Suddi Raval : A Brief History of Acid House
Here's what he had to say:
I recently wrote a book about Acid House and in all honesty it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Before I wrote it I was really unsure because I’d never done anything like this before. Not only had I never written a book of any kind, but I also wanted it to be illustrated so it had to have drawings which posed another problem for me as I’d never drawn anything before either! I have pretty much bought every book that has ever been written about Acid House, and as much as I love and have enjoyed them they are often a very serious read. Don't get me wrong, Acid House is an important subject to me too, but it is also possibly the most fun thing that had ever happened in the history of anything. I mean, the logo, it’s symbol, the emblem that is most associated with it is a smiley face! It’s all about partying and having a good time. So I felt some quirky pictures were an essential addition to my story. I did some research on how much illustrations cost and quickly realised that if I am going to do this I’m going to have to do it all myself.
One reason why I wanted to tell the story of acid House was partly due to the story still never really being told in full.
Most of the books out there seemed to focus on not just taking drugs but also drug dealing. Now whilst I’m not denying that popping pills were a big part of why the scene exploded, but it certainly isn't the most important part of it and if we're honest, isn’t every youth movement fueled by one drug or another? Rock and Roll had alcohol, the 60's had LSD, Northern Soul had speed, Acid House had ecstasy.
The point I am making is, Acid House was and still is one of the most incredible movements that has ever happened in human history. Really. It’s that good. What it did was cause a seismic shift in attitudes, in culture, in lifestyles. Prior to '88 the world was in black and white. After Acid House happened it was as if someone turned the colour on with the contrast high. People who would have never have previously stepped foot on a dance floor strutted their thing like John Travolta but in slightly better clothes. Actually in some cases, the clothes were probably quite embarrassing. I remember wearing some pretty bonkers attire without a care in the world because nobody judged you and you could get away with being yourself without any fear of anyone ridiculing you for being different. It was brilliant and it opened doors to things no one could have dreamt of before Acid House.
It helped bring about an end to football violence in ways that no one could have predicted. It is ironic that the, then Tory government tried to kill acid House because they also tried to control football violence. How funny that it took Acid House to do that? Many of the people who took part in football violence did so because there was so little else to do for many working class lads. Fighting with your rival teams gave Football Casuals something to do when life was pretty dull and eventless and with unemployment so high in the 80's and social tensions reaching fever pitch, people had little money but then along came Acid House. A lot of the people who said they switched from fighting to clubbing said they would never have been friends with the people they were previously fighting with but Acid House and the euphoric feeling it gave left them uninterested in clenching their fists and instead had them reach for the stars as they rejoiced in the newfound scene and everything that went with it.
It wasn’t just the moments on the dance floor that were so amazing (or for many people, the warehouse floor) it was everything that went with it. The Acid House lifestyle didn't end when the music stopped, if anything that was just the start.
For many people like myself who discovered Acid House, our lives took a massive tangent and we ended up doing something completely different to what we planned before we got into the scene. I was planning to open a clothes shop after I left college. Instead I formed an Acid House band with my best friend which led to a life in sound and music.
In the book I go from the very start of the story of Acid House and talk about how a bass synth was abused to create the sound of Acid House - how the UK took the sound and invented modern clubbing as we know and gave it to the rest of the world. The book goes on to discuss the governments attempts to quash the scene but the love of the music was too strong and it just got bigger.
Here are a few examples of the inside pages:
You can buy the book at my bandcamp and read all about how a
synthesizer "accidentally" changed the world.