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Acid Seven

Ticket from Psychedelic Earth Day event in Tokyo, 2006. Featuring Dr Acid Seven, Marble Sheep, Masato Minami.
The ubiquitous Dr Acid Seven was one of Japan’s counterculture mainmen being there for the beginning of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Futen scene in 1968. He ran his own freak out ensemble The Acid Seven Group, organised street happenings, befriended stranded young futens arriving from rural areas, and was highly respected by the ‘foku gerira' (folk guerrilla) extremists and commune leaders alike. Coming on like a mixture of Timothy Leary, Detroit’s acid guru John Sinclair and the British spy 007, from whom he took the number of his last name, Dr. Seven was one of the earliest Japanese on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury scene, and claims even to have lived in a commune and hung out with The Grateful Dead. As a part of the scene that spawned les Rallizes Denudes, Murahatchibu, etc., Dr Seven was in constant confrontation with the authorities, who eventually caused him to drop the ‘Acid’ element from his name. In 1973, Seven organised the ‘Oz days’ three day festival that included Taj Mahal Travellers, Les Rallizes Denudes and his own Acid Seven Group, and which gained such underground legend through the bootleg vinyl LP that was widely distributed in the West. Seven was the organiser behind such legendary mid-70s festivals as the ‘All Night Rainbow Show’ series, the ‘Rainbow 2000’ shows, and ‘The Festival of Life’, which attempted to continue Japan’s ancient and traditional ‘Yuyake Matsuri’ (celebration of the ancestors) in an updated form. These were presented in 1975 and ’76, and featured Rallizes Denudes, Mentampin, Sheriff, Weeping Herp Seno’o & His Rollercoaster, Masaki Ueda & South To South, Idlewild South, Sentimental City Romans, Makoto Kubota, Yuyake Gakudan (Sunset Band) and Orange County Brothers, as well as The Acid Seven Group. Also in 1975, Acid Seven contributed music to the soundtrack the snappily-titled 1975 hippy documentary ‘Dokko Nigenbushi-Kotobukijiyu Rodosha No Machi’(Heave Ho Human Song & The Town Of Free Labourers). Nowadays, Dr Seven does poetry readings and public performances, and recently contributed sleeve notes to the UNDERGROUND series of historical CDs.

Julian Cope
  • Ticket from Psychedelic Earth Day event in Tokyo, 2006. Featuring Dr Acid Seven, Marble Sheep, Masato Minami.
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