Frank Marino

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Frank Marino is the guitarist and leader of Canadian hard rock band Mahogany Rush. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix, he is acknowledged as one of the best and most underrated guitarists of the 1970s.

  • "I can only speak as a witness to my own experiences with that drug, and come to a conclusion based on a feeling, and on firsthand knowledge of my own self. I don't think that LSD, or any psychedelic drug, actually creates the trip that one finds oneself on after taking it. I believe that it starts a process within the body that chemically alters, temporarily, certain brain structures, and these altered processes do the rest of the "work", even if the drug were to be, somehow, magically removed from your system entirely. The trip that one finds oneself on is of one's own making, very much like dreaming, although you are physically awake.
  • But one of the most striking facets of this situation is that, while you may become highly unaware of certain things going on around you, you become excessively aware of things going on inside of you, and you begin to interpret regular functions as a whole different thing altogether. So, it would not be uncommon for one to, say, "hear" the rushing of one's own blood, but to interpret it as thunder in the distance, and to add that thunder to a cacaphony of other noises and visual mis-interpretations, and create a "trip". Much like one mis-interprets physical sensations while sleeping which result in dreams of a totally unrelated nature... an alarm clock ringing that one hears for but a split second, which results in a seemingly very long dream, having at it's end the sound of a bell, or perhaps the sound of an onrushing train blowing it's horn wildly.
  • So, all of that said, I can only surmise that my heightened state of awareness of myself, along with an immense terror and panic, produced the ability to actually focus on any little thing that might serve as an escape from the "danger", and to clutch onto it like a drowning man clutches a piece of debris. In my case, it happened to be a guitar. I played it in the hospital incessantly, and afterwards every single moment that I was awake I played it and played it. Couple that need with a chemically heightened sense of imagination and you get the situation whereby I, mis-interpreting certain realities (if there really is such a thing, but I digress), thought that the music I was "hearing in my head", due to memory, was music I was writing myself. So, if I thought of a song by the Grateful Dead, I thought I was writing that song. So I "worked on my song", so to speak.
  • Basically, I was one inch from permanent insanity... a scary prospect indeed. I also firmly believe, in retrospect, that had it not been for God I would have remained so. I might have still been a guitarist after all of this, but I would have been a very crazy one. I do pick up new skills rather quickly. Whether this is my birth-nature or simply an extension of my "nature due to the experience", is anybody's guess. As pre-LSD Frank I was inclined to be quick about learning things but not to such an extent, in my opinion, although my parents do tell me that I was so."