michael Hollingshead: The Man who Turned the World onto LSD 

/  Andy Roberts


Season of the Witch: Michael Hollingshead and the Psychedelic Sixties


Following prison, where he dosed KGB spy George Blake, adventures with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, running a psychedelic commune, creating the first electronic I Ching installation, publishing an underground magazine, and spending time in Nepal, he eventually died a mysterious death in Bolivia.

Psychedelic trickster guru, or conman and a charlatan? Exactly who he was and what his motives were remain unclear.  Some believed he was working for the secret services, others that he was just a Leary wannabe, his aspirations destroyed by his deviant personality and addiction to alcohol and opiates.  Andy Roberts is writing Hollingshead's biography and in his audio visual presentation will present new information about one of psychedelia's key figures, without whom the trajectory of LSD in the world would have been radically different.



Andy Roberts is an historian of Britain's psychedelic culture and the author of Albion Dreaming: A popular history of LSD in Britain (Marshall Cavendish 2008. 2012). Andy has also written or co-written numerous books on the UFO mythos (including Out of the Shadows, with Dr David Clarke) and British folklore, (including Twilight of the Celtic Gods, with Dr David Clarke) He is also a feature writer and monthly columnist for Fortean Times. Andy lives in North Wales and in his spare time enjoys beachcombing, hillwalking, reading and music