Experimental Muses


I talked to Christine Wandel in the Village last night and told her I had been communicating with Bob Hamilton. She was pleased to hear this. I asked what Bob’s relationship with the Loading Zone was.

“Bob would come over and give us the latest batch of LSD he helped make.” Chris said.

“Here, try this. This is Windowpane, this is Orange Sunshine. Whatever! We were guinea pigs. He experimented on us. You remind me. Bob took me to Europe. Being Gay, he wanted to get to know what women were about. We stayed in the same hotel room as we we traveled about France and Italy.”

“Did you have sex?” I wondered.

“Of course not. He was Gay!”

Bob made LSD with his childhood friend, Tim Scully – and Stanley Augustus Owsley – who my childhood friend, Nancy Hamren, dated in 1965. I saw Owsley a dozen times. I was Carroll’s lover. She Nancy’s roommate on Pine Street. We partied with two members of the Jefferson Airplane who were doing the two Swedish stewardesses next door, when they were in town. We traded LSD like candy. It was 1965 and still legal. I now had a revelation.

“Chris. We are there. There is no one above us. We had the Right Stuff. We took all the first risks. We walked in space – without a spacesuit. The psychedelic spacesuit was designed around us., made just for us. We were, and still are, a Scientific Experiment. We were barely out of teens when we took giant leaps for mankind.”

I then explained to Chris why the LSD manufacturers were interested in adopting the Loading Zone as – their band. They had been at the first Trips Festival and the BEAF event on College avenue that was the first launch – our Psychedelic Sputnik.

“How we turned out, and the fact you, Peter, Bob, and I are still communicating, tells me it is not over. The Grateful Dead and the Loading Zone were fueled by the Muses of LSD. We are truly historic!”

In May Bob told me about the gallery he and John wanted to open. His Berkeley home is full of Gay Art. Bob was at the vanguard of the Gay Movement in the Bay Area. I metioned a law suit to recover my families creative legacy taken over by outsiders who were handed out amazing history by powerful attorneys.

Because I have not heard from Marilyn Reed in two weeks ever sense Kathy Vrzak sent me her rude and threatening Cease and Desist message, I have to conclude she is behind this aggressive approach, is not longer my friend, and is wanting to go around my Copyrights, and put our history, and our people, in her pile. This is a power play! To employ the threat of legal action, while I am asking my old friend if her knows a good attorney, is historic. Marilyn was fully aware of the costty legal troubles my family has suffered since the death of my late sister, the world famous artist known as Rosamond.

Christine Rosamond Benton dated Bryan Maclean of the group ‘Love’ which was the first racicaly mixed Rock band in history. The Loading Zone would follow suit when they brought aboard Linda Tillery. The Tower of Power grew out of the Zone, another racially mixed group. You can consider these bands, experimental. We did more than experiment with LSD. We expeirmented with new social and sexual ways of being.

Chris and I also talked about Mike Ritter who was the Sound Man for the Zone. He and Bob experimented with new sound systems. Don Buchla performed at the Open Theatre with the Loading Zone. Here is the blueprint.  Here is the testimonial of Alessandra Hart who co-founded BEAF:

“A small group of our friends decided to create the Berkeley Experimental Arts Foundation and we rented a space on College Avenue in Berkeley which we made into a theater, calling it Open Theater & Gallery. Pop Art was just coming in, Andy Warhol was experimenting with it on the East Coast. We opened with a pop art exhibit and a theater piece my husband, Roland Jacopetti, wrote.”


Christine Wandel was Peter Shapiro’s Lover in 1964 when he was with ‘The Marbles’. In the same year she met Keith Purvis, who was Christine Rosamond’s Lover, and Nancy Hamren’s lover in 1965. Kieth lived with me in the Village in 1963 when we were seventeen. I married Thomas Pynchon’s ex-wife. Tom is a famous experimental author. Marilyn Reed and I were lovers in 1963. She saw the paintings I did, and read the poems I wrote. She is trying to write me out of the picture. Thanks to Christine, she has failed.  The Grand Experiment goes forward – to our graves! OUR GROUP – is infamous!

On this day, August 21, 2016, I declare Christine Wandel our National Treasure. She was, and still is ‘The Vanguard’. She is a Spacewalker from the Planet Earth. How we leave this planet, for good, is part of the long study and research. Christine is to be protected at all costs! She should be treated with – complete respect!

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press Co.

Copyright 2016

May 20 at 10:36 AM

I cannot help you with an attorney as I do not know one. If I did, I would, of course.

BTW, “good attorney” seems an oxymoron?  I like their creed, innocent until proven broke.

Robert Hamilton
University of CA, Berkeley

Marvell NanoLab Equipment Manager

On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 10:14 AM, John Ambrose <braskewitz@yahoo.com> wrote:

Bob, when you told me you wanted to open a gallery, I thought about helping make it one of the most integral galleries in the world – after my attorney wins our case against Art Forgery in my family. The revelations about the Panama Papers, threatens to destroy the integrity of Art. The Gay Community was used in a deceptive manner. I am not asking for for anything, but do you know a good attorney? If I win my case I will be in need of a place to reestablish the Rosamond Legacy, where it will do the most good. My health is still in peril. The two Heirs and my daughter, are not integral people. They are not happy with Pierrot, the alleged “caretaker”.

May 19 at 12:53 PM

On acid: I had wandered away on my own from the group. I went to Muir Woods with Mike Ritter and Jeff ??. We split up. As the acid took effect time began to regress. Eventually, I could not understand why I wore clothes they seems quite foreign. I decided unpleasantness was caused by wandering away from Eden. These began to disappear as I regressed in age; unpleasant things were an illusion caused by me drifting away and loosing my compass from Eden and I was attempting to find my way back.

Back is a good operative word for soon there after I found myself in the back of a squad car. I spent the night in jail. I hired Carl Chessman’s attorney, George T. Davis. For $500 he got me off by taking the judge to lunch. I am guessing he split it with him. Lobster tails were cheaper than.

Robert Hamilton
University of CA, Berkeley

Marvell NanoLab Equipment Manager



While Bryan Maclean and Love were living in a castle in LA, I and the Loading Zone were living in a ten bedroom Victorian in West Oakland. The photo above was taken at the front door of that huge old house. Peter Shapiro and I were roommates in a Victorian in Alameda California later on, that was around the same size as the Oakland house. We had the ground floor. That is I on the front stoop.



The last time I saw Robert Hamilton, he took me out back and showed me his new greenhouse wherein he raised orchids. Bob loved a challenge. There was no doing things the easy way. My friend was brought up to be an heir of Berkeley’s scientific community. He is at home in any lab. When I visited him at the glass blowing lab at Corey Hall, it was like being in his living room. There was a lens grinding machine. I never called in advance. I would just show up, and I had Bob’s full attention. This beautiful man was my patron. Ten hours after we met, he has taken me to the Berkeley Arts Supply Store, and told his friend to supply me with all the tools of my craft – I would possibly need. He was my equipment manager. He had asked me what I wanted.

“I want to be an artist again!”

In an hour, I am going to give Bob a call. I am going to inform him he is partially responsible for creating an artistic dynasty. He is the Genesis of my creative story that perhaps has Bob in the role of God, another name with three letters in it. Bob is one of my friends who make-up the protagonists, Berkeley Bill Bolagard, in my science fiction novel ‘The Gideon Computer’. It was my trips to Corey Hall that inspired me to depict Bill as a bright student who majored in Mechanical Engineering, but, growing bored, he majored in Art. His training would lead to his great escape from the Gideon Institute, a massive private prison system just outside Salinas.

Robert is an Artful Dodger. His big brain allowed him to see the big picture that he soon mastered. His greenhouse, and love of orchids, is a ruse. It is the entrance to his escape tunnel. Here is found the lost perfection of paradise and the forbidden flower that opens the third eye to the soul of creation.


“Is there anyone who is more conversed in Odontoglossums (regardless of what some might call them) ” could be a line out of the next Men in Black movie, where the twin brother of Gentle Rosenburg disguises his work with alien genetics out in  his bug-free greenhouse. To be befriended by the Science Guy, was a real blessing. Bob changed my world-view and pallet forever. I hung on his every word. Vincent had Theo. I had Bob, who introduced me to Maybeck, who looked over my shoulder as I painted his door, green.

Who are they really “The Mafia-style gowning service.”?


Robert is also the Russian scientist and astronaut, Ivan, in my second science fiction novel, Elfin. All my novels are unfinished. They are experiments with reality. I am compiling a mountain of evidence in my blog Royal Rosamond Press Co. which is vital in sustaining the ‘The Last Bohemian’ who wants to leave an important legacy behind, the evidence of a un-finished experiment, so it can be solved by a brighter being – yet to be born.

Robert took me to the nearby machine shop and showed me where he hung the large canvas I gave him,  The Tree of Life. I had painted it in the house on 13th. where I lived with the Loading Zone. Members of other bands who played at the Fillmore would wander in and watch me paint with brushes Bob had bought me.

When I lived with Peter Shapiro, (who became a good friend of Bob’s brother, Tim) I did a painting of my muse, Rena Christiansen. Her image was rendered on the linen canvas Bob purchased. When my sister saw a photograph of this work, she became inspired. She took up art, and in a year she was one of the highest money-making artists in the world. She would marry Garth Benton, who was the cousin of the famous artist, Thomas Hart Benton.


This is almost like growing orchids. And if you knew the whole story, you would be amazed! We are the creative product of a great experiment. In this light, nothing went wrong, or could go wrong. We changed the world. To behold these images of Bob’s World, is to arrive near the end of my book. We have entered the Gideon Institute.

“All’s well, that ends well!”

However, will there ever be a scientific investigation into whether of not there exist Life After Death? In this respects Scientists are cowards, they not so much leaving it up The Church to come up with an answer, but, the poor, half crazed artist, who guesses what reality is most of the time. And every now and then, their guess is a good one.


We artists are the Fall-guy, the scapegoat, when reality goes wrong, and the Human Experiment comes to not. Note the energy around me. How did that get there? Robert was a witness to this energy – at its peak! So was my beautiful muse! We were like Adam and Eve. We camped all over Northern California. People were in awe of us. We were alone in the Great Greenhouse, the artist and his muse.

“I want to be an artist again.”

Jon Presco

The New Pre-Raphaelite Family



Robert Hamilton & John Leathers Robert Hamilton, born in Berkeley, CA in 1946. Raised and educated throughout the Berkeley school systems including UC Berkeley, with a significant interest in chemistry and physics. His career plans changed when he decided to become a scientific glassblower specializing in electron tubes, lasers and optics. In 1985 he became the equipment and facilities manager of University of CA – Berkeley Microfabrication laboratory and now manages the equipment of the newer Nanofabrication lab, a lab that serves 450 researchers. In addition to orchid growing, he enjoys classical piano studies.








Here is the testimonial of Alessandra Hart who co-founded BEAF:

“A small group of our friends decided to create the Berkeley Experimental Arts Foundation and we rented a space on College Avenue in Berkeley which we made into a theater, calling it Open Theater & Gallery. Pop Art was just coming in, Andy Warhol was experimenting with it on the East Coast. We opened with a pop art exhibit and a theater piece my husband, Roland Jacopetti, wrote.”

The Loading Zone played at the event these artists and filmmakers put on at the Open Theatre. Here is the missing link between artists and Psychedelic Music that was an intended to be a sideshow to a multimedia happening aimed at expanding your mind, with, or without LSD. We are talking about ART, that would soon be pushed aside, put on the back-burner while The People got it, that they were Art Pieces, living sculptures on a new and very fluid stage. The Muse was everywhere, and in, everyone. No one wanted to look at art anymore and grove on the artist, his or her………..TRIP! Five hundred people were now living galleries with ten million paintings flashing inside their minds every second. There were light shows, but, who gave a rat’s ass? Artists were being – humored!

Psychedelic Filmmaker, Ben Van Meter, is accused on the Village Voice of being on a – ego trip! Huh? I love seeing that world I took part in through the eyes of a fellow artist. We exist in real life, and not up on that Music Stage that keeps cranking out musical notes like bubbles in hope the players can get lucky and strike it rich.

Two days ago Peter Shapiro called me. We talked about the time he put on a happening in the backyard on Miles. He and Tim O’Connor wanted to celebrate my marriage to Mary Ann Tharaldsen. Peter invited Swami X to bless us, even conduct a second Hippie Wedding, but, he was a no-show.
Instead we got our Jewish neighbor, who we placed on a platform in between the Japanese arch I built in the center of an octagonal garden.

Peter told all his friends to bring a loaf of cheap whitebread as an offering to the Swami. Many brought flowers and placed them around Swami Swartz who did a great job doing a Swami-Rabbi with Vaudville Jesus routine. When we lined up to get our share of the loaves and a blessing, Swami Swartz bid us to kneel, hold out our hand, and then slap five pieces of Wonderbread into our palms.

In the background we had five beautiful young women doing Tai Chi in their white outfits. Their shadows were cast upon the doors of the old garage while multicolor dots of wonder opened new levels of wedded bliss and awareness.

When Stefen Eins came to the rescue of the Queen of the Wends, a creative hand was stretched across America. Chris was backstage for all the Zone’s events. For several months Stefan and I have talked about doing a Broadway Musical based upon the music of Love, and an aging Woodstock Nation. But, with the discoveries I have made in the last several days, we are looking at THE GENESIS of Psychedelic Rock Be-ins that connect to Warhol’s Factory and filmmakers.

What is truly astounding, Alessandra Hart, read from Revelations during these Mind Alterations. Consider the apocalyptic art of my ex-wife who was married to Thomas Pynchon, whose movie is due out in December. Pynchon is a One Man Band who might want to consider giving proceeds from ‘Inherent Vice’ to Bruce Baille so he can preserve this important film history.

Jon Presco


“I also borrowed a white noise machine, which was supposed to help you meditate and get into other brain wave patterns. We also had taped layers of music, playing simultaneously, and added voice readings from the Book of Revelations from the Bible. It was a multimedia event. We called it “Revelations.”

The Open Theater in Berkeley is most famous for debuting Big Brother and The Holding Company, and for being one of the incubators of the Trips Festival, which we have covered elsewhere. Indeed, another blogger discovered a listing in the Oakland Tribune Theater section that listed one of (if not the) first advertisements for “Psychedelic Music” at the Open Theater. Following the lead of this blogger, I reviewed the Theater Sections of The Oakland Tribune for 1965 and 1966, and managed to piece together the brief, but interesting history of the organization. I apologize in advance for any serious Theater scholars who have stumbled across this, as my focus is more on the musical side of the venture.

The Oakland Tribune first mentions the Open Theater on July 21, 1965. Founders Ben and Rain Jacopetti had formed a group called the Berkeley Experimental Arts Foundation “for the presentation and study of new art forms and trends”. After opening on September 30, 1965, the Open Theater began presenting shows every weekend, and sometimes on weekdays as well. The first listing above (under the heading Little Theaters, from the Sunday, November 7, 1965 Tribune) was typical of their Fall 1965 offerings. There was new theater on Fridays and Saturdays, and on Sunday they had “Sunday Meeting,” a spontaneous meeting. Sometimes music was advertised, as presented by either Ian Underwood or The Jazz Mice, Underwood’s trio.

It was the Sunday Happenings that seemed to be one of the precursors to The Trips Festival. According to Charles Perry’s 1984 book Haight Ashbury: A History, there was apparently multi-media performances, with lights and nudity (too much nudity for San Francisco’s Broadway), music by Underwood and others, an Art Gallery featuring contemporary art, and so on. The bass player for the Jazz Mice was artist Tom Glass, known also as Ned Lamont, and a painting of a huge comic book-style painting of his graced the lobby.

In January, the open theater begins to shift somewhat more towards music. The second (split-up) entry is from the Sunday, January 9, 1966 edition of Oakland Tribune. The Sunday night happening is followed by an apparently musical performance by Day Wellington and The Poor Losers. The next weekend is January 14 and 15, when The Loading Zone and Big Brother make their debuts, in evenings of “rock and roll and theatrical improvisation”.

The weekend of January 21-22-23 was the Trips Festival, in which the Open Theater participated. They surely contributed some multi-media, and Ian Underwood’s Jazz Mice played the first night. On the Saturday night (January 22), Underwood and others presented an avant garde musical performance. The last day of the Trips Festival, however, the Open Theater has its Sunday Meeting as usual, although perhaps some of the regular participants may have been a little worse for wear.

The last clipping is from the Sunday January 23 edition of the Tribune, noting the Happening, and also upcoming musical events. They are

Thursday January 27, 1966
Ramon Charles McDarmaid and Don Buchla, Movies by Bruce Baille
Don Buchla had constructed the Thunder Machine for Ken Kesey’s Pranksters, a sort of electronic percussion device.

Friday, January 28, 1966
Performances by Congress of Wonders and Ned’s Mob, introducing new material.
Congress of Wonders were a comedy trio, also regulars at the Open Theater, who did hip comedy and performance art (they later released a few albums). Ned’s Mob are unknown to me.

Saturday, January 29, 1966
Rock and Roll dance featuring The Loading Zone
This would have been The Loading Zone’s third performance, to our knowledge, the first two having been two weeks earlier at the Open Theater (Jan 14) and then at the Trips Festival (either Jan 21 or 22). The Loading Zone was based in Oakland.

The Open Theater continued to present performances through early March. They presented a John Cage piece on February 4 and 5 (reviewed by the Tribune) and a few other shows. Ian Underwood was now mentioned as the Musical Director, and per the March 12, 1966 Tribune it appears that Ben and Rain Jacopetti had left, and the Open Theater was under new management. However, by the end of March the Open Theater had closed. Ian Underwood said the Theater group was looking for a different space, but it was not to be.


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Experimental Muses

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I talked to Christ last night and told her Peter called and offered to pay for my flight back east to help her.

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