Artist – Jefferson Airplane
Album – Surrealistic Pillow
Song – White Rabbit
Dr. Gonzo: Music, man. Put that tape on.
Raoul Duke: What tape?
Dr. Gonzo: Jefferson Airplane, “White Rabbit”. I need a rising sound.
Raoul Duke: You’re doomed. I’m leaving here in two hours and then they’re going to come up here and beat the mortal shit out of you with big saps. Right there in that fucking tub.
Dr. Gonzo: [Splashes and screams]
Raoul Duke: Alright, I’ll do it. But do me one last favor, will you. Can you give me two hours? That’s all I ask man, just two hours to sleep before tomorrow. I suspect it’s going to be a very difficult day.
– Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
This scene from the book will appear in the upcoming movie. To put it more into context, I had left my attorney [Dr. Gonzo] back in the hotel room so that I could play some roulette down in the casino. We were both recovering from some mescaline we had taken earlier. It was just beginning to wear off and that fool Dr. Gonzo thought it would be a good idea to drop acid while I was away. This wasn’t any ordinary acid, this was the good stuff, and he’d taken a lot of it, a full sheet. He was a danger to himself and everyone around him, especially me… and I desperately needed some sleep if I hoped to be in any sort of functioning condition the next morning. He had trashed the whole room. I walked in to discover him sitting in the bathtub, fully clothed, screaming and tripping out of his mind. It was clearly not a pleasant experience. He took too much, overindulged, went over the edge.
“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
The poor fool asked me to help him kill himself. He wanted me to throw the tape recorder into the tub as soon as White Rabbit peaked. The shock would have electrocuted him, blasting him straight threw the wall into the other room. Of course I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t kill the man. No, that would leave too many questions, that I would have to answer… and I was in no condition to do that. Would they listen to my ridiculous tale of drugs, traffic violations, trashing hotel rooms and skipping on the tab? And even if they did, how much jail time would that alone get me? There was too much to risk, I couldn’t let that bastard die. Instead, I threw a grapefruit at his head and locked him in the bathroom to wait for the acid to wear off. Finally I could get some sleep. As for my attorney, he had one hell of a trip ahead of him…
– Raoul Duke
The actual song is a personal favorite of mine, and the album is actually my 7th favorite album of the 60’s. “White Rabbit’”s got some comparisons of psychedelic drugs like LSD, and references Lewis Carrol’s, Alice in Wonderland. The song itself, is actually set to a rising crescendo, which along with the drug-oriented lyrics, gives you a feeling of getting “higher.” This was actually one of the first songs able to sneak drug references past radio censors, and as a supporter of personal liberty and the legalization of all drugs, I greatly respect that.
– Hunter S. Thompson