WEIRDLAND: Deleting painful memories, David Lynch's Circle of Dreams, John Morton remembers Jim Morrison

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Deleting painful memories, David Lynch's Circle of Dreams, John Morton remembers Jim Morrison

A new study suggests that it may be possible to develop drugs to delete memories that trigger anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without affecting other important memories of past events. During emotional or traumatic events, multiple memories can become encoded, including memories of any incidental information that is present when the event occurs. In the case of a traumatic experience, the incidental, or neutral, information can trigger anxiety attacks long after the event has occurred, says Samuel Schacher, PhD, a professor of neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at CUMC. Brains create long-term memories, in part, by increasing the strength of connections between neurons and maintaining those connections over time. Previous research suggested that increases in synaptic strength in creating associative and non-associative memories share common properties. This suggests that selectively eliminating non-associative synaptic memories would be impossible, because for any one neuron, a single mechanism would be responsible for maintaining all forms of synaptic memories. In addition, they found that specific synaptic memories may also be erased by blocking the function of distinct variants of other molecules that protect them from breaking down.

"Memory erasure has the potential to alleviate PTSD and anxiety disorders by removing the non-associative memory that causes the maladaptive physiological response," says Jiangyuan Hu, PhD, an associate research scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at CUMC and co-author of the paper. "By isolating the exact molecules that maintain non-associative memory, we may be able to develop drugs that can treat anxiety without affecting the patient's normal memory of past events. Our study is a 'proof of principle' that presents an opportunity for developing strategies and perhaps therapies to address anxiety." Dr. Schacher adds: "For example, because memories are still likely to change immediately after recollection, a therapist may help to 'rewrite' a non-associative memory by administering a drug that inhibits the maintenance of non-associative memory." Source: www.sciencedaily.com


David Lynch "Circle of dreams" litographies exhibition (2013). Soundtrack: Strange Days by The Doors.


“Strictly From  Hunger!: A Rock and Roll Memoir” (2017) follows John Morton and his band Hunger! as they reach for fame in fortune on the Sunset Strip in 1968. Excerpt: "We couldn’t get a gig anywhere on our own so we decided to learn some new material and go from there. After one practice I was sitting on the front porch having a smoke when I saw a familiar face coming up the walkway. “I live just up the street from you guys and heard you playing,” he said, then I recognized him from the Battle of the Bands at the Teenage Fair. It was Jim Morrison: “What you got going here? Beautiful women coming and going, fucking far out live music and having a good time. Looks like paradise to me.” “Yeah, but we can’t get any gigs,” I said. “I’ll see what I can do, but you’re not going anywhere without original music in this town,” he said, “it’s about projecting an image that is universal to everyone.” I thought to myself, Jim Morrison, with such great insight and illumination in real life, was such a totally different person onstage. It was just a ruse to give people the spectacle they wanted to see. 

The guy I met had no ego. Jim was playful and poetic with a dash of sarcasm. People are so drawn to the mystique that was Jim Morrison. As I discovered as I got to know him, he was just a regular human being trapped in a phenomena that wasn’t real to him unless he was high. There was a realness to him that I soaked in like a sponge to water. After Jim left I went back inside and told the other guys that we needed original material. I thought their reaction would again be disbelief, but they just asked, “who’s going to write the songs?” I said I’d try it. I thought we had a chance at stardom. We had all met The Doors backstage at The Teenage Fair, but never really thought they would become superstars. They were just another California band with a new sound. I felt there was greatness in them that was ready to explode on the scene. Talking with Jim gave me the feeling that success was there for the taking. I retreated to the back patio and started writing songs that would eventually become part of the Hunger! sound. 

The Doors were doing gigs late into the morning and I would drop in when Jim came back from a gig. We’d sit on the steps to his place, getting high. I remember him joking about making it home without being followed. Other times we’d sit in his living room, everything was orderly and immaculate. Dark leather couches with ultra modern furniture, very relaxing. The marijuana and wrapping papers were on a glass table in an ornate wooden box. He kept a unique etched lighter and cigarettes in a jeweled container. I remember a pool in back that never seemed to be used but had a nice sunning area with outdoor furniture. For me it was a pleasure and honor just to be there. Getting high with Jim Morrison was like a ritual, he was like a magician quoting Huxley or Yates, waving his hands around like he was doing a coin trick. There was a method to his madness and being around him I could feel it was easy to be pulled to the dark side. He’d bring out his notebook and write passages of revelations when I was most lucid and he seemed so focused and clear. That was a mindblower. It never crossed my mind that the wine was laced with LSD.

We were mesmerized by The Doors. They led an incognito lifestyle outside of gigging almost invisible and they liked that. I never saw a limousine parked in the driveway next door and I believe few people knew where they were staying. We wanted a taste of that lifestyle. We felt somehow that we could get it by being in the right place at the right time. The Doors had worked their way up the ladder and I wanted to know all I could learn from Morrison’s experience and we grew a bond for a short period of time. He was willing to share and that’s how I came to trust in my own talent as a songwriter and musician. He made me understand that it was an uphill road to so called overnight success. He pretty much provided a roadmap to psychedelic rock stardom.

Jim Morrison was an alcoholic and did everything in excess. Drugs, booze, women and emotions. People took advantage of him. Ray Manzarek said that Jim was always thinking of his life as an unfinished film and someday he’d return to it and produce his masterpiece. I think Ray agreed with him because it gave Ray hope. Robby Krieger seemed like the quiet one, consumed in thought, almost shy. Later in the same week after I first met Jim Morrison we got a call from someone at The Magic Mushroom telling us that there was a last minute cancellation and they said they’d heard some good things about us, that Jim Morrison had put in a good word for us so he was giving us a spot sight unseen. That was unheard of, we knew that bookings in there were well in advance and it would be crowded, we jumped at it. The Magic Mushroom gig would turn out to be very instrumental in our quick rise in Hollywood. Source: doorsexaminer.com

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