While the UK tabloid press initially embraced the acid house movement – The S*n’s £5.50 t-shirt offer being a memorable highpoint – it didn’t take long for the focus to shift to this new ‘menace’ that was ‘corrupting’ the nation’s youth.
Published in the November 2, 1988 edition of the same paper, the Welcome to Acid House cartoon, by longtime resident artist Franklin, sums up the tabloid frenzy around the new musical movement.
Here at 909originals, we’re not sure what captivates us most about this – the hooded Smiley character clutching a myriad of non-descript tablets, the Hieronymous-Bosch-esque despair on the face of the would-be raver as he descends through the trap door, or the subtle, yet classically-redtop subtitle, ‘Trip To Hell’.
As thousands of party people would discover over the coming months, acid house offered quite the opposite proposition… 🙂
Both the front page and page of that day’s paper featured more classic S*n fodder, a report that claimed that ‘bouncers wielding baseball bats and pickaxe handles’ were patrolling a London acid house party, alongside warnings from DJ Simon Mayo, TV presenter Philip Schofield and Matt Goss of Bros (remember them?) to ‘beat the growing menace of the Acid House cult’.
For us, though, the highlight of this report has to be the small section at the bottom, as S*n readers are urged to wear a badge featuring a depressed Smiley… in very small print, at the bottom, it notes that the paper has decided to withdraw the Bizarre Acid T-shirt offer, barely two weeks after launching it.
As we now know, this attempt by said newspaper to reap what it had sowed largely fell on deaf ears… Reach for the lasers!