Nicholson, Jack – The Making of Easy Rider – An LSD trip by Lawrence’s grave
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
From Jack Nicholson the Biography by John Parker
The trio of actors became close off set, though with Fonda a committed monogamist, Hopper and Nicholson often went off into the night without him; on one occasion they shared a memorable experience with LSD - so memorable, in fact, that both men have chosen, separately, to recall it in detail as best they could.
In Nicholson's case, the description came with the ever-present preface that on the occasions he has tried acid it was used properly to avoid bad trips; he had therefore 'come to terms with things that you perceive would be otherwise impossible - things that help you understand yourself, plus, if used properly it can mean quite a lot of kicks'.
On this particular day, they had been shooting at Taos and at the end of it they dropped some acid and took off with two other friends to visit the nearby tomb of writer D.H. Lawrence.
The descriptions of their hallucinatory images as they lay at the foot of Lawrence's grave are too visual and complicated to do justice to and are no longer relevant, anyway. [sic!]
Later, as dusk began to fall, they got sentimental about each other and began to cry.
Jack said, ''We're geniuses. You know that? Isn't it great to be a genius?'
Dennis agreed that it was.
Somehow, and from somewhere a beautiful young woman appeared - this was no imagined vision - and she took them to some hot springs where they all ended up naked. Dennis eventually went off with her on his own, leaving Nicholson to return alone to their hotel, where he acted out some kind of ritual guarding of their rooms, ready to forewarn of an attack he was expecting at any moment from some non-existent Red Indians.
None came and, still under the drug's influence at dawn, he found himself looking out from the top of a forty-foot tree - he had no memory of climbing it - and looking down on a vast meadow, flecked with patterns of multi-coloured light and rocks which turned into horses, all of which filled him with 'tremendous emotions'.