Indica Gallery

“Indica Gallery was a counterculture art gallery in Mason’s Yard (off Duke Street), St. James’s, London, England during the late 1960s, in the basement of the Indica Bookshop co-owned by John Dunbar, Peter Asher and Barry Miles. It was supported by Paul McCartney and hosted a show of Yoko Ono‘s work in November 1966 at which Ono first met John Lennon. Miles had been running the bookshop and alternative happenings venue Better Books but with new, more traditional, owners arriving, had been planning to open his own bookstore/venue. Through Paolo Leonni, Miles met John Dunbar who was planning on opening a gallery, and with John’s friend Peter Asher as silent partner, they combined their ideas into a company called Miles, Asher and Dunbar Limited (MAD) to start the Indica Books and Gallery in September 1965, as an outlet for art and literature.[3] They found empty premises at 6 Masons Yard, which was in the same courtyard as the Scotch of St James club, where John Dunbar was living with his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, when he discovered the place. The name chosen for the bookshop/gallery was a reference to Cannabis indica. At the time Paul McCartney was dating Asher’s sister, Jane Asher, and living in the Asher family house at 57 Wimpole Street. McCartney became involved with the emerging underground scene in London and the setting up of the bookshop/gallery. … Some of the first books he bought were ‘Peace Eye Poems’ by Ed Sanders, ‘Drugs and the Mind’ by Robert S. de Ropp, and Gandhi on Non-violence’. The wood that was needed for the shelves and shop counter was picked up from the lumber yard by Dunbar and Miles in McCartney’s Aston Martin car. Artists such as Pete Brown also helped in the renovation of the Indica, and Brown remarked that as he was helping to paint the interior, he would often look over his shoulder and see McCartney, who also frequently visited the Scotch, sawing a piece of wood.  Jane Asher donated the shop’s first cash till, which was an old Victorian till that she had played with as a young girl. McCartney helped to draw the flyers – which were used to advertise the Indica’s opening – and also designed the wrapping paper. Barry Miles later introduced McCartney to the works of William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, and their conversations were infused with subjects such as Buddhism, drugs, and ‘pataphysics, which McCartney later put into the lyrics of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. …”
Interview| Barry Miles, founder of the International Times
Independent – Where John met Yoko: The gallery that broke the mould
Guardian – Playing to the gallery
ART & THE 60s (3 x 60’): BBC, 2004 (Video)
Beatles Bible: John Lennon meets Yoko Ono

Barry Miles

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Allen Ginsberg, Counterculture, Ed Sanders, Environmental, Happenings, LSD, Marijuana, Pacifist, Poetry, Rolling Stones, The Beatles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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